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When Asked What He Admires About Beto O’Rourke, Ted Cruz Compares Him to Bernie Sanders

A fiery debate between Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) came to end on what was supposed to be a “positive note.”

The moderator wrapped up the debate by asking both Senate candidates to say something they “admire” about the other, which similarly took place during the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

O’Rourke responded by complimenting Cruz’s work ethic, saying and the admires the “sacrifice” he makes by being away from his family, adding that despite their differences on policy, he knows that Cruz “wants to do the best for America.”

Cruz agreed with O’Rourke’s sentiments and expressed the same to his Democratic opponent. However, Cruz then seemed to give a backhanded compliment by comparing O’Rourke with a particular Democratic Socialist.

“I think Congressman O’Rourke is passionate, he is energetic, he believes what he is fighting for,” Cruz said. “As a matter of fact, I have very much the same sentiments- You know, last year I did three debates with Bernie Sanders and I expressed this at all three debates that Bernie Sanders believes in what he’s fighting for. He believes in socialism. Now, what I think he’s fighting for doesn’t work, but I think you are absolutely sincere, like Bernie, that you believe in expanding government and higher taxes and I commend you for fighting for what you believe in. As you noted, we disagree on the outcome, but you’re fighting for the principles you believe in and I respect that.”

“True to form,” O’Rourke reacted.

Watch the clip above, via NBC News (start at the 51:26 mark).

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