O'Rourke, Trump duel over wall, immigration in possible 2020 preview

O’Rourke, Trump duel over wall, immigration in conceivable 2020 preview

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – Attainable White Area hopeful Beto O’Rourke accused Donald Trump of fear-mongering on Monday and the Republican president mocked the Democrat as a “younger guy who misplaced” in dueling rallies that might preview the tenor of the 2020 election marketing campaign.

O’Rourke, who narrowly misplaced his 2018 bid for a U.S. Senate seat, accused Trump of stoking “false worry” about immigrants and telling “lies” about his native land El Paso, which Trump mentioned used to be a deadly position earlier than it had a border fence.

“We stand for The usa and we stand in opposition to a wall,” O’Rourke informed a crowd of a number of thousand supporters, many waving “Beto 2020” indicators and dressed in “Immigrants Make The usa Nice” baseball caps. “Partitions don’t save lives, they finish lives.”

2 hundred yards away in El Paso County Coliseum, Trump informed his supporters that O’Rourke had “little going for himself, even though he’s were given an ideal first identify.”

“We’re all challenged through a tender guy who misplaced an election to (Republican Senator) Ted Cruz,” mentioned Trump.

He mentioned that O’Rourke’s rally used to be smaller than his, and that used to be a nasty signal: “That can be the tip of his presidential bid.”

Reuters may just now not check Trump’s declare that 35,000 folks attended his rally, with about 10,000 inside of. Town’s fireplace division allowed simplest the capability 6,500 inside of, the El Paso Occasions reported. Police estimated between 10,000 and 15,000 attended the O’Rourke march and rally, the newspaper mentioned.

As the 2 males spoke, U.S. congressional negotiators mentioned they’d reached a tentative deal to check out to avert any other partial executive shutdown. Aides mentioned it didn’t comprise the $five.7 billion Trump sought after for his wall that brought on the shutdown ultimate month.

Trump made transparent on Monday he would now not drop the call for for a border wall that delights his fans, first made in his marketing campaign within the 2016 election. Large banners at his rally learn “End The Wall.”

Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic former Texas congressman, addresses supporters earlier than an anti-Trump march in El Paso, Texas, U.S., February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Nationwide polls display the wall isn’t well liked by nearly all of electorate. A Reuters/IPSOS survey discovered 43 p.c of the U.S. public supported further border fencing.

Trump mentioned he had heard a couple of conceivable deal in Washington earlier than he took the level, however added: “Simply so – we’re development the wall anyway. Perhaps growth has been made – perhaps now not.”


It used to be Trump’s first direct conflict with a possible 2020 rival, albeit on separate phases.

O’Rourke relished the prime-time nationwide platform, every now and then breaking into Spanish, in what seemed like a marketing campaign speech. He decried the Trump management’s separation of immigrant youngsters from their folks on the border.

He mentioned Dreamers – undocumented folks delivered to the USA through their folks once they had been youngsters – must be given citizenship, and their folks a pathway to citizenship.

“With a president who describes Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, now we have an opportunity to inform him and the rustic that immigrants dedicate crime at a decrease price than American citizens who’re born on this nation,” he mentioned to shouts of “Beto, Beto.”

Trump used to be urgent his case on immigration within the Democratic bastion of El Paso county, the place the inhabitants is over 80 p.c Hispanic.

“I will be able to by no means signal a invoice that forces the mass unlock of violent criminals into our nation,” he mentioned, regarding a Democratic proposal within the Washington talks to decrease the cap on detentions of legal extraterrestrial beings through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Underneath Monday’s tentative settlement, the cap would most likely keep round the similar as in earlier years, a congressional aide mentioned.

Even though O’Rourke’s full-throated denunciation of the president seemed like he deliberate to run in opposition to Trump, the two-time congressman declined to talk about a possible bid when requested through newshounds on a convention name on Monday.

O’Rourke informed Oprah Winfrey ultimate week he would make a last determination about working for president through the tip of the month.

Reporting through Tim Reid in El Paso, further reporting through Steve Holland and Tim Ahmann in Washington; Writing through Andrew Hay; Modifying through Colleen Jenkins, Invoice Tarrant and Sonya Hepinstall

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