Oct. 18–Updated at 12:50 p.m.Oct 18: This story will be updated as new ads are released.
WASHINGTON — In a hard-fought, high-stakes race, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke need to reach as many Texans as possible. Ads on TV, radio and online are among the main tools.
Some of their ads are upbeat, optimistic and biographical. Others have a sharper edge. Some are entirely accurate. Others, not so much.
Cruz is not letting up on O’Rourke’s vote for a $10 tax on every barrel of oil produced in Texas.
The one-minute digital ad, “Facts are Stubborn Things,” is a clip from the second debate. Cruz brings up the vote, and O’Rourke flips the discussion to be about Cruz’s honesty.
“Sen. Cruz is not going to be honest with you,” O’Rourke said. “He’s going to make up positions and votes I’ve ever or have ever taken.”
The ad ends with text on the screen of the congressman’s vote in 2016.
O’Rourke on the attack
Amidst the barrage of attacks from Cruz, O’Rourke has worked to maintain a positive message during the campaign. But he was on offense Tuesday night during their second debate and kept up the messaging Wednesday with three new TV ads.
In all three, O’Rourke speaks directly into the camera and tells viewers where his opponent stands on immigration, health care and education. The Democrat says members of Congress are ready to work on the issue of immigration, except Cruz.
“He has vowed to deport every single Dreamer,” O’Rourke says. “He is selling fear and paranoia instead of solutions.”
The second ad focuses on health care, citing how Cruz has fought to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
“He shut down the government for 16 days because he thought too many many people had too much health care,” O’Rourke says.
The third ad highlights Cruz’s support of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos, a proponent of using tax dollars to fund private-school vouchers, and stresses how Texas teachers are underpaid.
Cruz releases ad in Spanish
Cruz’s Spanish-language digital ad focuses on his family’s story and what he has done for Texas. The senator allows his father, Rafael Cruz, to tell his story.
“Our family has lived the American Dream, and like our Senator, Ted Cruz will continue to defend him, as he has for the past six years,” his father says in Spanish.
O’Rourke struggled in the primary with Hispanic voters but has a 61-37 lead among this demographic, according to the newest Quinnipiac University Poll.
However, Cruz has touted many times that Hispanics in Texas are more conservative than Hispanic voters in other states.
Cruz ad with Denton County sheriff
Cruz attacked O’Rourke during the first debate for calling police the “modern-day Jim Crow.” Now the senator is using that line again for his new TV ad.
The ad splices a clip from an O’Rourke town hall and relies on a Fox Interview with Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree.
“There has been a war on police officers for the last several years,” says Murphree during the clip. “[O’Rourke’s] rhetoric is divisive, it’s insulting and, most of all, it’s dangerous.”
The senator picked up on the line from an O’Rourke town hall at Prairie View A&M University when his opponent said racial profiling, discriminatory stop-and-frisk searches, racially motivated police shootings and discriminatory sentencing should be collectively considered the “new Jim Crow.”
The nearly four-minute spot is a biographical account from 12 sheriffs across the state telling voters what they admire about the senator.
The ad starts off with sheriffs from counties impacted by Hurricane Harvey saying how much they appreciate the senator’s response and continuing to help where he can.
But most of the ad focuses on sheriffs talking about needing a secure border and stopping illegal immigration, a topic Cruz and super PACs have relied on before.
“If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country,” says Bobby Vikery, Calhoun County Sheriff, in the video. “[Cruz] is very supportive of immigration but he believes in doing it legally.”
It was a wild week in Washington with another hearing and votes regarding Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The wild week carried over into the second Senate debate that was scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 30 in Houston.
On Friday, the University of Houston announced the debate was off when it looked like Cruz would be in Washington for votes related to Kavanaugh. Once votes were delayed and Cruz could return to Texas, Cruz aides tried to bring the debate back. However, O’Rourke’s team said the congressman was booked and couldn’t make it.
Instead of debating on Sunday, O’Rourke took to Facebook Live to record a TV ad in real time to combat all the negative ads against him.
Cruz: $10 tax and ICE
After Cruz attacked his opponent over immigration, the national anthem protest and being “too reckless” for Texas, the Republican has found a new problem with O’Rourke.
The narrator in the spot says O’Rourke supported a $10 tax on every barrel produced in Texas and voted against fracking and natural gas exports.
“Beto O’Rourke — wrong on energy, wrong for Texas,” the narrator says.
Cruz has resorted to this point on the campaign trail to appeal to his supporters. O’Rourke has also been vocal on the campaign trail about environmental regulations needing to be in place while also supporting oil production in Texas.
In an editorial interview with the Midland Reporter-Telegram, O’Rourke considers the natural gas production in the Permian Basin to be crucial not only for the state but as a way to replace coal-fire plants in India and China.
“I’d much rather they burn natural gas from Texas that’s connected to jobs here,” O’Rourke said. “It’s connected to a much cleaner way to produce energy than coal. I think that’s a great job opportunity and an environmentally responsible opportunity.”
(c)2018 The Dallas Morning News
Visit The Dallas Morning News at www.dallasnews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.