O'Rourke, Cruz clash over shootings in debate

Democrat Beto O’Rourke attacks police as ‘the new Jim Crow’ just days after praising cops

The debate, slated to begin at 7 p.m. EST, marks the first direct face-off between the two men in a race that has vaulted to the top of the American political consciousness, as Democrats believe O'Rourke represents their best chance in decades to win statewide office in Texas for the first time since the early 1990's.

"I know how hard he works".

Cruz was asked how he had gone from his 2016 presidential primary battle with President Donald Trump - in which Trump insulted the appearance of Cruz's wife, Heidi, and accused Cruz's father of being involved in a conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy - to being political allies now, with Trump planning a trip to Texas.

Nonpartisan-and-boozy also looks to be an option.

Cruz also said school shootings are a result of "removing God from the public square", and he called for more armed police officers in schools.

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"The alternative, as Senator Cruz has proposed, is to deport 11 million people from this country", O'Rourke said.

Then he linked O'Rourke to Vermont Sen. O'Rourke has publicly called for Guyger to be fired. Ted Cruz traded blows in an atmosphere that somehow managed to convey the tight race pollsters say is unfolding and yet steer clear of any mudslinging.

Texas hasn't had a Democratic senator since Lloyd Bentsen in 1994, but O'Rourke has amassed a large campaign war chest and made a point of visiting all 254 Texas counties, including many that Democrats wrote off years ago.

Mr. O'Rourke claimed things like "universal background checks" would make schools and other places "demonstrably safer", before chiding Mr. Cruz that "thoughts and prayers are not going to cut it".

The Houston Chronicle first reported details of O'Rourke's drunken driving arrest through state and local police reports.

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Even if O'Rourke doesn't, Cruz showed on Friday that he certainly does.

There are two other debates - September 30 at the University of Houston and October 16 in San Antonio. From April 2015 to June 2016, roughly the period when Cruz was campaigning, he missed 43.4 percent of Senate votes.

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll gave O'Rourke a slight edge, with 47 percent to Cruz's 45 percent That came on the heels of a Quinnipiac University survey that showed Cruz up by 9 percentage points. And polls have suggested a tighter race than expected in a state where Republicans typically win in landslides. "I'm sorry that you don't like thoughts and prayers, I will pray for anyone I harms ways but I'll also do something about it", Cruz said. He eventually supported his party's candidate, though.

Cruz's backhanded compliment - and O'Rourke's curt response - was a fitting coda to an hourlong debate that put on display several of the candidates' biggest differences on issues like standing for the National Anthem, immigration and guns. Candidates were asked about what they admired about their opponent.

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