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The Texas GOP is reminding voters that Democrat Beto O'Rourke was once pretty cool and 'hot'

Fighting the establishment is nothing new for Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the Texas Democrat trying to overthrow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz this fall. And this misguided attack from Texas Republicans only makes it more obvious.

On Monday, O'Rourke announced he wouldn't be at a debate with Cruz this weekend. The Texas GOP quickly launched an attempt to shame him for the decision — but as SPIN Magazine put it, posting a picture of a young, bearded O'Rourke just made him look "hot and cool."

Yes, that's a young O'Rourke on the left, rocking the floral-print getup. The GOP's strategy of highlighting O'Rourke's history as a punk rocker who booked gigs on local TV quickly backfired, resulting in a notably wimpy concession from the Republicans. And looking at a picture of Cruz around the same time, it's easy to see why.

Beyond providing a decades-old dichotomy of the two candidates, the GOP's attempted revelation hardly contains new information. O'Rourke first announced his campaign in March 2017, and he couldn't make a headline without being called an "ex-punk" and a "longshot." Yet after more than a year of campaigning and amassing polling numbers to rival Cruz's, it turns out O'Rourke's run wasn't just a phase.