Beto O’Rourke says he isn’t debating Ted Cruz this Friday

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso (left), is challenging Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso (left), is challenging Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
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U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in Texas’ U.S. Senate race, says a proposed Aug. 31 debate between the two “is not going to happen.”

“Friday in Dallas is not going to happen but I’m convinced we will debate,” O’Rourke said Monday during an appearance at the 2018 Texas Disability Issues Forum in Austin. “I’m convinced there will be a number of debates.”

In July, Cruz challenged O’Rourke to five debates – sending a detailed plan with proposed dates, cities and topics. The first debate was to be on Aug. 31 in Dallas and focused on “Jobs/Taxes/Federal Regulations/National Economy.” O’Rourke accepted Cruz’s proposal for five debates but suggested some revisions — including having a sixth debate in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso.

In April, O’Rourke’s campaign kicked off the debate negotiations by proposing six debates, including two in Spanish.

O’Rourke said Monday that Cruz’s campaign has “attempted to dictate” different aspects of the debate schedule, such the time, the moderators and which subjects the candidates could speak about.

“We’re working through those differences and we’re trying to introduce more of a collaborative style to the negotiations than he may be used to,” O’Rourke told The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek. “And so we’re confident that out of that, we’re going to come to something good.”



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