Campaign

O’Rourke to appear solo in CNN town hall

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) has declined an offer to participate in an upcoming CNN town hall while his Democratic Senate challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke has agreed to participate, according to the network.

“Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign initially accepted CNN’s invitation to participate” but has since declined, CNN said in an announcement. The town hall in McAllen, Texas, on Oct. 18 will be hosted by chief political correspondent Dana Bash.

A spokesperson for Cruz directed The Hill to a tweet by Jeff Roe, Cruz’s campaign manager, but declined to comment further.

“To be clear, the Cruz campaign proposed that @CNN host one of the Cruz-O’Rourke debates. The O’Rourke campaign declined. @CNN subsequently offered back to back town halls, in which we are unable to participate,” Roe wrote in the tweet.

The network will also be offering up two debates this month: A debate Oct. 16 featuring Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and his GOP challenger Gov. Rick Scott in the Florida Senate race, which will be moderated by anchor Wolf Blitzer from Tampa, Fla.; and another Oct. 21 between Florida gubernatorial candidates former Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), a one-hour debate moderated by anchor Jake Tapper, also from Tampa.{mosads}

Cruz was critical of CNN earlier this year after one of its graphics accused him of being “afraid” to go on the network by attending a town hall about school shootings and guns following the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“What are they afraid of?” the graphic asked in calling out Cruz, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).

Cruz replied with sarcasm in noting he had done three town hall debates on the network with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
 
“You can accuse me of many things, but being afraid of CNN is not one of them,” Cruz wrote on Twitter in February.

Cruz and O’Rourke are locked in a tight race in deep-red Texas, with the Republican leading by 6 points in the RealClearPolitics polling index.

–Updated 3:09 p.m.

Tags 2018 Texas Senate race Bernie Sanders Beto O'Rourke Bill Nelson CNN Marco Rubio Ron DeSantis Ted Cruz town hall
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video