After Debate, Trump Rips Beto O’Rourke, Endorses Former Rival Ted Cruz

‘Beto is a Flake!’ president tweets

President Donald Trump criticized Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke after his debate with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
President Donald Trump criticized Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke after his debate with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted October 17, 2018 at 9:27am

Less than a week before he heads to the Lone Star State to headline a rally for Sen. Ted Cruz, President Donald Trump is already priming his supporters by attacking Cruz’s opponent.

The way Trump tells it, Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke “wants higher taxes and far more regulations,” the president tweeted Wednesday morning after watching the debate between Cruz and O’Rourke Tuesday.

O’Rourke “is not in the same league” as Cruz, Trump wrote, adding that Cruz has helped slash regulations and taxes and been a vigilant guardian of Second Amendment gun rights.

O’Rourke would “blow it all!” Trump wrote. “Beto is a Flake!”

Watch: Tuesday’s Texas Senate Debate in 4 Minutes

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The president is scheduled to rally for Cruz at Houston’s NRG Arena, which seats slightly less than 10,000 people, next Monday, Oct. 22.

The rally will be the president’s sixth in Texas since he first announced his campaign for the high office in the summer of 2015.

Cruz, one of Trump’s fiercest primary opponents that year, has since cultivated a close relationship with the president, despite Trump suggesting that his father was in on the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy in Dallas and disparaging his wife’s physical appearance on the campaign trail.

O’Rourke criticized Cruz for associating with someone who would say such things about his family.

“To me it demonstrates that Sen. Cruz will put his political ambition, his prospects in the election ahead of anything else, including his family, including those he’s sworn to represent here in Texas,” O’Rourke told reporters, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Watch: New Ad Calls Out Ted Cruz’s Love of White Castle

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O’Rourke has raised eye-popping amounts of money in his bid to unseat Cruz in the midterms this November. He shattered the single-quarter fundraising record for a Senate campaign committee with $38.1 million reported in his third-quarter filing.

Cruz has maintained an uneasy lead over O’Rourke in recent polls despite O’Rourke out-fundraising him the last six quarters of the cycle.

Cruz raised more than $12 million in the third quarter — still an impressive haul.

Texas may be slipping from the bulletproof GOP stronghold it was over the last few decades, but it’s still a reliably red state. Trump won there over Hillary Clinton by 11 points in 2016.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely Republican.