Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), whose Senate seat could soon have a new occupant, played along Tuesday evening when a supporter at a campaign event shouted “Lock him up!” in reference to Cruz’s Democratic opponent, Beto O’Rourke.
“Well, you know, there’s a double-occupancy cell with Hillary Clinton,” Cruz said in Georgetown, Texas.
He added: “Y’all are gonna get me in trouble with that.”
Since the 2016 presidential campaign, supporters of President Donald Trump have taken to chanting “Lock her up!” in reference to Clinton. The former candidate for president infamously came under FBI scrutiny for using a private computer server for government business during the campaign, but was not charged with any crime. Trump’s supporters have not given up the chant. Neither has Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Occasionally, the right repurposes the slur for other Trump foes, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), for receiving a letter from a constituent detailing an alleged sexual assault by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
O’Rourke has become a surprisingly formidable opponent for Cruz. The Houston Chronicle, which typically supports Republican candidates for office, endorsed O’Rourke last week, praising his “command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans.”
As Nov. 6 ticks closer, polling shows the two candidates neck and neck.