The exchange quickly turned into a broader tiff over judicial nominees, with Cruz seeking to tie O'Rourke to Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and claiming they both want judges who would effectively overturn the Second Amendment.
"Not everybody is totally left, totally right, so you know it's still an effective means to get their message across", said Dana Tyson, manager at the Angry Elephant.
Colbert capped off the interview by showing Willie a series of pictures featuring notable people and asked which he would like light up with.
Cruz shot back at O'Rourke that "nowhere in his answer did he address" that, in Cruz's view, kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to veterans. On Friday morning, the Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race from "Lean Republican" to "Toss Up".
O'Rourke has become a national figure over the past few months for running a shockingly successful campaign against sitting senator Ted Cruz. O'Rourke has denied he is a socialist, and he does not support worker ownership of the means of production in society, which is the traditionally accepted definition of socialism. O'Rourke frequently complained that Cruz was misrepresenting his positions - at one point accusing the incumbent Republican of "slander".
O'Rourke criticized Cruz during the debate for failing to rebuke Trump administration tariffs against China, which he said would hurt Texas trade interests.
Of course, ridiculing O'Rourke for his name is a bold move for a man christened Rafael and makes Cruz seem a touch mean. And that's a big deal in a state where a Democrat has not won a statewide election since 1988.
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Politifact found that O'Rourke, then an El Paso City councilman, was quoted as saying that ending a prohibition of narcotics "should at least be on the table, and so far it hasn't".
The two candidates will face off twice more in debates before Election Day.
When Cruz stopped speaking, O'Rourke wryly deadpanned: "True to form".
I also went to the cotton gin in Roscoe.
Texas has been in the headlines for two high-profile mass shootings over the past year - one in November 2017 at a church in Sutherland Springs and another in May at Santa Fe High School, outside of Houston. "I'm sorry you don't like thoughts and prayers".
There are two other debates - September 30 at the University of Houston and October 16 in San Antonio. The deadline to register to vote is October 9.
O'Rourke was directly asked if he tried to flee the scene at Friday's debate with Sen.