O'Rourke: I called Cruz 'lyin' Ted' because of his continued 'dishonest' attacks

Democratic Senate candidate and congressman Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) said Thursday that he called Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) “lyin’ Ted” in a recent debate because of the continued dishonest attacks Cruz has leveled against him, adding that he believes the nickname is an accurate assessment of the senator. 

“I said ‘look he’s dishonest,'” O’Rourke explained during a CNN Town Hall. “It’s one of the reasons he got tagged with this nickname, and that nickname resonates because it’s true.”

O’Rourke added that Cruz and his campaign have continued to attack him with “dishonest” claims and that he decided during a debate this week that he could either respond to “every single dishonest thing that he said or I could make sure that everyone understood exactly what he’s doing.”

“It’s not something that I feel totally comfortable with, and perhaps, in the heat of the moment, I took a step too far,” O’Rourke later said.


When asked if he regretted using the nickname, O’Rourke responded that he was unsure if “that’s the way I want to be talking in this campaign.”

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O’Rourke used the line that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE often used to attack Cruz during the 2016 presidential campaign in a debate in San Antonio on Thursday. 

“This is what you can expect over the course of debate,” O’Rourke said during the debate. “Sen. Cruz isn’t going to be honest. He’s dishonest.”

“That’s why [Trump’s] nickname stuck — because it’s true.”

It was one of the many notable moments from a heated debate less than a month before the general election. 

Polls have continued to show Cruz with a solid advantage over O’Rourke. A poll released by CNN this week showed that the Republican senator had a seven-point lead over the congressman. 

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