POLITICS
10/17/2018 02:34 pm ET

Beto O'Rourke Shifts Gears, Goes Full Offense In Ted Cruz Attack Ads

The Texas Democrat addresses health care, education and immigration in ads slamming Cruz's policies.

Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke repeatedly called Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) dishonest and overly ambitious in their second debate Tuesday night, and now he’s unveiled a handful of ads criticizing his opponent.

O’Rourke had been running a progressive campaign known for its unrelenting positivity, but he’s shifted to a no-holds-barred approach against Cruz just weeks before the election.

“He’s dishonest,” O’Rourke said. “It’s why the president called him ‘Lyin’ Ted,’ and it’s why the nickname stuck ― because it’s true.”

The attack ads rolled out on Wednesday feature O’Rourke talking directly to the camera about major issues like health care, education and immigration ― and attacking Cruz’s policies head-on.

“We’ve got to lead on immigration reform and yet, Ted Cruz, he’s the only senator to vote against moving forward with that conversation. He’s vowed to deport every single Dreamer. He’s selling paranoia and fear instead of solutions,” O’Rourke says in his immigration-centric ad.

O’Rourke also says Cruz “has voted to take away health care from millions of American families” in an ad dedicated to health care.

“He’s tried repeatedly to roll back protections for pre-existing conditions and he shut down the government because he thought too many people had too much health care,” he says.

O’Rourke’s education ad puts the blame on Cruz for being the “deciding vote in putting [Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos in charge of our children’s public education.”

An average of five polls this week shows Cruz leading the race by 7 points. But O’Rourke appears to have a huge financial advantage, raising $38.1 million for his campaign in the third quarter ― three times what Cruz’s team collected.

O’Rourke’s campaign said its fundraising for the three months that ended Sept. 30 was a record for a Senate race, with contributions coming from 802,836 individuals, the majority of them from Texas.

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