MJ Hegar Calls John Cornyn 'Wildly Ineffective' as Texas Polls Put Her Within Margin of Error

U.S. Senate candidate MJ Hegar (D-TX) told CNN's Don Lemon on Monday that she wasn't surprised her Republican opponent, Senator John Cornyn, was trying to distance himself from President Donald Trump.

Hegar has been consistently behind Cornyn in the polls but she told Lemon that she was now within striking distance. The most recent polling shows Cornyn is just three points ahead, according to poll tracker FiveThirtyEight. He enjoyed a more substantial lead earlier in the race. As Hegar said during the interview, these numbers put her within the margin of error, meaning the race is essentially a tossup.

Lemon pointed to an ad from Hegar highlighting that she's a veteran and a Purple Heart recipient who's also raising two children during the COVID-19 pandemic. He asked Hegar about Cornyn's recent comments arguing Trump "is who he is. You either love him or hate him, and there's not much in between."

Hegar had tweeted that Cornyn was a "coward" for trying to distance himself from the president.

"I just think it's too little, too late," Hegar said. "I think that Texans have a very sensitive BS meter. I think we see right through it.

"We are very clearly seeing that John Cornyn doesn't serve Texans. He serves his party and his wealthy, corporate special interest donors and frankly, either he is wildly ineffective or lying."

"Now, he's lied to us quite a bit, spread misinformation, he says things that are politically convenient that he wants to fight for, then he goes and votes against them. So we're used to being lied to but I think in this case it's a little bit of both," Hegar said.

Lemon asked Hegar about Cornyn's comment that he doesn't like to confront Trump because it doesn't end well. Cornyn told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "What I tried to do is not get into public confrontations and fights with him because, as I've observed, those usually don't end too well.

Hegar told Lemon: "It doesn't end well for him and his hope to be Senate majority leader. It would end much better for Texans. In fact, we're using a lot of snark and a little sarcasm here but I gotta tell you, I feel like I've been punched in the gut when I think about the Texans' lives and jobs that could have been saved if he stood up to this president."

Lemon went on to ask Hegar about an op-ed from retired Admiral William McRaven explaining why he voted for former Vice President Joe Biden. Hegar believes many service members will also opt for Biden. McRaven voted in Texas.

"I think the vast majority of military votes are gonna go to Joe Biden for the same reasons that not only Admiral McRaven but many other military leaders have laid out, for the same reasons that have driven me and other veterans and members of the intelligence community to run since this president was elected," Hegar said.

"We see the grave threat that he poses to our Constitution and our national security interests, the reputation that we're losing around the world for not keeping our word, whether it's Paris Climate Accord agreements or the Iran nuclear deal, withdrawing our influence at international bodies like the U.N. Just destroying our reputation. It's a huge national security threat," she said.

Hegar pointed to the "amazing turnout" in Texas voting as a reason to believe she can defeat Cornyn in November. Texas leads the nation in early voting with 4 million ballots cast. She also said she was more interested in turnout and voter outreach than the polls.

John Cornyn Speaks at Senate Judiciary Comnittee
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting prior to the fourth day for the confirmation hearing of President Donald Trumps Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on October 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away in September. Cornyn leads his Democratic challenger by just three points in recent polls. Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images