Cruz tried to cut O & # 39; Rourke's charismatic appeal by checking his records on taxes, immigration, border security, medical care, and deregulation.
O & # 39; Rourke, he said, would increase taxes and increase regulations, which would hamper economic growth. He also said that O & # 39; Rourke wants "open borders" and has supported the expansion of Obamacare, which he called "a disastrous law."
"There is no clearer division in any race in the country than in this state of Texas," Cruz said. "The difference between my record and the record of congressman O & # 39; Rourke is day and night."
O & # 39; Rourke in Amarillo
O & # 39; Rourke, in a midmorning appearance at Six Car Pub, a brewery in downtown Amarillo, joked about listeners who might be having a beer to start the work week.
He received some of his loudest applause when he extolled the courage and contributions of immigrants from Latin America, some of whom have come to Amarillo, "to give, not take away, the American Dream."
O & # 39; Rourke established Trump's now-abandoned policy of separating unauthorized immigrant children from their families at the border and sending them as far away as Michigan to languish for months in foster care.
"What would happen if we decided that we would never again allow another child to be taken from their parents?" He said, to applause and shouts of approval.
The crowd of more than 300 people also applauded when he pledged to help "make sure that each Dreamer is free from the fear of deportation." He referred to the children brought to this country without papers.
Speaking to reporters before he assembled about 1,300 people in Lubbock, O & # 39; Rourke denounced the Trump administration's plan to increase the number of US troops on the border to about 5,000, the first to report. Wall Street Journal.
"This is a perfect opportunity for us to choose if we will be defined by our fears, the paranoia that the president seeks to encourage over a group of people who are still more than 900 miles away from the border," he said. A rich and powerful nation like the United States should try to put an end to the root causes of migration in Central America: poverty and violence, he said.
Cruz, however, criticized O & # 39; Rourke's positions on border security and immigration.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 1,300 people standing at the Christian Fellowship Church in Harlingen, just a few miles from the border, Cruz declared that most of the Latin city was his territory.
In telling how a CNN reporter asked him if Texas should vote in O & # 39; Rourke to get more diversity in the Senate, Cruz said that, as the son of a Cuban immigrant, he was offended by that. There are a lot of senators of Irish descent, he said in a slap in O & # 39; Rourke.
O & # 39; Rourke, asked about the comment, said: "I'm going to focus on the future of the country."
Cruz told his Harlingen audience: "The Rio Grande Valley is conservative, Hispanics were always conservative Democrats."
Hispanics, he said, care more about faith, family and patriotism: conservative values. The current Democratic Party has gone so far to the left, he said, that conservative Democrats no longer feel that there is a place for them.
When a woman shouted: "Beto no bueno" (Beto is not good), Cruz answered: "That's right (that's right)".
Rosa and Oberlin Fonseca, a Republican couple, said they were happy to see Cruz campaigning in the Rio Grande Valley on issues of border security, opposing abortion and cutting government spending.
"The Republican Party needs to count the valley, because we have been careless," said Oberlin Fonseca, 73.
"I think our country can resort to socialism," said Rosa Fonseca, a 65-year-old retired school nurse. "The Democratic Party has become unrecognizable."