O'Rourke, Trump trade blows in rival Texas border rallies




  • In US
  • 2019-02-12 03:02:44Z
  • By By Tim Reid

By Tim Reid

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) - Beto O'Rourke, the former Democratic congressman considering a White House run, and President Donald Trump traded political blows on Monday in rival rallies in El Paso, Texas, over the Republican's fight for a border wall.

O'Rourke, who narrowly lost a 2018 bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas, accused Trump of stoking "false fear" about immigrants and telling "lies" about his hometown El Paso, which Trump said was a dangerous place before it had a border fence.

"Here is one of the safest cities in the United States of America, safe not because of walls but in spite of walls," O'Rourke told a crowd of several thousand supporters, many waving "Beto 2020" signs and wearing "Immigrants Make America Great" baseball caps.

Two hundred yards away in El Paso County Coliseum, Trump told his supporters that O'Rourke had "little going for himself."

"We are all challenged by a young man who lost an election to (Republican Senator) Ted Cruz," said Trump, surrounded by banners reading "Finish the Wall."

Trump was in El Paso to argue for a wall he says can protect Americans from violent criminals, drugs and a "tremendous onslaught" of migrant caravans.

The rally was his first direct clash with a potential 2020 rival, albeit on separate stages.

As Trump and O'Rourke spoke in Texas, U.S. congressional negotiators in Washington said they had reached a tentative deal on border security funding to avert another partial government shutdown due to start on Saturday.

An aide said it did not include the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded for his wall, however.

EL PASO: "LOW ON CRIME"

In his State of the Union speech last week, Trump said the border fence separating El Paso from Mexico reduced the city's high crime rate.

El Paso's Republican mayor, Dee Margo, said the city had been safe for years before the wall was built.

"We were, I think, the No. 2 or No. 3 safest city before the fence went up and we progressed into No. 1," he told Fox News. "We were significantly low on crime to begin with and always have been."

O'Rourke told Oprah Winfrey last week he would make a final decision about running for president by the end of the month.

He declined to discuss a potential run on Monday. "I'm following the community's lead tonight, no less, no more," he said on a conference call with reporters.

(Reporting by Tim Reid in El Paso, additional reporting by Steve Holland and Tim Ahmann in Washington; Writing by Andrew Hay; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Bill Tarrant and Sonya Hepinstall)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Divided Supreme Court blocks Texas from executing intellectually disabled man, citing 'lay stereotypes'
Divided Supreme Court blocks Texas from executing intellectually disabled man, citing 'lay stereotypes'

The high court reversed for the second time a Texas court's ruling that Bobby James Moore could be executed despite his cognitive deficits.

U.S. Supreme Court rules for Texas death row inmate for second time
U.S. Supreme Court rules for Texas death row inmate for second time
  • US
  • 2019-02-19 14:55:12Z

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday for a second time ruled in favor of a black death row inmate from Texas whose lawyers have said is intellectually disabled and therefore exempt from capital punishment. The high court ruled 6-3 that a Texas appeals court in June 2018 did not consider the case in the correct manner when the matter returned to it following the justices' first intervention in 2017. Bobby Moore, 59, was convicted at age 20 of fatally shooting an elderly grocery store clerk during a 1980 robbery in Houston.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.