Rep. Beto O’Rourke backed out of the first scheduled debate with Senator Cruz.

Scheduled for Friday, August 31, the debate was to be the first of five (or six, O’Rourke wanted a final debate in his hometown, El Paso).

Last month, O’Rourke asked if the August 31 debate could be moved to October, closer to the election. O’Rourke claims the two campaigns are still in negotiations while Cruz’s campaign is acting like the date of the first debate was settled.

From The Daily Caller:

“There was no debate ever agreed to for Friday,” O’Rourke’s office told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The two campaigns are in open discussions to plan mutually agreed upon debates.”

O’Rourke claimed Cruz’s terms were too rigid, but that the two would debate eventually.

From the Texas Tribune:

O’Rourke said Monday that Cruz’s campaign has “attempted to dictate” different aspects of the debate schedule, such as the time, the moderators and which subjects the candidates could speak about.

“We’re working through those differences, and we’re trying to introduce more of a collaborative style to the negotiations than he may be used to,” O’Rourke said during the forum. “And so we’re confident that out of that, we’re going to come to something good.”

Cruz’s team shot back Monday evening.

“[O’Rourke] begged for debates, but when Sen. Cruz invited him to five debates all across Texas, suddenly O’Rourke seemed to get scared,” spokesperson Emily Miller said, adding that “except for when he has to be in DC for his work in the Senate, Cruz is ready and excited to debate O’Rourke, including this Friday.”

Meanwhile, O’Rourke will be headed back to California (again) to appear on Ellen’s talk show next week.

Recently, O’Rourke secured yet another Hollywood endorsement:

He’s very popular in California, apparently. Which might explain why he spends so much time fundraising in the Golden State for his election in Texas.