by Molly Prince
The Dallas Morning News’s editorial board called on Democratic Rep. Robert Beto O’Rourke on Friday to provide clarification regarding where he stands on the migrant caravan that is heading towards the U.S border.
O’Rourke, who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has been dodging the issue, despite immigration and border security overwhelmingly being the top issues for voters in Texas. Cruz urged reporters on Friday to probe O’Rourke into what he intends to do if elected to the Senate on Nov. 6.
“Two basic questions every reporter should ask Beto today,” Cruz tweeted. “(1) should the caravan be allowed to cross illegally into Texas? (Beto refuses to answer.) And (2) did your campaign dollars illegally fund their doing so?”
Two basic Qs every reporter should ask Beto today: (1) should the “caravan” be allowed to cross illegally into Texas? (Beto refuses to answer.) And (2) did your campaign dollars illegally fund their doing so? https://t.co/5HcePn3AGs
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 2, 2018
Cruz’s second question was in reference to undercover footage that was released on Thursday by Project Veritas. In the video, O’Rourke’s campaign staff alluded to campaign resources that were being used to assist the migrants on their way to the Texas border, a move that would violate federal law. O’Rourke later claimed that the spending will be appropriately reported to the Federal Election Commission as a charitable expense.
O’Rourke addressed the issue during a rally in Lewisville, insisting that it is “part of an effort to try to stoke fear and anxiety about immigrants.” However, he notably did not provide clarification on how he intends to handle the migrant caravan upon its impending arrival.
“We’re looking at this, but anyone who is trying to politicize this is trying to win an election base on fear,” O’Rourke told the crowd. “I want to make sure that we’re focused on the issues that matters most to Texas.”
When Cruz was confronted with O’Rourke’s response, the Texas senator pushed back, noting “that’s not an actual response.”
“The question is should the ‘caravan’ be allowed to cross illegally into Texas?”Cruz replied. “That’s a simple yes or no question. Screaming ‘paranoia’ and refusing to answer is an obvious dodge, and reporters all know that.”
The Dallas Morning News, who endorsed O’Rourke in October, agreed with Cruz, writing an editorial titled simply “Beto O’Rourke needs to offer specifics on the migrant caravan.”
“Beto O’Rourke wants a promotion. He wants to go from the House to the Senate and go from representing a constituency of 743,000 in the 16th congressional district to the entire state of Texas and its 30 million residents.
“With days to go before the election and President Donald Trump along with Ted Cruz ramping up the immigration rhetoric, O’Rourke has managed to stake out an opposition stance without offering much detail of his own. It’s time he stepped up and delivered.”
The editorial board did not pull its endorsement, stating that he received it primarily due to “the tone and manner in which he’s conducted his campaign” over policy stances, but asserted that O’Rourke has an obligation to provide detail on what his position is and how it should be handled.
“The debate about immigration is so critical to the nation and particularly Texas,” the editorial board wrote. “It is imperative that O’Rourke do more than just offer counter-statements to Trump and Cruz about unity and bringing people together.”
O’Rourke’s campaign did not reply to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request to comment.
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Molly Prince is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Molly @mollyfprince