Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) clashed in a heated debate — their second — in San Antonio on Tuesday night, with less than three weeks to go before the 2018 midterms. The Democrat came out swinging, but the GOP incumbent (shown above right) repeatedly hammered O’Rourke (above left) on his record and also called out the “frightening” loss of civility in this country, as actions on the Left have demonstrated.

The first question focused on whether Congress should enact regulations on social media to protect voters from misinformation. O’Rourke, who included an introduction in Spanish, agreed with Cruz on the importance of protecting the integrity of our elections, and said he would work across the aisle on the issue. “We know [the Russians] will attack us again in this election and the next unless we stand up to them,” said O’Rourke.

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“Of course, we should do more to protect the integrity of our elections,” said Cruz, noting he’d co-sponsored legislation passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week — the “Deter Act” — that would “punish anyone that comes to this country with a purpose of undermining elections.”

Regarding the candidates’ stances on abortion, the pair radically diverged. “I believe that every human life is … a precious gift from God, and it should be protected,” said Cruz. “I am pro-life.” He characterized his opponent’s views on the issue as being “at the extreme, pro-abortion side,” including supporting taxpayer funding for abortion and supporting late-term abortions even for illegal aliens.

Cruz and O’Rourke battled over their support of judges, with Cruz saying O’Rourke wants “left-wing judicial activists who impose their own policy preferences from the bench,” and O’Rourke saying Cruz had “a very troubling record” of supporting judges whose views do not align with O’Rourke’s.

“I will only vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice who believes in a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body and who has the health care access to be able to do so,” said O’Rourke, referring to abortion.

On climate change, Cruz said, “I think we should follow the science and follow the evidence.” He chairs the Senate’s Subcommittee on Science and Space and is the son of two mathematicians and computer programmers, he noted.

The lawmakers got into a scuffle over whether O’Rourke had supported a $10-per-barrel tax on oil, which Cruz said would have harmed the state’s consumers and robust energy sector.

“Sen. Cruz is not going to be honest with you. He’s going to make up positions and votes that I’ve never held or have ever taken. He’s dishonest. It’s why the president called him ‘Lyin’ Ted,’ and it’s why the nickname stuck — because it’s true,” said O’Rourke.

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“If we don’t need a border wall,” said one of the moderators, citing O’Rourke’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposed wall at the country’s southern border, “can you please look at the people of Texas tonight and tell them what we do need?”

O’Rourke fielded the border policy question by discussing the “binational” nature of his hometown of El Paso playing a role in making it “one of the safest cities in the United States” and discussing trade policy — but Cruz was having none of that. The senator noted his campaign was endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council and by 171 sheriffs, and said his policy and O’Rourke’s could not be more different when it came to border security.

Where Cruz supports building the wall, O’Rourke, according to Cruz, supports tearing down the walls and fences that already exist. Cruz noted that O’Rourke had voted against Kate’s Law, legislation that Cruz authored. “That’s wrong,” said the senator flatly. “We should not be releasing violent criminals into our community.”

“Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz,” O’Rourke fired back, saying Cruz had failed to vote for further debate on legislation related to the so-called dreamers — a reference to would-be beneficiaries of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

When O’Rourke was asked how he’d fund universal health care, he first said he’d expand Medicaid and introduce Medicare as an option on health insurance exchanges. He concluded he could cover his universal health care goal’s costs of $1.6 trillion over 10 years by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 26 percent.

“Congressman O’Rourke’s plan would require tripling your taxes,” pointed out Cruz, citing the left-leaning Urban Institute’s scoring of Bernie Sanders’ plan — one O’Rourke supports — which assessed the price tag of socialized medicine at $32 trillion over 10 years.

“That doesn’t even pass elementary school math,” said Cruz of O’Rourke’s claim that a 5-point increase in the corporate tax rate would pay for universal health care. “If you took every person in America making a million dollars or more and you took 100 percent of their income, it would pay for five months of Congressman O’Rourke’s socialized medicine.”

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He warned that if O’Rourke were to win a Senate seat, he would create “two years of a partisan circus” by attempting to impeach Trump.

O’Rourke then zinged Cruz by saying, “Really interesting to hear you talk about a partisan circus after your last six years in the U.S. Senate” — generating a laugh from the audience.

O’Rourke also repeatedly said Texas needed a “full-time senator” — and that Cruz had failed them while he was running for president.

When Cruz was asked if he thought his support of the tax bill was “hypocritical,” given his tweet a year ago about the immorality of accumulating national debt and deficit, Cruz said, “Not remotely.” The moderator had cited Joint Committee on Taxation and CBO estimates that the tax cuts and jobs bill would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit.

“I am proud to have supported the tax cut,” said Cruz, adding, “One thing that Democrats never seem to understand: If you want to pay down deficit and debt … the only force strong enough to do that is economic growth.”

Cruz cited the successful tax cut strategies of JFK’s in the 1960s and Ronald Reagan’s in the 1980s that also led to a booming economy such as today’s, and added that since the tax cut was enacted, federal revenues have increased. O’Rourke fired back, saying tax cuts disproportionately benefit the rich and that the U.S. is “already riven with income inequality unseen since the last gilded age.”

On the topic of civility and respect in our national discourse, Cruz said, “There is a loss of civility. There is an anger. There is a rage on the far Left that is really frightening.”

He charged that Cruz’s votes were driven by donor dollars from political action committees. “Follow the money,” said O’Rourke. “I don’t take PAC money. Not a dime.”

Cruz shot back, “When he says he doesn’t take PAC money, he just lets others do it for him,” citing the J Street PAC, which Cruz described as “rabidly anti-Israel.”

On the topic of civility and respect in our national discourse, Cruz said, “There is a loss of civility. There is an anger. There is a rage on the far Left that is really frightening.”

Cruz also noted that O’Rourke’s call for impeaching President Trump during a conference on civility epitomized incivility.

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.