FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday lambasted Democrats' leadership on inflation, crime and foreign policy as he urged Tennessee voters to send Republican Andy Ogles to Congress.
Cruz is on 17-state bus tour, stumping for various Senate and House candidates ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections, where control of both chambers is at stake. He joined Ogles in Franklin, Tennessee — an affluent city just south of Nashville — as the former rural county mayor vies to win a newly redrawn congressional seat that cuts into left-leaning Nashville.
“Revival is coming and I believe that with all my heart,” Cruz said, as he warned that the U.S. is in a crisis that would continue if Democrats maintain control. “In two weeks, we're not just going to see a red wave, we're going to see a red tsunami.”
Ogles is running against Democrat Heidi Campbell, who outraised and outspent him last quarter. Her campaign issued a statement ahead of Ogles' rally, accusing both Ogles and Cruz of being willing to use their power to cut benefits and give “giant corporations and billionaires another tax break.”
Tennessee's 5th Congressional District has drawn national attention this year after Republicans carved up Nashville during redistricting in the hopes of gaining an additional GOP seat in Congress. The move caused longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper to announce he would retire because there was no path for him to win, creating a rare open congressional race in Tennessee.
Since then, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hasn’t added any of the three seats that divide Nashville to the list of seats it plans to spend on this election as the House Democratic majority remains on the line.
Ogles has led a relatively low-profile campaign after emerging from a crowded and bruising primary race, where he declared, “Liberals, we're coming for you.” in his victory speech. He's declined multiple invitations to debate Campbell, largely avoided media interviews and only recently put up a television ad.
However, on Wednesday, Ogles stated that the country was at a “crossroads," calling President Joe Biden's administration a “criminal enterprise” and repeated calls to impeach both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. He also criticized the acceptance of transgender Americans, particularly transgender athletes participating in female sports — prompting loud applause from the crowd.
“Sometimes you've got to bring salt and pour it on the wound and remind people where we've gone astray,” Ogles said. “When we win the House and when we win the Senate, we're going to bring truth, we're bringing light and we're bringing a truck load of salt to run them out of town.”
After the event, Ogles declined to answer direct questions about whether he supported a national abortion ban and instead praised the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to revoke the constitutional right to the procedure. Cruz also voiced his support of states now having the power to put their own limits on abortion.
Other speakers at the event included Tennessee U.S. Rep. Mark Green and Outkick founder Clay Travis.