KILLEEN — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday said his victory on Nov. 6 will be fueled by a “common sense” majority of people that includes moderate Democrats, independents and Libertarians.
“In Texas, for a long time, there have been millions of conservative Democrats, millions of moderate Democrats who are looking right now at the national Democratic Party that is going extremely off the deep end,” Cruz said, rallying supporters at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. “Back crack crazy — that’s the technical, medical definition.”
Cruz is betting that more moderate voters will come around to him as some Democrats embrace positions such as impeaching President Donald Trump or abolishing ICE, the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement agency.
“Come join us,” Cruz said. “We welcome you with open arms.”
Sen. John Cornyn was scheduled to appear at Cruz’s rally, but he did not.
The Republican senator slammed his opponent — U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso — for telling CNN that he would support impeaching Trump. As for O’Rourke’s position on abolishing ICE, the congressman told the Texas Tribune that there needs to be a better way to enforce immigration laws without fear.
“If that involves doing away with this agency, giving that responsibility to somebody else, changing how this agency performs, I’m open to doing that,” O’Rourke said to the Tribune in June.
Cruz continued to hammer O’Rourke, 46, on immigration. As the 47-year-old Republican senator explained that the divisions between him and his Democratic rival are clear on this issue, the audience of several hundred began to chant, “Build the wall.”
“Y’all don’t sound on the fence about it. Well, it’s interesting because where do you think Beto O’Rourke is?” Cruz said, riffing on O’Rourke’s opposition to the proposed wall along the United States-Mexico border and how the congressman has touted the safeness of El Paso, a border city.
Cruz told the Killeen crowd that there is a wall that separates El Paso from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico — a city that once recorded 3,000 murders in 2010.
“Over 3,000 murders in Juárez, a wall (is) protecting the city of El Paso from that crime and those cartels, and what does Beto want to do? Tear down the wall,” Cruz said. “As they say in Texas, that boy don’t think right.”
Continuing to riff on the differences between him and the El Paso Democrat, Cruz brought up his effort to get two conservative justices confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court and how he authored a bipartisan bill to ensure victims of the Fort Hood shooting in 2009 received Purple Hearts.
“How about on health care? I have been proud to lead the fight every day in the Senate to repeal the trainwreck disaster that is Obamacare,” Cruz said. “And what does Beto O’Rourke want? He wants Obamacare.”
O’Rourke supports the implementation of a single-payer health care system. Cruz, on the other hand, said he wants more competition and options in health care.
“Now, having some bureaucrat in Washington decide what health care you can get, when you can get it, how you can get it, if you can get it — what possibly can go wrong with that?” Cruz said. “That’s not Texas. We want you, the patient, deciding what health care you get with your doctor — not a government bureaucrat in Washington.”
Cruz touted his record on jobs and the economy. Because of the tax cuts that Congress approved in late 2017 and regulations being eliminated, Cruz said, the Texas economy is booming.
“Right now, today, the national unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in 49 years,” Cruz said, referring to the nation’s 3.7 percent unemployment rate. “The last time unemployment was this low was 1969 — that was the year before I was born. That means I have never breathed air on the planet Earth with unemployment as low as it is today.”
The senator acknowledged that O’Rourke has trounced him when it comes to fundraising. Cruz has raised $28.1 million to O’Rourke’s $61.8 million.
“All the gold coming in from California will not buy Beto a Senate seat in Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday during a campaign rally in Belton.
Cruz is confident he will pull off a win in two weeks.
“We are going to win this race. And I’ll tell you why I know that: Because this is Texas, and it is in our DNA,” Cruz said. “When freedom is threatened, Texans rise to the occasion and we will defend liberty, we will defend the Constitution, and we will defend the United States of America.”