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O’Rourke Jumps on Ridicule of Cruz’s Trump Essay

Democratic challenger takes issue with Cruz saying Trump’s presidency has been ‘fun to watch’

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, walks up the House steps for final votes of the week in the Capitol on March 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, walks up the House steps for final votes of the week in the Capitol on March 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz’s Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke jumped on the pile of scorn heaped on Cruz for his fawning essay praising President Donald Trump.

Cruz wrote a piece for Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2018 in which he calls Trump “a flash-bang grenade thrown into Washington by the forgotten men and women of America.”

Cruz said Trump is keeping his campaign promise to “disrupt the status quo.”

“That scares the heck out of those who have controlled Washington for decades, but for millions of Americans, their confusion is great fun to watch,” he said.

O’Rourke, who has emerged as a fundraising juggernaut and has consistently outraised Cruz, said in a Medium post that he doesn’t think “that comment represents Texas.”

“Because it’s not been great fun to watch President Trump refuse to condemn the racist and dangerous behavior of Klansmen and white nationalists marching with torches in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia,” O’Rourke wrote.

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Cruz was mocked widely for his essay because of his bitter feud with Trump throughout the 2016 Republican presidential race. Trump gave Cruz the nickname “Lyin’ Ted,” tweeted a photo of his wife, Heidi, insulting her looks, and hinted that his father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Cruz initially withheld his endorsement of Trump at the party’s convention that year.

Responding to O’Rourke on Twitter, Cruz criticized his support of impeaching Trump, “aggressive gun control” and “open borders.”

“And what’s ‘fun to watch’ is the [mainstream media] losing their minds,” he wrote.

But a poll from Quinnipiac University released this week showed O’Rourke within striking distance of Cruz, with Cruz leading the Democrat by 3 percentage points.

“Once expected to ‘cruise’ to reelection, the incumbent is in a tight race with Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke,” said Peter Brown, the poll’s assistant director, in a statement.

Conducted April 12-17, the poll surveyed 1,029 Texas voters on landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points. 

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Texas’ Senate race Likely Republican.

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