‘Houston Chronicle’ Endorses Beto O’Rourke Over Ted Cruz For Texas Senate
Leading Texas newspaper, The Houston Chronicle, announced its endorsement of Democratic candidate for the Senate Beto O’Rourke, citing O’Rourke’s demeanor and policy positions, as well as his opponent’s apparent character flaws, as the basis for their support.
“With eyes clear but certainly not starry, we enthusiastically endorse Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate,” wrote members of The Houston Chronicle’s editorial board Friday. “The West Texas congressman’s command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans make him one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years.”
The Chronicle’s editors lauded O’Rourke’s campaign promises, as the “unapologetic progressive” has plans to tackle hot button issues like immigration and gun control, and is in favor of ending the war on drugs and legalizing marijuana use.
Helping to reform and improve the Department of Veterans affairs is a key issue for O’Rourke, as his base, located in the Fort Bliss congressional district, is full of military veterans and retirees.
In its endorsement, The Chronicle takes the time to point out O’Rourke’s bipartisan appeal, writing, “What sets O’Rourke apart, aside from the remarkable campaign he’s running, are policy positions in keeping with a candidate duly aware of the traditionally conservative Texas voter he would be representing in the U.S. Senate.”
O’Rourke supports free trade across global markets, an appealing prospect to Houston’s booming business and trade sectors, and is in favor of growing the U.S.’s economic ties with Mexico.
The Chronicle also took aim at O’Rourke’s opponent in the senatorial race, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R), writing that the state’s Junior Senator was more interested in climbing the political ladder than helping his constituents.
“For Cruz, public office is a private quest; the needs of his constituents are secondary,” said the Chronicle.
Cruz, who had received the Chronicle’s endorsement in 2012, made a name for himself in the Senate for his combative and obstructionist politics during the Obama administration.
“Maybe the senator succeeded in cementing in his obstructionist Tea Party bona fides, but we don’t recall Texans clamoring for such an ill-considered, self-serving stunt,” wrote The Chronicle, speaking about Cruz’s leading role during the 2013 government shutdown.
Cruz’s politics and personality made him few friends in Washington, not even among members of his own party.
Former House Speaker John Boehner once called Cruz, “Lucifer in the flesh,” and said, “I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said of Cruz, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”
The Chronicle also believes that, unlike the vacillating Sen. Cruz, O’Rourke would be the perfect candidate to stand up to President Donald Trump.
“[O’Rourke] would help to serve as a check on a president who is a danger to the republic. Cruz is unwilling to take on that responsibility,” said The Chronicle.
Despite The Chronicle’s glowing recommendation of O’Rourke, analysts give him a 20 percent chance of winning his bid for the Senate. With only a few weeks left until election day, Cruz leads O’Rourke by nine points in the polls, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.