O'Rourke picks up third Texas newspaper endorsement over Cruz

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the leading newspaper in the third-largest county in Texas, on Friday endorsed Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) in his Senate race against incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz slams Jim Carrey's 'vicious, angry' painting of Alabama governor after abortion ban Eye-popping number of Dems: I can beat Trump 'SleepyCreepy Joe' and 'Crazy Bernie': Trump seeks to define 2020 Dems with insults MORE (R).

“U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz represent the hard left and right of American politics,” the editorial board wrote. “Neither stands in the middle ground, where the real work is done to lead America.”

“But only O’Rourke seems interested in making deals or finding middle ground. That is why the El Paso Democrat would make the best senator for Tarrant County’s future, and the future of Texas,” the editorial board continued.

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The Fort Worth Star-Telegram noted that although O’Rourke’s “new way” campaign against politics-as-usual has captured attention and money, the paper added that much of what he says, particularly about immigration and health care, sounds “like what Texas business conservatives used to say before the emergence of New York Republican Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE.”

“U.S. Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Trump's immigration push faces Capitol Hill buzzsaw The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate MORE says we shouldn’t deport Dreamer students over their parents’ mistakes. Former Gov. Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryHouse Dems propose billions in extra funding for environmental programs that Trump sought to cut Overnight Energy: States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules | Greens seek hearing over proposed rule on energy efficiency tests | Top Dem asks GAO to investigate climate threat States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules MORE, now energy secretary, has said a border wall ‘doesn’t make sense,’” the editorial board wrote. “President George W. Bush endorsed a path to legal status for those who came illegally but worked peacefully, supported the economy and showed good character.” 

“These are the same Texas values that O’Rourke now defends,” the newspaper wrote.

Though the newspaper pointed out that Cruz and O’Rourke both support free trade, the editorial board claims the Texas Democrat would have “more room to oppose the president’s questionable trade and tariff decisions, which threaten Texas.”

“This endorsement did not come without some disagreement,” the editorial board continued. “Cruz is closer to Texas’ and Tarrant County’s views on issues related to faith and values, and also on energy policy.”

The newspaper went on to say that Cruz was elected with “no experience in any council or legislature, and it shows.”

“His intransigence prevents him from currying support or negotiating deals to help Texas,” the editorial states.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram previously endorsed conservative Republicans such as George W. Bush and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — McConnell, Kaine offer bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21 | Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states | Pro-ObamaCare group launches ad blitz to protect Dems Dem senator: Many Republicans 'privately expressed concerns' about Mueller findings Romney expresses opposition to Alabama abortion ban MORE for president, in addition to Sen. John Cornyn and former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

But, in the Texas newspaper’s own words, Cruz “does not measure up.”

“This office needs a reset,” the editorial concluded.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s endorsement of O’Rourke arrives on the heels of The Houston Chronicle’s endorsement of the Democrat earlier this month and Dallas Morning News’s endorsement on Thursday.

The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Cruz with a nearly 7-point lead.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race a toss-up.