Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) refused to participate in a CNN town hall with his Democratic opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX).
CNN will host the Oct. 18 event without Cruz, who declined an invitation to take part in the town hall at the McAllen Performing Arts Center moderated by Dana Bash.
The Cruz campaign initially accepted CNN’s invitation but later declined, according to a network official.
The network will also host debates between Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Republican Gov. Rick Scott in Florida’s Senate race, and between Andrew Gillum and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in Florida’s gubernatorial race.
Cruz is facing a tough challenge from O’Rourke, whose campaign got a boost with a viral TV ad by film director Richard Linklater for the Fire Ted Cruz PAC.
The ad features Texas actor Sonny Carl Davis questioning why Cruz hadn’t stood up to President Donald Trump’s personal insults and instead was “kissing (his) ass.”