In November, Beto O’Rourke hopes to unseat Senator Ted Cruz. While in mid-April, a Quinnipiac University poll showed the race was too close to call, one thing is certain: There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Beto. For one, the El Paso congressman has raised an impressive amount of money, outpacing Cruz. He’s also led a smart social media campaign. And now he’s once again drawing attention for inviting Cruz to debate him six times, two of them in Spanish.
O’Rourke’s campaign manager, Jody Casey, wrote to Cruz’s staff last week, The Texas Tribune reported. “Sen. Cruz has said he’s looking forward to debates,” Catherine Frazier, Cruz’s spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We are considering all possibilities in front of us and will be working with potential hosts and the O’Rourke campaign to determine the best platforms available so that Texans from all corners of the state can hear from the candidates directly about their views for Texas’ future.”
While Cruz seems down to debate O’Rourke, it’s not certain he’d do it in Spanish, a language he doesn’t command nearly as well as English. During the 2016 election, presidential hopeful Marco Rubio took a cheap shot at Cruz, who erroneously said that Rubio changed his message depending on which audience he addressed. “First of all, I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn’t speak Spanish.” Though Cruz responded in Spanish, it’s clear he’s not as adept at speaking his father’s native tongue.
For his part, O’Rourke says Cruz’s debating prowess doesn’t intimidate him. “While I know that Cruz is a master debater, a very skilled politician, a very shrewd person … I would love the opportunity to talk about what all of us have been doing together over the course of the campaign and what we want to achieve for Texas,” O’Rourke said. “I’m very much looking forward to it.”