Transcript for On the trail: Does Beto O’Rourke have a chance against Ted Cruz in Texas?
16 days to go. Tomorrow president trump heads to Texas hoping to boost Ted Cruz’s bitter rival in 2016 in that surprisingly competitive race with Beto O’rourke. Paula Faris was with both candidates. We have one of the most simple obvious strategies I’ve seen employed in a modern campaign. We show up everywhere all the time for everyone. Reporter: You can’t go ten feet without an interruption from a Beto backer. You’re a rock star. No. Reporter: O’rourke a three-term congressman has captured the nation’s attention as well. Hauling in a record $38 million in donations last quarter. A lot of energy out there. We’re reflecting back what’s coming to us. Reporter: He’s also getting some unwanted scrutiny. President trump has called you a flake. He said you’re a total light weight. I don’t know that it makes any sense to respond. I think the kind of bitterness and name calling and partisanship that has unfortunately defined so much of the national conversation, you can add more to it or you can stay focussed on the future and why you did this in the first place. That’s what we’ve chosen to do. Reporter: Looming large is the president. When senator Ted Cruz ran against trump in 2016, there was a whole lot of name calling. This man is a pathological liar. A narcissist at a level I don’t think this country has ever seen. I call him lying Ted. He holds up the bible and puts it down and lies. Lying Ted. Reporter: Cruz’s opponent took a page out of trump’s playbook. He’s dishonest. That’s why the president called him lying Ted and it’s why the nickname stuck. It’s true. That wasn’t the best phrase for me to use. I’m going to do my best to stay focussed on the future. Reporter: For Cruz the future might be in the hands of his one time foe, trump. He will be campaigning with Cruz this week in Texas. How do we make sense of this relationship? 2016 was an election unlike any other. It was bare knuckle and there were some hard shots. On both sides there were hard shots. That election is over. On election day 2016 I had a choice to make. I had to choose what the path was going to be going forward. I could have chosen to have hurt feelings. I could say I’m going to take my marbles and go home. I could have not worked with the president. If I put my personal feelings ahead of Texas, that would be abdicating my responsibility. I went to the president and said we have a unique opportunity. History teaches us this is very rare a Republican president, a Republican majority in both houses. That’s happened four times. So friend, is he your friend or foe? How do you describe the relationship? He’s the president. I work with the president delivering on our promises. Reporter: The president and senator agree on most of the Republican agenda. Trump’s past policy of family separation on the border is one area where Cruz broke with the administration. If the policy is reinstated, is this something you would challenge the president on? This is something we should come together on. When it comes to family separation, everyone should agree children should be with their families. Reporter: If it comes to it, will you say Mr. President this isn’t the right policy? I’ve been clear to the president, we should enforce the laws but keep families together. Reporter: Cruz might be slightly to the left of the president on immigration, but O’rourke has a different solution. If things are so desperate in Guatemala, Honduras, el Sal va dor that someone would risk their lives to come here, what should we do to improve situations there? We’ve invested billions of dollars in the Middle East. Could we invest some fraction of that to make sure people have a reason to stay and raise their families where they were born. Reporter: Even though Texas ranks dead last in voter supporter, it’s not hard to find supporters on either side. Is there a more ardent supporter of Ted Cruz than you? No. I’ve gone to all Lents — lengths. I’ve had my car painted. I’ve got a billboard. For my anniversary my husband asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted Ted Cruz for president. He unzipped his jacket and it says Beto for senate. Reporter: This might translate into voting. Early voting Monday. Monday, Monday, Monday. That’s our message. Get it in the bank. Reporter: Paula as far as —
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