AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — CNN will let Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke make his case for ousting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on a nationally televised town hall – with Cruz nowhere in sight.
The event Thursday night comes two days after the El Paso congressman scrapped his usual optimistic, bipartisan message and went on the attack against Cruz during their last scheduled debate in San Antonio.
An ex-punk rocker giving up his congressional seat to challenge Cruz, O’Rourke has shattered fundraising records and attracted glowing national attention as he tries to become the first Democrat to win statewide office in Texas since 1994. But polls that once showed him nipping at the Republican’s heels now have Cruz pulling away.
CNN previously offered both candidates separate town halls, but Cruz declined. The senator later said he’d like to make Thursday’s event a debate, but O’Rourke said no.