Cruz jokes: “We need illegals to pick cotton” during Friday debate
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic challenger, El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke, held their first debate Friday at Southern Methodist University. The two brawled over immigration, guns, and economy on live television.
Debating at Southern Methodist University, each candidate argued about each question posed by moderators and audience members, displaying a sharp contrast in political views. O’Rourke performed combatively toward Cruz, ending his silence about his Republican rival which many analysts had noted throughout his campaign up until now.
“This is why people don’t like Washington, D.C. You just said something that I did not say and attributed it to me,” O’Rourke jabbed at Cruz. “This is your trick and the trade, to confuse and incite based on fear and not to speak the truth.”
O’Rourke’s comments above came as a result of Cruz’s claim that O’Rourke was stoking racial hatred against police after Dallas resident Botham Jean was killed by a police officer in his own apartment. Cruz pointed out that he had been to “many police funerals,” implying that the death of police officers matters more than the lives of African-Americans.
This exchange became heated to the point that O’Rourke asked Cruz whether he cared about black people in America. Cruz joked: “Black people are wonderful, but we need illegals to pick cotton.”