Cruz jokes about locking up Beto O'Rourke in 'double-occupancy cell' with Clinton

Cruz jokes about locking up Beto O'Rourke in 'double-occupancy cell' with Clinton
© Greg Nash

Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP lays debate trap for 2020 Democrats O'Rourke on Senate bid backer Beyoncé: I will have to 'earn her support' for 2020 Hickenlooper, Bennet bring deep ties to 2020 debate stage MORE (R) joked at a campaign rally that his opponent in the state's Senate race, Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTrump says he'll watch Democratic debate while en route to Japan 'because I have to' O'Rourke: Cash reparations policy 'stops the conversation' on the issue Biden leads among Hispanic voters in key states: polls MORE (D), could join 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton5 things to watch in the Democratic debates Democrats leery of Sanders plan to cancel student loan debt Mellman: Are primary debates different? MORE in a "double-occupancy" prison cell.

The senator responded with the jab at Clinton to a rally audience member's call to "lock him up!", reportedly referring to O'Rourke, according to multiple reports.

"Well, you know, there's a double-occupancy cell with Hillary Clinton," Cruz said at a rally in Georgetown, Texas, north of Austin, alongside fellow Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats give Trump trade chief high marks GOP senators divided over approach to election security GOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks MORE (R-Texas). He then added: "Y'all are gonna get me in trouble with that."

Attendees of rallies for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE used the chant "lock her up!" throughout 2016 and well into Trump's presidency to refer to Clinton and the FBI investigation into her use of a private email server at the State Department. The investigation faulted the former secretary for carelessness but declined to pursue charges against her.

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More recently, the chant was used to refer to Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Young activists press for change in 2020 election MORE (D-Calif.) during a Trump rally in Iowa earlier this month after the president mentioned the senator by name.

O'Rourke and Cruz are locked in a tight race for Cruz's Senate seat, with most polls showing the Texas senator leading by single digits. A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Cruz leading by an average of 7 percentage points.

O'Rourke's success in the deep-red state has inspired a major cash flow from Democrats around the country, with his campaign reporting a record $38 million in fundraising in the 3rd quarter of 2018.