Donald Trump held a 2020 campaign rally in El Paso Monday night in order to promote his already-dead border wall and be clapped at. In response, Beto O’Rourke led a March for Truth in the same city, ending in his own rally in which he worked to counter the various lies that the President has been pushing about the situation at the border. And everything else he’s ever talked about.
Trump started by unveiling a new slogan.
Holy shit Trump is actually pretending that he’s even STARTED building the wall, going so far as to suggest that now he simply wants to “finish” it.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 12, 2019
Not a single mile of new wall has been built. pic.twitter.com/0mPLUl43y6
Some construction on a wall or fence may be starting in El Paso this week, depending on your sources, but Trump has not secured the funding he desired for a complete border wall, which would have cost five or six times the amount he wanted anyway. So it’s safe to say that the wall he envisioned is not going to be finished. It may not even be started.
In between lies about the wall being built and nearing completion, Trump addressed Beto’s counter-rally directly, claiming that “has very little going for himself except he’s got a great first name.” Trump then became very interested in the size of Beto’s crowd compared to his own.
Trump says he has 35,000 people at his rally and O'Rourke has 200 or 300. Those extremely do not seem like the correct numbers, but I will update you later.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 12, 2019
The El Paso arena that is the site of Trump’s rally actually only hold a maximum of 6,500 people, but surely there are 28,500 people outside in the winter evening on a Monday watching on screens like those they have at home.
Trump should get a load of the size of Bernie Sanders’ crowds if size matters to him so much.
Meanwhile, at the counter-rally, Beto was speaking truths and painting a vision of an inclusive and loving America.
Beto O'Rourke, staging a Trump counter-rally, says El Paso is "safe not because of walls, but in spite of walls. Securre, because we treat one another with dignity and respect. That is the way we make our communities and our country safe." Via Texas Tribune pic.twitter.com/YSdQTeKiXn— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 12, 2019
Shots of the crowd make it clear that there are far more than a couple hundred people at Beto’s event. According to White House reporter Jennifer Epstein, local police are estimating 10,000 to 15,000 at the March for Truth.
Also meanwhile, the Washington Post is reporting that El Paso officials have directly contradicted the very idea that there is a crisis at the border other than the humanitarian crisis of thousands of people fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. They also deny that the safety found in their city has anything to do with the wall that was already built there 10 years ago (so where is Trump’s wall being built?).
“We’ve worked so hard to have the image of a solid community,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego told the press. “Every one of us is touched with the falsehoods that are taking place.”
Crime increased in El Paso by 17 percent for two years after it was built. El Paso officials and leaders credit good community building for any decrease in crime since then and believe that their border fence had little effect on much of anything.
“Even if you give [the] president the benefit of the doubt, the fence that was built in 2008 has made really no difference one way or the other,” said District Attorney Jaime Esparza.
Trump gets upstaged by a deal and Beto. Brilliant— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 12, 2019
CNN and MSNBC declined to air Trump’s El Paso rally. If you want a play-by-play recap of all of Trump’s lies, Toronto Star correspondent Daniel Dale did a fantastic job live-tweeting it all so that you didn’t have to watch it. Instead, watch more footage from Beto’s rally, which MSNBC did air live:
And of course, enjoy the Twitter reactions and much-needed doses of reality.
Trump says El Paso's leaders are "full of crap" when they say the wall didn't lower crime.— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) February 12, 2019
In fact, crime stats show El Paso was one of America's safest cities before fencing in late 2000's and after, no demonstrable change in violent crime.
The President is probably thinking of the 40,000 Americans killed by gun violence every year in America.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) February 12, 2019
El Paso https://t.co/ZA3qdU6XsT
In El Paso Trump just called us the “radical Resistance.” Then he said Democrats want to take away “your cows.” Then said Dems want to “take away your plane flights & cars.” Then said Dems want to “reduce the value of your home.” A reminder his call for unity was a crock of shit.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 12, 2019
Only at a trump rally (this one in El Paso) can you get away with easily disprovable math stuff.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) February 12, 2019
The best numbers.
Kinda makes you number.
If you believe it, you're dumber. https://t.co/0yFKvBmSS2
Going to El Paso to lie so transparently about El Paso suggests either a death wish or a complete loss of contact with fact-based reality https://t.co/fTyTRVmojY— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) February 12, 2019
El Paso Fire Department just told us that Trump's statement about them allowing 10,000 people inside is incorrect. Spokesman says coliseum holds 6,500 and that is how many were allowed in building. #TrumpElPaso— Zahira Torres (@zahiratorres) February 12, 2019
To all the citizens of El Paso that I see at the Trump rally... pic.twitter.com/PToPPueQWW— ▲lex ?? (@BabyAlex20) February 12, 2019
Maddow data point of the night: Trump lost El Paso by 43 points! A bigger margin than he lost *California*— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) February 12, 2019
This sign held aloft by a protestor sums up how many in El Paso feel about a border wall. Not gonna translate this one pic.twitter.com/z5rbNe0Kl1— Simon Romero (@viaSimonRomero) February 12, 2019
Officials in El Paso County, Texas, passed a resolution just hours before #DonTheCon was set to hold a campaign rally in the area, accusing Trump of pushing "lies" about the border situation. https://t.co/OT3uNBnIbe #Resist #NoWall— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) February 12, 2019
Wow look at all the people who showed up to see me in El Paso tonight!— Stone Cold (@stonecold2050) February 12, 2019
Sir, that’s Beto’s rally. pic.twitter.com/lcIb8u8sra
Now there have been at least 4 sets of protestors thrown out of Trump’s rally tonight.— Christian Cowart (@dtxErgaOmnes) February 12, 2019
El Paso and Texans don’t support the racist wall. pic.twitter.com/KD7hmjbV5P