- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Democrat seeking to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas downplayed Wednesday the idea that his “F” rating with the NRA could undercut his hopes of toppling the incumbent Republican in the midterm election.

Fresh off his victory in the Democratic primary race, Rep. Beto O’Rourke said that Mr. Cruz’s ties to the NRA have gotten in the way of efforts to prevent more mass shootings in the United States.

“I think a lot of Texans are wondering who it is that Ted Cruz represents in the Senate,” Mr. O’Rourke said on CNN. “He has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the NRA.”

Mr. O’Rourke said voters are begging lawmakers to take action and “make sure that we have comprehensive checks and save the lives of fellow American and fellow Texans.”

“We have a great tradition and culture of gun ownership and gun safety — for hunting, for sport, for self-defense — and that can allow Texas to take the lead on a real tough issue which the country is waiting for leadership and action on,” Mr. O’Rourke said.

Mr. O’Rourke wants to ban the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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