key race feb texas no longer solid gop orig bw_00002222.jpg
Texas race isn't guaranteed Republican anymore
01:31 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz told supporters at a rally on Saturday that Democrats wanted to make Texas like California and listed off a few things as stereotypical staples of the blue state.

“We are seeing tens of millions of dollars flooding into the state of Texas from liberals all over the country who desperately want to turn the state of Texas blue,” Cruz said. “They want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair.”

Cruz added that his wife, Heidi Cruz, was “a California vegetarian.”

“She’s wonderful, but I brought her to the great state of Texas,” Cruz said.

Cruz’s line was part of a speaking event in Katy, Texas, according to a video shared on his Twitter account, and came as he works to fend off a challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke this November.

While Texas is generally thought of as a Republican stronghold, O’Rourke’s bid has received national attention, and an August poll showed Cruz with only a slight lead.

At Saturday’s event, Cruz railed against O’Rourke, saying he was “going hard, hard to the left” and likened him to Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.

A New York Times report over the weekend based on audio obtained by the Times of Mick Mulvaney, a top Trump administration official, showed the major Republican alluding to concerns about Cruz’s strength in his home state. Mulvaney said it was “a very real possibility” the GOP would lose Cruz’s seat, according to the newspaper.

“I don’t think it’s likely, but it’s a possibility,” Mulvaney is quoted as saying. “How likable is a candidate? That still counts.”

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday morning that she was at the event with Mulvaney. She predicted Republicans would not lose the seat and praised Cruz as an “excellent representative for Texas.”

“I think he’s very likable,” she added of Cruz.