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Miller, the GOP consultant, agreed that “if you want to bring Ted Cruz back to Earth, you’re going to have to go after him.”

He said he didn’t know if that tactic would ultimately succeed, given that time is starting to run short to make a real difference. But he made clear that if O’Rourke doesn’t put his money into a “real aggressive, kind of mean campaign,” then the “race is lost.”

While O’Rourke has gotten this far by often resisting conventional political wisdom, he indicated this week that he will soon tweak his message to combat Cruz’s attacks.

During a recording of Lone Star Politics, a political show sponsored by The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV (NBC5), the Democrat said he would make a “sharper” contrast with Cruz going forward on issues ranging from health care to immigration to the economy.

“The people of Texas need to know that they have a very clear, defined choice in this election, and I’m going to make sure I present that contrast,” he said.

The Democrat maybe offered a hint of that approach on Friday, taking what’s been the rare step of him citing Cruz by name to ding the Republican for receiving support from political action committees.

O’Rourke’s haul is “more than three times the amount that Ted Cruz raised, not just in his campaign but all the affiliated political action committees that are contributing to his campaign,” he said, adding that his own effort is “making sure that democracy is powered by people and only people.” 

Some Republicans have nonetheless mocked O’Rourke’s massive fundraising numbers, boasting that all that money will end up wasted in a losing effort.

Josh Holmes, a GOP strategist close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said on Twitter Friday that while O’Rourke’s haul was “insanely impressive,” Democrats are “really going to wish this cash bonfire wasn’t in Texas.”

But Cook, the Democratic strategist, shrugged off that attack.

He pointed out that there is no evidence that O’Rourke’s torrid fundraising has come at the expense of other Democratic candidates. Even in Texas, for example, a host of Democratic challengers at the congressional level have filled their war chests with uncharacteristically large amounts of money.

Cook also said that the “faith of those who contribute is a crucial first step” for Texas Democrats’ long-term aspirations, particularly since “you don’t get to communicate with voters for free.”

“Obviously, money doesn’t win elections,” he said. “But being broke sure loses a bunch of them.”

Published at Fri, 12 Oct 2018 17:10:37 +0000