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tv   Campaign 2018 Texas Senate Debate  CSPAN  October 20, 2018 12:01pm-1:02pm EDT

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changing. we cannot have effective laws if we do not understand that, and we need to do that. too many people in the academic community are not really following that, so i hope that will be part of what gets supported in terms of research. i also want to say something, we have been talking about laws and policies in this discussion, but there really is an important role for corporate responsibility here, an important law for partnerships between those of us in the community and industry to do the right thing. i have talked to a lot of people who really want to but many feel it is out of their control. certainly, there are lots of good people in the industry. i see a combination of public policy and corporate responsibility and responsible practices. i think that that can happen, and i think we're out of time in
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a moment in time when we can have constructive dialogue in that direction. we really almost the best for our kids. that is what it is all about. that is where it comes from from all of us. i do not think anybody would disagree with that. i would like you to engage with us on some of those questions, all of you. i will also thank everyone, thank our panelists and participants for a lively and very interesting and important session. thanks again to senator markey's office. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] with the midterm elections
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just days away, watch the competition for control of congress on c-span. see for yourself the candidates and the debates from key house and senate races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. today, a debate for a u.s. senate seat in washington state incumbent senator maria cantwell and susan hutchinson, a former tv journalist, live starting at 6:00 p.m. eastern. -- for a u.s. in senate seat in ohio and sherrod brown and james renee c. live at 7:00 p.m. eastern. you can watch both on c-span. with 17 days before the election, make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. incumbent republican senator ted cruz-based beto o'rourke in a
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, hosted by kbate ems tv in san antonio. this is one hour. tonight, three weeks to the election -- >> there are two different visions for the road texas wants to be on. announcer: texas has not seen a race like this in decades. rep. o'rourke: i am not running against anyone, not against another party, i am running for this party. announcer: republican ted cruz, asking texas voters for six more years in the senate. beto o'rourke, hoping to be the state's first democratic senator in 25 years. now, live from san antonio, both candidates face-to-face in the texas debate. sarah forgany: good evening. thank you for joining us tonight. i am sarah forgany, news anchor at kens 5 in san antonio. jason whitely: and i am jason whitely, political reporter and host of inside texas politics at wfaa in dallas-fort worth. we welcome our viewers from across the state watching this
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debate live tonight in all corners of texas. let's get right to it. sarah forgany: both campaigns have agreed to these rules tonight. for each question, the candidate will get 90 seconds to answer and his opponent will have 90 seconds for a response. we will turn back for a final rebuttal of 60 seconds. jason whitely: let's first, though, turn to dallas, to our victory park studios, where we have a social media response team there. as you watch this debate on television with us tonight, join the conversation online using the #texasdebate. sarah forgany: we also have a live audience with us here tonight in the studio so we ask you to please hold your applause during this debate, except for now, as we welcome the two candidates running for the united states senate in texas. [cheers and applause] jason whitely: please welcome ted cruz and beto o'rourke here. gentlemen, welcome
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tonight. senator cruz, you won the coin tossed a have the final tonight at the end of this program so we start with you, congressman o'rourke. welcome to you. 21 days away from the election and there is still uncertainty about the security of our ballot boxes. just yesterday, new cyber attacks again reported on election databases in several states, but misinformation online can be just as dangerous, as so many people know. the question is, should congress enact regulations on social media to protect voters from that misinformation? rep. o'rourke: first, jason, let me thank you and sarah for moderating tonight's debate, kens 5 for hosting us, and the people of san antonio for being here and people of texas for watching this and participating in one of the most important decisions of our lifetimes. [speaking spanish] yes, the integrity of our ballot box, 242 years into this experiment, the american democracy, that is the exception and not the rule in world history, is sacred.
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it is essential we continue to protect it. it is under attack unlike any other time in this nation's past. we know because the intelligence community has reached a unanimous conclusion on this that the russian government sought to undermine our democracy. in fact, president trump's own administration announced the indictment of 12 russian nationals who compromised the voter data of more than half a million of our fellow americans and we know that they will attack us again in this election and the next, unless we stand up to them now. so yes, let's protect the integrity of our ballot box. which is why i am a bit surprised that senator cruz has voted against the funding to protect access to the ballot box to ensure that your vote goes to the candidate of your choice. and yes, we must also ensure that on social media, where so many of us now have become the product on twitter, on facebook, that we are not manipulated and that the opinions that we hold are not shaped by those from other countries. so i want to work with my
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colleagues on both sides of the aisle, work with this administration, to make sure that we do that. so that every single voter can make an informed decision on accurate information. jason whitely: congressman, that is your time. 90 second response, mr. cruz. sen. cruz: of course we should do more. to protect the integrity of elections. i am proud to have supported , number one, funding from the federal government to the states to help secure elections. number two, a week ago, the senate judiciary committee passed legislation that i cosponsored, called the "deter act," that would punish anyone that comes to this country for the purpose of undermining elections. we need to make sure our elections are safe and secure. your question was should congress be regulating social media companies and what they allow to be said? i believe in the first amendment. i don't believe congress should be in the business of regulating conduct because i don't think it is the government's job to regulate content online. that being said, i am very concerned, and i know there are millions of texans who are concerned, about the political bias of big tech, of facebook and google skewing and silencing
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the voices those who politically they disagree with. you may or embark -- remember several months ago, mark zuckerberg, the ceo of facebook, testified before the senate and i asked him a series of vigorous questions about the political bias at facebook. now, even though congress should not regulate the content, there are two things we should think about doing. number one, right now, big tech enjoys an immunity from liability on the assumption that they would be neutral and fair. if they are not going to be neutral and fair, if they are going to be biased, we should appeal the immunity from liability so they should be liable like the rest of us. number two, the giant tech companies by any measure are bigger than at&t was when it was broken up under the antitrust laws, bigger than standard oil, and if they are abusing market powers and monopoly the antitrust laws should be enforced. jason whitely: senator, that is your time. congressman, to be clear, he said that yes we should regulations on social media. yes or no? yes or no, in the remaining 62nd -- 60 second rebuttal for you, yes or no, for regulations on social media? rep. o'rourke: yes, i think we can have thoughtful regulations
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that ensure we are making informed decisions based on facts and the truth and we are not being manipulated by foreign powers, but it is interesting that ted cruz invested more than $5 million in cambridge analytica, which is the very company that helped to undermine our democracy, to feed false news and false opinions to our fellow americans, to manipulate the world's greatest democracy. $5 million from ted cruz that funded cambridge analytica. he voted against supporting and safeguarding the integrity of our ballot box. our junior senator will not stand up to president trump, someone who apologizes for russia, defends that country, vladimir putin, the leader of the country that sought to undermine our democracy. he will not stand up against him and he will not stand up for us to make sure that our elections are free and fair, that your vote goes to the intended candidate. this is beyond party politics. this is getting our democracy back on track, and we need a senator from texas who will do that. jason whitely: congressman, that
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is your time. sarah forgany: senator cruz, brett kavanaugh was sworn in 11 days ago. the u.s. supreme court now has five justices who have either directly stated or suggested that roe v. wade was wrongly decided. should we prepare for changes to abortion law in this country? sen. cruz: well, listen, i believe that every human life is a gift from god, is a precious gift from god and it should be protected. it should be protected and cherished. i am pro-life. now, the question of what will happen at the supreme court on roe v. wade or anything else, we will have to see when cases are decided. judge kavanaugh, just like his predecessors, just like justice ginsburg, just like justice kagan, declined to answer those questions, and that has been the standard of the supreme court for many, many years. i would note, though, on the question of life, there is an enormous difference between me and congressman o'rourke. on the question of life, congressman o'rourke is at the extreme pro-abortion side.
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so he has repeatedly voted in favor of late-term abortions. he has repeatedly voted in favor of taxpayer funding for abortions. i have to say, that is not consistent with the views of the people of texas. the people of texas, and i will say, especially the hispanic community, we don't want to see taxpayer-funded, medicaid funding abortions and late-term abortions. i think that is extreme and that is disconnected. i will note as well, on the question of judges, judges is a massive divide between congressman o'rourke and me. i was proud to help lead the effort to confirm neil gorsuch to the supreme court. i was proud to help lead the effort to confirm justice brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. congressman o'rourke would have voted against both of them. he wants to see, like hillary clinton promised to appoint, left-wing judicial activists who impose their own policy preferences from the bench. i don't think that is what the people of texas want. we want judges and justices who will follow the constitution and the law. sarah forgany: that is your
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time. thank you. congressman, you have 90 seconds for response. rep. o'rourke: senator cruz has a very troubling record when it comes to judicial nominations and confirmations. he supported the nomination of a judge, jeff mateer, who described transgender children as part of satan's plan, who believes in conversion therapy. he supported the nomination of someone to be a judge who had never tried a case before, another potential judge who could not tell us whether brown v. board of education was correctly decided. from our perspective, in a state where you can be fired for being gay, i want a justice who believes in civil rights. from the perspective of a state that ranks 50th in voter turnout in the country, not by accident, by design, some people drawn out of their democracy, i want a justice who believes in voting rights. for a state that has is at the epicenter of the maternal mortality crisis, as we made it harder and harder for women to get access to the health care that they need, to get that cervical cancer screening, to see that family planning provider, to see a provider of any kind, we are losing them faster here than in almost any other state, in almost any other
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developed country in the world. i will only vote to confirm a supreme court justice who believes in a woman's right to make her own decisions about her own body, and who has the health care access to be able to do so. we should be able, the next junior senator from texas, to work with our colleagues, our administration, to have justices who will rule in favor of people and our needs, not corporations, not special interests, not political action committees. those are some very significant needs we have in texas right now, not represented by judge, now justice, kavanaugh. this is a decision i am concerned about. sarah forgany: that is your time. thank you. senator, in your 60 second rebuttal, what should abortion law in texas look like? sen. cruz: you know, it is striking that congressman o'rourke did not dispute his extreme record of abortion, supporting late-term abortion, supporting taxpayer funding for abortion, supporting taxpayer funding for abortions late-term even for illegal aliens. he has voted for that. that is an extreme position.
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fewer than 9% of texans agree with him. he also did not dispute that he opposed justice gorsuch, justice kavanaugh. if you listen to what congressman o'rourke said, he said he wants justices who agree with his own left-wing policy views. that is not the job of the court. the job of the court is to follow the law. if you want to change the law, you do it through elections. the constitution gives the power to the people, not five unelected lawyers in washington. and let me note, the same judges that congressman o'rourke wants to see would also undermine the the first amendment, would undermine free speech, would undermine religious liberty, but -- would undermine the second amendment. hillary clinton promised to appoint justices who would undermine the second amendment and congressman o'rourke enthusiastically supported her doing so. sarah forgany: senator, that is
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your time. thank you very much. jason whitely: senator cruz, president trump said on sunday that something is changing with regards the climate. you're clearly on record for years saying there is no evidence to back that up. that nothing exists yet to back that up. major oil companies, including texas-based exxon mobil says on its website that the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action. that is exxon mobil's own words there. what do you tell texas companies that think this really is a problem? sen. cruz: well, listen, of course the climate is changing. the climate has been changing from the dawn of time. the climate will change as long as we have a planet earth. i am the son of two mathematicians and computer programmers. i believe in science. i chair the science and space subcommittee of the senate commerce committee. in that capacity i chaired a hearing looking on the science and data behind global warming. we heard testimony and we heard actual science and data. far too many democrats approach the issue not as a matter of science. i think we should follow the the science and follow the evidence. instead, what they approach it as is a matter of government power. they want the power to control the economy. that has led, for example,
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congressman o'rourke to cast some votes that i think are really harmful to the people of texas. for example, congressman o'rourke voted in favor of a $10 a barrel tax on every barrel of oil produced in the state of texas. that would have been an absolutely devastating to the state of texas. by the way, $10 a barrel, that works out to about $.24 a gallon that every one of us would pay when you go to fill up your car or truck. that would hurt the people of texas. let me point out, a robust energy sector is good for all of texas. there are millions of jobs that depend on a robust oil and gas sector. and congressman o'rourke's record voting against texas oil and gas, voting against energy, that hurts the economy, that hurts jobs, that is not right for texas. let me point out all of those oil and gas workers, they buy homes, they buy cars and trucks, they get health care, they give to churches and schools. by the way, the university of texas a&m gets hundreds of millions of dollars from our energy sector. jason whitely: that is your time, senator. let's move on to a 90 second response from mr. o'rourke.
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rep. o'rourke: this is what you can expect over the course of this debate. senator cruz is not going to be honest with you. he is going to make up positions on votes that i have never held or have ever taken. he is dishonest. that is why the president called him "lying ted," and it is why the nickname stuck. because it is true. look, the climate is changing. man-made climate change is a fact. 300 years after the enlightenment, we should be able to listen to the scientists and follow their advice and guidance. they tell us that we still have time, but the window is closing to get this right. if we're going to make our commitment to the generations that follow and not just think about the next election or our political career or pursuit of the white house, then we can make the right decisions now. we can support texas being a proud energy leader in oil and in gas, but also in renewable energy. today, texas leads the country. we are number one in the nation in the generation of renewable wind power. we are number five, and moving up quick, when it comes to solar. the two fastest growing jobs in
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the united states of america today -- wind and solar jobs. we can continue to grow this economy. we can reject the false choice between oil and gas and renewable energy and make sure that we produce and refine and transport and use our energy resources more responsibly. and listen, this is not one political party saying this. this is people of both parties and every single county in texas, we have had the chance to listen to people. these are folks who work in the energy industry. amy and i were in iran and texas listening to those who work in some of these fracking operations. what they want is predictability and consistency in the regulations and then they will perform to them. jason whitely: congressman, that is your time. mr. cruz, 60 second rebuttal question is, does exxon mobil have it wrong here? sen. cruz: it is clear congressman o'rourke's pollsters have told him to come out on the attack. if he wants to insult me and call me a liar, that is fine. john adams famously said facts are stubborn things. so if you want to see the vote he cast for a $10 a barrel tax on oil, go to our website, it is, and we will put up the exact text of the
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vote and a link to congressman o'rourke's vote against the people of texas. let me say, if you work in energy, if you work in oil and gas, congressman o'rourke's record on this is extreme. he did not just vote for $10 a barrel tax on oil. he has also voted for aggressive regulations of fracking, aggressive regulations of exporting liquefied natural gas. he is a prominent supporter of president obama's paris climate deal, which would have killed thousands of jobs in the state of texas. that is not good for texas, and it is an example of over and over again, congressman o'rourke sides with liberal extremists on the national level instead of the people of texas, instead of jobs of texas. by the way -- jason whitely: senator, that is your time -- sen. cruz: -- are great, too. texas leads in energy across the board. sarah forgany: representative, this question is about immigration policy. we know your position and passion for the dreamers, and we know that you are adamantly against extending the existing border fence. this question here is specifically
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about border security. if we don't need a border wall, can you please look at the the people of texas tonight and tell them what we do need? rep. o'rourke: i would be happy to. and listen, i do not know that there is another person who has a greater stake in this issue than i do. amy and i are raising ulysses and molly and henry in el paso, texas. one half of the largest binational community on the border, the defining border community. we care about our kids' safety, i care about the safety of those i represented in congress. i care about the safety of every single person in the state of texas. el paso, in fact, is one of, if not the safest cities in the united states of america because we have world-class law enforcement, police and sheriff's deputies, but it is also because we are a city of immigrants. a quarter of those that i represent were born in another country and chose us, came here to this country and by their very presence, made it better. no wall is going to solve legitimate security concerns, but smart policy will. let me describe one of those to you. senator john cornyn and i, he is
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is a republican and i am a democrat, he is in the senate and i'm the house, worked on policy together to invest in our ports of entry. that is where 90% of everyone and everything that ever comes into the united states first crosses. having a better idea of who and what comes into our country demonstrably makes it safer. at the same time, those customs officers are able to facilitate legitimate trade and travel that is connected to more than a million jobs in the state of texas. as we all know, here, the home of toyota, trade is the lifeblood of the state of texas. if we can make our communities more secure, as this bill did, and facilitate more job growing trade, then we have really figured something out. i think john cornyn and i have been able to do that, republicans and democrats working together on an issue that makes texas better. sarah forgany: that is your time. thank you. senator, you have 90 seconds to respond. sen. cruz: everyone should notice, in his answer, that he wanted to talk about trade, he wanted to talk about customs, he wanted to talk about everything except border security. let me say, there is no race in the country with a starker
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divide on immigration than this race here. in the state of texas. for me, i am incredibly honored to have received the formal endorsement of the national border patrol council. the union of the men and women who risk their lives keeping our nation safe. i will note at this debate, i am very pleased we have brandon judd and paul perez, both of the national border patrol council. the reason they are supporting me is i have led the fight to secure the border building the wall, using technology and increasing boots on the ground. we can keep our communities safe. congressman o'rourke not only opposes a wall, but he has said that we have too many fences and walls already on the border. he wants to tear down the ones we have. i will note he brought up el paso. el paso is right across from juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the world. 3000 murders last year. there is a wall there. that wall is one of the tools you use to protect us. let me give you an example of just how extreme congressman o' rourke is on immigration. case law, common sense
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legislation overwhelming majority of texans support it. i am the author of case law in the senate that says, violent, criminal illegal aliens, if they they are deported repeatedly, should face a mandatory minimum prison sentence. congressman o'rourke has voted against case law. that is wrong. we should not be releasing violent criminals into our community. sarah forgany: congressman, in your 60 second rebuttal can you tell us your specific plan to secure the border? rep. o'rourke: as i just told you, senator john cornyn and i have worked to invest in our ports of entry. that means staffing of customs officers. that means infrastructure at our bridges that connect us with mexico, where 90% of everyone and everything first crosses, and it means investment in the technology that ensures we do a better, smarter job screening those who first come into this country. that will make us safer. it also means that we support local law enforcement, those police officers and sheriff's deputies who keep this country safe. we can do that as well.
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but listen, we cannot use this idea of border security to be an impediment to moving forward on those issues that are also demanding our action.
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>> let's talk about health care. you are looking at for our television audience, is a live picture of our victory park studios in dallas where that social media response team is listening to our viewers. the overwhelming conversation online we are hearing about is about health care. one poster asks you directly, congressman o'rourke, if universal health care is going to cost trillions of dollars what would you cut from the federal budget or how much are you going to raise my taxes to pay for that? rep. o'rourke: let's start with the goal. what is it we are trying to achieve? we want to make sure everyone can see a doctor, afford their prescription medications, take their child to a therapist and be well enough to live to their full potential over their full lifetime.
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i want to make sure that working families pay less for we want to make sureworking families pay less for health care costs than they pay today. here are some steps we can take to get to your answer. we could expand medicaid. this is a state that left $100 billion on the table. we could expand medicaid. more working texans are able to be well enough to go back to work. to be there for their families. we could introduce medicare as an option on the exchange to drive down the increase in premium costs and expand selection and choice. and then we could take the lead as the state that is the least insured in the united states, who better understands the consequences of failing to be there by and for one another better than anyone else, and guaranteeing high-quality universal health care. there are number of ways to get there, from medicare to all, for a mix of employer-based insurance and the ability for people to pay into medicare. that could come at a cost of around $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years.
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if you look at the tax cuts senator cruz just voted for, $2 trillion, adding $221 trillion in debt, with a disproportionate benefits going to corporations and the very wealthy. you could move the corporate tax rate and that would generate the money necessary to pay for access to health care, so that everyone lives to their full potential. moderator: mr. cruz, 90 second response. sen. cruz: he did not want to answer how to pay for it. let me be clear what it would cost. congressman o'rourke is proposing socialized medicine. the federal government in charge of your health care and your doctor. there are at least three big problems with that. every place where that happens, you have rationing and waiting lists. if you go to the united kingdom, if you need a hip replacement, it takes 90 days. in canada, it takes 200 days. number two, the cost would be immense. when bernie sanders rolled out this plan, and congressman o'rourke supports the bernie
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sanders plan of socialized medicine, a left-leaning institute scored it as costing $32 trillion over 10 years, that is $2.5 trillion in the first year. right now, the total we raise from all of our income taxes is $1.5 trillion. so the congressman's plan would require tripling your taxes. he said you could do it with five points on the corporate rate. that does not even pass elementary school math. by the way, his next answer, likely will be "tax the rich." if you took every person in america making $1 million or more and took 100% of their income, it would pay for five months of his socialized medicine. we cannot afford it. third, he wants to put everyone who hasn't paid into medicare on medicare. that would bankrupt medicare and hurt seniors who have paid into medicare and rely on it. putting 200 million people
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, including illegal immigrants, on it could bankrupt medicare. moderator: that is your time. mr. o'rourke, if elected, in a rebuttal, how would you get that passed? rep. o'rourke: all we have heard from mr. cruz is what we should be afraid of. you it is a campaign based on fear. he shut down the united states government because he thought too many people had access to health care. he has voted to take away health care from millions of american families and vowed to repeal protection for pre-existing conditions. i want people to have more health care. i want people to be well enough to finish their education, to bring people of texas together, republicans and democrats alike. from all parts of the state, to make sure we lead on an issue that we understand more than anyone else. in a state where the largest provider of mental health care services is the county jail system, where people are dying of the flu and diabetes in the wealthiest and most powerful country in 2018, surely we can do better. i laid out steps that would
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allow us to do that, getting -- beginning with expanding medicaid, introducing medicare as an option on the exchanges and describing the goal we want to get to. ensuring that republicans and democrats alike come to the table to work on that. moderator: that is your time. senator cruz, there is concern all across the country about president trump increasing tariffs. toyota says trucks produced here in san antonio would increase in cost by $3000 next year because of rising tariffs on auto parts. two nights ago on 60 minutes, president trump did not rule out increasing tariffs again. the question is, do you believe tariffs threaten texas growth, and if so, is it time for the senate to step in and stop it? sen. cruz: i am against tariffs and a trade war. let me answer the question. i am against tariffs and the trade war. i have made the case repeatedly to president trump that in trade, we should be expanding our access to foreign markets, expanding the ability of texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and energy to export our goods and services. if we are reducing the barriers,
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whether it is to mexico and canada or china and anywhere else, so we are selling more, that is a good thing. if we are erecting barriers and shutting down trade, that is a bad thing. this is one of the issues on which congressman o'rourke and i have some common ground, we held -- we have both spoken out in favor of trade. the difference is i am able to work with president trump, and we have seen for example, the president has negotiated a new nafta, a new trade deal that has benefits that should benefit the state of texas, and san antonio. congressman o'rourke is not able to work with president trump and indeed, congressman o' rourke is the only democratic senate nominee in the country who has explicitly come out for impeaching president trump. that is extreme, and it means if congressman o'rourke has his way, he mentioned a shutdown -- you want to talk about a shutdown, with congressman o'rourke leading the way, two
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years of a partisan circus, shutting down the federal government in a partisan witchhunt on the president, that is not good for the state of texas and not good for the country. moderator: senator, that is your time. 90 second response, mr. o'rourke. rep. o'rourke: interesting to hear you talk about a partisan circus after your last six years in the senate. [laughter] if you have this special relationship with president trump, then where is the result of that? you were all talk and no action. the tariffs the president has levied and the trade wars he has entered this country into is hurting those states more than -- no state more than it is hurting texas. our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and exporters here in san antonio, at the plant where amy and i purchased our tundra and met the folks who made it, yes, we have problems with other countries like china manipulating their currency, and i want to make sure we stand up to china, but what have we gone -- when have we ever gone to
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war, including a trade war, without any allies, exactly what the president with senator cruise's would help us do. -- senator cruz would help us do. we have alienated the eu, canada and mexico. we have alienated all other potential partners and going on our own against china, and it is not working. i know you haven't had a chance to visit every county, but i have. i have listened to our farmers and they are hurting. the anxiety of not knowing whether trade wars will end, and when they do end, those buyers and other countries will find other people from whom to buy from, and they will no longer be coming to texas to buy what we grow, raise or export and manufacture. we need a senator -- we must stand up to the president. >> that is your time. 60 seconds for your rebuttal, mr. cruz, should the senate step in and stop this? sen. cruz: we should keep
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working with the president, which is what we have been doing. but congressman o'rourke just asked an interesting question. he said, where are the results? congressman o'rourke and i were both elected to congress six years ago in november of 2012 and we have served exactly the same length of time in congress. and those six years, i have authored and passed 34 separate pieces of legislation, major victories for the american people. i will point to one, the historic tax cut, which i spent thousands of hours, bringing senators together and getting past. where are the results? the state of texas is booming. we have the lowest unemployment in 49 years. african-american unemployment is at its lowest ever recorded. hispanic unemployment, the lowest ever reported. youth unemployment is the lowest in 52 years. texas is seeing the benefit of low taxes and low regulation. congressman o'rourke's position is always in favor of higher taxes. he said in response to how he pays for socialist medicine, higher taxes.
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>> thank you very much. representative o'rourke, you supported $50 billion to help victims of hurricane harvey, but two weeks after that, you voted against a bill that would have also given them tax relief. what do you tell victims who are still struggling financially today, one year later? rep. o'rourke: i have been with many of those affected by harvey, in the immediate aftermath, going to places like like rockport, beaumont, port arthur and houston and we continue to come back again and again to see what we can do to be helpful. i have voted for more than $136 billion in aid for those communities hit by national disasters, including hurricane harvey. in the specific bill you asked about, the tax relief was not as great as we have seen for those who have been through other natural disasters and i thought we could get a better deal. i am there for those communities each and every day. i continue to go back to places like cashmere gardens in houston, texas, which is still not fully rebuilt a year later.
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i continue to wonder why senator cruz voted against more than $12 billion in fema preparedness, knowing full well that we would see more disasters like harvey going forward. that was the third 500 year flood in the last five years. we know that there will be more of these floods coming and i want to make sure the people of texas, especially southeast texas, are prepared for the next one. the $12 billion also included hundreds of millions of dollars in support for volunteer fire departments, like the one i visited in rockport, where 20 volunteer firefighters, more than half of them, lost their worldly possessions and were sleeping on the floor as they responded to emergencies in their communities. so yes, i will work with anyone, anytime, anywhere, to make sure those texans who need help to rebuild get it and we invest in their ability to be resilient. moderator: that is your time. thank you. you have 90 seconds to respond.
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sen. cruz: houston is my hometown. hurricane harvey hit texas unlike any other disaster we have seen. it was devastating. i was home with heidi and my girls during the hurricane and for months thereafter, spend time in virtually every community along the gulf coast, four or five times, working with state and local officials. i mentioned earlier 171 sheriffs have endorsed my campaign, including 10 democrats. one of the reasons why the overwhelming majority of elected sheriffs have endorsed me is because many of those sheriffs i worked with hand-in-hand after harvey. in the senate, i helped lead the effort to pass three disaster-related relief bills, where we improved and expanded those disaster relief bills, and the emergency tax relief he just referenced, was legislation i authored. i offered, introduced, passed into law, jointly with john cornyn and marco rubio. the emergency tax relief give over $5 billion in emergency tax relief for families impacted by hurricane harvey.
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it passed both houses of congress overwhelmingly and was signed into law, providing immediate relief for those impacted by harvey. only four texas democrats voted no on the legislation. one of them was congressman o' rourke, the congressman. there was a reason for that. he gave an answer now now saying that it did not provide tax relief. that is not what he said at the time. he said that the reason he voted no was that he wanted to focus on illegal immigrants instead of hurricane relief. that was his answer at the time. moderator: thank you, senator. representative, 60 seconds for a rebuttal. do you regret the vote? rep. o'rourke: i don't. i will always see what i can do to work with anyone anywhere to do better for texas. that's what i was trying to do. senator cruz mentioned listening to and working with local leaders in houston. i have listened to and worked with the mayor and the county judge, democrat and republican,
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each of whom is still waiting for $1.1 billion awarded to the local governments in committee development block grant funding that has still not made its way into the streets, homes and businesses to rebuild. they need a full-time senator, not somebody running for president who is going to focus on their needs and make sure that money gets there. they need a full-time senator who would be at bat for them before the storm, on infrastructure projects they had identified, needed funding, but they needed a senator who would work for them. army corps of engineers-approved projects totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars, who did not have an advocate because there senator was not in texas or houston, he was in iowa, running for office, is -- instead of taking care of the concerns and the needs of people there. moderator: senator cruz, a year ago this week, you tweeted the following statement. "when it comes to the deficit and debt, it is immoral the debt we have, we have to turn it
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around." yet two months later, you voted for the republican tax plan that the joint committee on taxation, the congressional budget office and many other non-partisans say will add more than $1 trillion to the deficit. some people see it as hypocritical. are they not? sen. cruz: they are not remotely. i am proud to support the tax cut, it is producing enormous benefits for the state of texas and the country. we are seeing record growth, record low unemployment, 4 million new jobs in the last two years. by the way, one thing democrats never seem to understand is if you want to pay down deficit and debt, and i care passionately about the deficit and debt, the only force strong enough to do that is economic growth. let's go back to a little history. in the 1960's, john f. kennedy, a democrat, campaigned on tax cuts. cutting individual tax rates and the corporate tax rate. he said that a rising tide would lift all boats, and he passed it
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and the economy boomed. federal tax revenue went up. in the 1980's, ronald reagan campaigned on cutting taxes to get the economy growing. he passed it and federal tax revenues went up. we did the same thing this time. this time, with that tax cut, we are seeing the results and to date, federal tax revenues have gone up. federal tax revenues are higher this year than they were last year without the tax cuts. rep. o'rourke: respectfully, senator, i was with you in iowa, i have heard you on the campaign trail in iowa saying how bad the deficit is. this is the -- this vote would add to the deficit. sen. cruz: jason, it wouldn't. that projection is wrong. that projection also would have said the kennedy tax cuts would have added to the deficit. the reason we have deficit and debt is not because we cut taxes and spur the economy, the reason is because congress keeps spending. that is why we need term limits, we need to pass a balanced budget and we need to stop the out-of-control spending like socialized medicine.
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moderator: senator, that is your time. 90 second response, -- 92nd response, congressman o' rourke. rep. o'rourke: speaking of balancing budgets, only one of us with good friends in el paso has started a small business. balanced our books and made sure we delivered for clients. on the one of us has served in that local government, balancing the budget, working as a councilmember entrusted with the fiduciary responsibly to deliver for the taxpayers of el paso every single year. for senator cruz to say that this is not going to bust the budget at a time of $21 trillion of debt, and on track to a deficit of $2 trillion a year, he voted for tax cut which would flow to corporations who were already sitting on record piles of cash and in a country that has risen with income inequality not seen since the last gilded age. why? in the days just before and after that vote, senator cruz accepted $120,000
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from the political action committees who represent the corporate interests that benefited from these tax cuts. why does he vote for this? why does he vote for internet companies to sell your private browsing data to the highest bidder without your consent? why does he not vote for universal background checks in a country that loses 30,000 people to gun violence every year? follow the money. in each of these cases, if you look at political action contributions, it helps to explain the reasons for his vote and how corrupt congress has become. i do not take that money, not a dime. moderator: congressman, that is your time. 60 second rebuttal, senator. sen. cruz: congressman o'rourke is fond of saying he does not take pac money. the truth is different. for example, a rabidly anti-israel pac has raised over $160,000 for congressman o' rourke because of his many votes against the nation of israel. another example, he has a super pac based in dallas has spent thousands of dollars on ads attacking me and
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my family. when he says he doesn't take pac money, he just lets others do it for him. let me say more fundamentally, the reason people care about this is they care about who you are fighting for. consistently, if you look at congressman o'rourke's record, anytime there is a choice between left-wing national activists and the people of texas, he goes with the left wing national activists and he goes with left-wing national donors. for example, we were talking earlier about his vote for a $10 a barrel tax on oil. that is a great vote if you are raising money in san francisco, it is a terrible vote if you care about jobs in texas. moderator: senator, that is your time. we want to keep the debate on track. a poll this year says 70% of americans say civility is a major problem in america. let us talk about the tone of the campaign and what is -- what has happened here in the last half hour or 45 minutes. we all watched as activists chased you and your wife out of
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a restaurant in d.c. some said you cannot even give a compliment to your opponent in the first debate in dallas. what responsibility do you have to bring back civility and respect back to the country? sen. cruz: everyone of us has a responsibility to bring civility and respect. that is something i have endeavored to do in politics, to focus on substance, issues and record. the personal attacks, going to the gutter that is so common in politics, i try not to engage in. if you look at my disagreements with congressman o'rourke, they have not been personal attacks. they have been his voting record in congress, markedly out of step with the people in texas. you are right that there is a loss of civility, a rage on the far left that is frightening. the images -- hold on, do not interrupt me, jason. the images of a left-wing mob beating on the doors of the supreme court, that is not good
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for our country. we can disagree while treating each other with respect, with civility. i think that is important. we can discuss our tax cuts good or is raising taxes good? that is a discussion we ought to have, but it should not be personal. it should not go to the gutter. it should focus on actual substance. let me tell you, i think the lowest point we have seen is the confirmation hearings for justice kavanaugh. where we saw senate democrats be willing to smear judge kavanaugh and his family, be willing to repeat unsupported, uncorroborated allegations and go after him in a way that i thought was shameful. it was important that that process be fair, that dr. ford get an opportunity to tell her story, that she be treated with respect, and she was. >> senator, that is your time. 90 seconds o'rourke, to respond.
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rep. o'rourke: every year, allegheny college presents an award for civility in american politics. one of the first years, it was awarded to senator john mccain and vice president biden. another year, it was awarded to the family of the late justice antonin scalia, and justice ruth bader ginsburg. last year, i was fortunate enough to receive the award, along with phil hurd. our ability to travel across the country as a republican and democrat in a car and facebook livestream the whole thing, then to get to work in congress and join one another's legislation to do better for our constituents regardless of party differences, that might otherwise stand between us, was recognized. it is the same kind of approach i take to just about everything i do in congress, everything i do in life. when we found out veterans were unable to access mental health care services, half a million veterans were denied the ability to go to the v.a., i worked with my colleague from colorado, mike coffman. he is a republican and i am a democrat but we were able to compromise. a four letter word among some in washington, d.c. and find a consensus piece of legislation that passed the
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house of representatives, 435-0, passed the senate as well, and was signed into law by the president. president trump is someone that i don't agree with on everything. but where we can make things better for veterans, we did. we buried the differences and we put them aside and put the country's interests before us. that is what this country deserves. moderator: that is your time. in your rebuttal, i was going to ask you, doesn't the inflammatory rhetoric just exacerbate the situation? sen. cruz: absolutely. i think we should focus on substance and not inflammatory rhetoric. i will say, it was striking at this press conference in d.c. about civility, congressman o'rourke again repeated his call for impeaching president trump. that is the very essence of not civility. if we had impeachment, we would see utter chaos. we would see an end to the repeal of the job killing regulations fueling our economic growth. we would see an end to the
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progress rebuilding our military. washington would be consumed by partisan investigations. that's not civility. let me point out more broadly. it is interesting that congressman o'rourke points to a bill that another congressman wrote and he was a cosponsor of. there is a reason for that. have you noticed in his campaign and this debate, he does not talk about what he has accomplished in congress, because he has scored political points rather than accomplishing victories for the people of texas. we talked about emergency tax relief in the wake of hurricane harvey that i authored. that was bipartisan. we had democrats and republicans -- moderator: that is your time, senator. >> when it comes to the me too movement, the president said it is a scary time for young men. congressman, you are raising sons. what do you tell them? rep. o'rourke: i am raising two sons and a daughter and i tell each of them that it is critically important that they are treated with respect and that they demand that from
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everyone in their life, and that they treat one another and everyone in their life with respect. i am very grateful for the leadership we have seen across this country in positions of public trust in congress, and people at the neighborhood level. meeting the challenge of this moment. congress members like jackie speier from california, who authored legislation that i cosponsored that ensures members of congress are held to a higher standard. that there is transparency in their conduct. and there is not the ability to cover up, and there is important training to make sure everyone in their offices and their lives is treated with respect and dignity that they deserve. i also support the violence against women act, to make sure we have the resources and training and funding to protect the women in our lives and in this state and around the country. senator cruz, maybe he will have an explanation, he voted against the violence against women act. we have to make sure we are more than just talk. we have to make sure we have,
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for example, when talking about women, we are talking about equal pay for equal work. when we are talking about women, we are talking about ensuring they can make their own decisions about their own bodies, and have access to the health care that allows them to do that. it means that our rhetoric has to be followed up with our actions, and with senator cruz, we don't have that today. moderator: congressman, thank you. in response, senator, what do you tell your daughter? sen. cruz: i think the me too movement has done an incredible amount of good for our country. sexual assault and sexual harassment is wrong. we have seen in recent months powerful men in hollywood, politics, journalism, and business called to account. i believe everyone, women, men, girls and boys, need to be protected and treated with dignity. as you noted, i am the father of two girls and i want their rights to be valued and protected. i am also the son of my mom, who
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graduated from rice in 1956 and went to work at shell as a computer programmer. she was the professional women in the 1950's, she faced a very difficult political climate. my wife heidi, my best friend in the world, works in the financial sector and again, always a difficult climate. we need to protect everyone's rights. let me tell you, when it comes to stopping sexual assault and dealing with those who commit them, before i was in the senate, i was the solicitor general of texas, the chief lawyer for the state in front of the supreme court. i handled over and over again, cases dealing with those who had committed sexual assault and child predators. it has been a passion of mine. congressman o' rourke mentioned sexual harassment in congress, i joined with new york democrat kirsten gillibrand to create legislation to stop members of -- to stop taxpayer settlements for members of congress who were harassing their staff. there should be no secret settlements. it is important that we have
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accountability. moderator: congressman, you get 60 seconds of rebuttal. rep. o'rourke: i pointed out two specific opportunities for senator cruz to do the right thing. one of them being the violence against women act. i did not hear a good reason why he failed to support that. you have somebody, as i mentioned earlier, who is all talk and no action. you have got somebody who left the state of texas within a year of being elected to represent all of us to run for another office. has not been to all the counties of texas, has been to all 99 counties of iowa, has missed a quarter of the votes in 2015, half of them in 2016. there is only one other senator from either party over the past 25 years who has a worse record of bipartisanship. in other words, ted cruz has a hard time working with members across the aisle almost anyone else
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to get anything done. he's not showing up in texas, in d.c., who is he showing up for? i want to make sure, whether it is women in the issue you asked about or any other -- we have a senator who shows up every single day. moderator: that is your time. thank you. moderator: let us go to something different. we want you to tell us something you have done in the last year that has nothing to do with politics that would give texans insight to who you are as a person. senator cruz, you first. [laughter] sen. cruz: the hardest thing about being in this job is being a dad. my girls are here. at the last debate, congressman o'rourke and i talked about that, both of us are dad's of young kids and it is tough. it is tough. our girls are 7 and 10. monday morning, leaving, it is really hard. last year, i was -- i helped
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coach caroline's girls basketball team. the fourth grade basketball team. the basketball practices were sunday afternoon, so i was able to be at practice. as caroline will point out many times, in the course of the whole season, i made it to one game. that is not ok with her. by the way, one of the games i thought i would make it too was a friday night game, it was the night of the vote on the tax cut. so i was in the senate and i had to call home and say caroline, i am sorry, i have to be here to vote on this. let me tell you, for a fourth grader, the fact that you are voting to cut taxes is not an explanation for why daddy is not at the game. that is really a hard thing. being a dad, part of what we do is we call on facetime and we try to carve out every sunday for the family, but that is hard, and i take being a dad really seriously. moderator: senator, thank you for sharing me -- for sharing. congress in o'rourke, 60 seconds. rep. o'rourke: i think much of what senator cruz just said resonates with me. we spent the better part of the
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last 21 months on the road campaigning and every single county of texas, and i don't get to see my kids as much as i would like to. i know that amy takes on the lion's share of the burden. with a child who has just entered sixth grade, another who just entered fifth, and henry is in second. every now and then we get down in the basement where i have a drum kit that was ostensibly purchased for henry, but really was for me, an amplifier, and me and the kids will rock out and amy allows us to do that for a little while. we go to ulysses's travel baseball tournaments, the last one was in las cruces. alamogordo as well. i just went with molly, who is nursing back to life a blind squirrel that was picked up in east texas, dropped off in el paso at a wildlife animal rescue run by miss julie. i got to meet the blind squirrel, slowly regaining its sight. henry, one of the best parts of my day is when i am at home and
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getting to walk him to school, talking about what he dreamed about the night before and what he is into this day. with very little time outside the campaign or my official job, i spend it with my children. moderator: congressman, thank you for sharing. we have asked you a lot of questions and now we want to let you address texas voters directly. you get two minutes for closing statements. as we mentioned early on, a flip of the coin gives you the final word tonight. congressman o'rourke, you are up first. rep. o'rourke: i'd like to thank you each for moderating the debate, everyone who has been here to witness it and all those who made the campaign and the election of our lifetime possible. i was talking to amy about this moment that stayed with me after i first met secretary of defense jim mattis. he met with members of the armed services committee and reminded us that united states, historically, has enjoyed two principal powers that distinguish us from the rest of the world. one is the power of intimidation. to field the most awesome
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military force the world has ever known. the other, he thought maybe the greater power, is the power of inspiration. to continue to be the indispensable nation that lives up to the promise and potential of our founders. a nation that not just americans look up to, but the world looks up to. whether we will remain the inspiration of the world is an open question right now. walls, muslim bans, taking kids away from their parents after they have survived a horrifying 2000 mile journey, seeking asylum here in this country. the bitterness, the partisanship, the pettiness, the dishonesty that defines so much of the national conversation, we are in desperate need right now of inspiration. i will tell you what. traveling the state of texas, meeting people regardless of their walk of life, their background, party affiliation, you have inspired me to transcend the obstacles, to be the courageous, strong
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match for this moment on any issue that challenges us. in texas, where nearly half the school teachers work a second job to make ends meet, making sure we are there for them, paying them a living wage. making sure they can teach the child, not the test. in this state of immigrants making sure we lead the national conversation. free dreamers from any fear of deportation. and the least insured state in the country, can take the lead on guaranteeing high-quality, universal health care. you have inspired me in this race, and i am grateful to have the chance to be in this race. moderator: that is your time, congressman. senator cruz, two minutes. sen. cruz: the classic question in politics, are you better off now than you were two years ago? is texas? elections are about choices. do we continue on the path we are on or do we turn back? the records of congressman o'rourke and myself could not be more different. on taxes, i want to cut your taxes. congressman o'rourke wants to raise them. on job killing regulations, i want to repeal them and the
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congressman wants to increase them. on obamacare, i want to repeal obamacare, reduce premiums, protect pre-existing conditions, and expand access. congressman o'rourke wants socialized medicine, the federal government in charge of your health care and your doctor, which among other things, would threaten to bankrupt medicare. i want to keep the economic boom we are experiencing right now going and moving forward. congressman o'rourke wants the next two years to be drawn in a partisan circus of impeachment proceedings against president trump. elections are about who we are. do we choose fear or hope? i believe in hope. my mom was the first one in our family to go to college and she was a pioneer professional woman. my dad came from cuba with nothing, washing dishes, seeking the american dream.


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