By Lizzie Thomas | Staff Writer
Incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz held a rally Friday in Waco at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. Cruz compared himself to his opponent, Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, on every issue, saying he was proud of his own track record in each arena, stressing the stark contrast between them.
“Seems to me Congressman O’Rourke is getting a little rattled,” Cruz said. “He was in the midst of a long and slow dance with me. Suddenly the man encountered his record, and it ain’t a record that looks at all like the state of Texas.”
One of the major areas in which Cruz was proud of his conduct, especially in comparison with O’Rourke, was in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
“I am proud to have helped lead the fight to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” Cruz said. “I will say this about the hearings — it was one of the saddest moments of the Senate.”
Cruz went on to say the Senate Democrats turned the hearings into a circus and that they did not care about the truth — they only cared about shaming Kavanaugh and his family. Cruz said the Senate Democrats sat on the allegations until it was too late to properly investigate them, and when they did bring them to light, they released them to the press, disregarding Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s wish to remain anonymous.
“The Senate Democrats threw her overboard and outed her against her wishes,” Cruz said. “Now when that happened, I thought it was important to have an open hearing. That she has a full and fair opportunity to share her story, and that she be treated with respect and dignity. She was. I also thought it was important for Kavanaugh to have a full and fair opportunity to tell his story, and that he be treated with respect and dignity. He wasn’t.”
Wes Lloyd, president of the McLennan County Republican Club and an organizer of the event, said his main takeaway from the rally was the stark difference between the candidates. Unlike other races in Texas historically, these opponents agree about what they disagree over — neither candidate disputes the other’s record.
“The main takeaway was simply whether you want a liberal or a conservative candidate on just about every issue,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said that a lot of times, candidates in Texas try to play the middle in order to sway independent voters. Lloyd said his message to Baylor students who are Texas voters would be to vote according to their values.
“Think about your core values — whether you think the Texas economy will continue to boom or if something needs to change,” Lloyd said.
Other key issues where Cruz highlighted his performance were on taxes and regulations. He based his representation of the people of Texas off of Texas identity, emphasizing that O’Rourke does not represent Texas identity when he promotes higher taxes and regulations.
“On taxes, I was proud to lead the effort to bring Republicans together and deliver on historic tax cuts for the people of Texas,” Cruz said.
Recounting that O’Rourke has voted for climate-related taxes, Cruz said he made the case personally to President Trump on Air Force One that the Paris Climate Agreement was a disaster, and that the president did the right thing by pulling out.
“It ain’t rocket science: cut taxes, simplify tax code, repeal job-killing regulations, small businesses will prosper and expand and the state of Texas does well,” Cruz said.
According to Cruz, regulations hurt the oil and energy trade, as well as employment, but that the current Texas economy is booming, producing 23 percent more oil than in 2016.
“On regulations, I’ve been proud to lead the way — working hand in hand with President Trump to repeal job-killing regulations that have been hammering the state of Texas,” Cruz said.
Pointing out that the United States has they lowest unemployment rate since 1969, Cruz said the U.S. also has the lowest African American and Hispanic unemployment rates ever recorded, as well as the lowest youth unemployment rate.
Cruz said elections are about choices, and he gave his audience a choice:
“If you want a big-government, gun-grabbin’ liberal, well, Democrats we’ll give you one,” Cruz said. “But that’s not who we are, Texas.”