WFAA's Jason Whitely sat down with Sen. Ted Cruz for Inside Texas Politics this week to discuss his competitive senate race against Congressman Beto O'Rourke and more.
Watch the full interview with Cruz in the video player above. Here are some of the highlights:
Why do you think you drew such a strong Democratic challenger?
"This is a divided time. Our country right now is polarized. There are a lot of folks on the far left who are energized, who are angry, who hate the president. I think a lot of us find it unfortunate to find so much anger, so much division. But I what I think we're seeing in Texas is a manifestation of what we're seeing across the country, which is the left reacting with a lot of anger right now."
Beto is known for his charisma. How will you prepare for a debate against him?
"I think elections should be about substance. Elections should be about policies and issues, so as you noted, I proposed that we do 5 debates, across the state...that we do them on different policy issues...issues that matter to the Texas voters. Too many people approach politics and make it a nasty battle of personal attacks. I don't think that's the way it should be. That's never how I've approached politics."
You're a noted debater, though. How do you prepare for someone who is known for their charisma?
"Look, I'll note on the charisma folks, in many ways it's the media that's in love. The most frequent adjective that gets used for him is 'Kennedy-esque.' And that's fine. Usually with the wind blowing in his hair. That's OK. You focus on any debate the same way...You focus on the substance of what you're talking about, and they're two different visions. They're two different visions for the road Texas wants to be on. Congressman O'Rourke is running a hard left campaign. That's a vision that's very popular with the media. It's why you get so many glowing profiles. It's not a vision that reflects the value of Texans. I think what Texans want is low taxes, low regulations, lots of jobs, higher wages, and we want our constitutional liberties protected. We want our fundamental rights protected. So I look forward to these debates as a chance to lay out what we believe, what our records are, what we've stood and fought for in the past and what we'll stand and fight for going forward."
Go here to watch the full episode of this week's Inside Texas Politics.