Politics
11:42 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Dewhurst-Cruz Race Heats Up

Republican Senate candidates Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst are back on the campaign trail after facing off for the first time Friday. That’s when they appeared in KERA’s statewide debate. Bill Zeeble reports if the debate is any indicator, differences voters see between the two may be more on style than policy.

It’s as if both Republicans studied the same conservative play-book. Would they have backed the GM bailout? “No.” What about a guest worker program? v Cruz: I do not support a guest worker program.

Ted Cruz was the first to answer.

Cruz: I do not support any expansions in immigration unless and until we secure our borders.

 

Watch the debate:

Dewhurst answered next.

Dewhurst: I don’t support a guest worker program, never have, until and unless Congress addresses this, but after and only after we have secured our border.

When they asked and answered questions of each other, Cruz’s character became more defined. The former solicitor general and champion debater, revealed himself as the adversarial litigator, setting up his opponent.

Cruz: Did you support a payroll tax, yes or no, and is that a good idea?

Even though Dewhurst bluntly responded no to both questions, Cruz appeared confident of points just scored.

He accused Dewhurst of being dishonest because Cruz said the facts don’t back the Lt. Governor. For his part, Dewhurst took a more deliberate approach to his question to Cruz. He prefaced it saying Cruz left college as a lawyer and soon went into government.

KERA is also producing a debate between the Democrats running for the U.S. Senate. Read more details.

Whereas when Dewhurst finished college, he says he joined the Air Force, then the CIA serving abroad in dangerous times, then came home and formed a successful business, from scratch.

Dewhurst; What about your background do you think makes you more qualified to be the next U.S. Senator?

Dewhurst is campaigning on his experience, calling himself a skilled, conservative whose business background helped create one of the strongest economies in the country.

Dewhurst: And I want to take those skills to Washington and get our country back to work.

Dewhurst will likely repeat that message over and over up to election day. Cruz, more passionate, will likely refer to himself repeatedly as a fighter.

Cruz: I’ve spent a lifetime fighting to defend the constitution and defend conservative principles. We have seen conservatives all across the state unite behind this campaign.

Cruz says it’s time to get rid of politicians like Dewhurst. He said good conservatives like Governor Perry endorsed Dewhurst for Senate only to get him out of town. The Governor rejected that notion, saying Cruz made false statements that were a disservice to Texas voters.