As President Trump whipped the crowd into a frenzy at his El Paso rally this Monday night, he returned to his old habits of lying about how big the turnout was. In the same city at around the same time, Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) held a rally designed to oppose Trump’s immigration policies which drew in anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 people, but don’t tell that to Trump.
“A young man who’s got very little going for himself except he’s got a great first name, he challenged us,” Trump told the crowd. “We have, say, 35,000 people tonight, and he has, say, 200 people, 300 people. Not too good. In fact what I would do, that may be the end of his presidential bid.”
According to NBC News, the El Paso County Coliseum seats around 11,000 people. Trump claimed that 10,000 people were inside the rally, but El Paso Fire Department public information officer Enrique Aguilar said that there was only around 6,500 people inside the building.
Trump disses @BetoORourke as "young man who's got very little going for himself except he's got a great first name."
"He challenged us, so we have let's say 35,000 thousand people tonight. And he has 200 ppl, 300 ppl. Not too good"
The arena Trump is speaking in only holds 10k! pic.twitter.com/fQCE6BNGqs
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 12, 2019
It was a stark contrast to Trump’s numbers, who said at one point that 69,000 people were expected to show up. During the rally, Trump thanked the fire department for letting in “10,000” people. “Thank you, fire department,” Trump said. “Appreciate it.”
At another point, Trump said there were 35,000 people in attendance.
O’Rourke still hasn’t declared his candidacy for the presidency, but that hasn’t stopped a huge groundswell of support around him, landing him on Trump’s attack list as the 2020 campaign season kicks off. O’Rourke’s ability to draw in huge numbers is clearly getting under Trump’s skin.
“Well, how about Beto? Beto was defeated too, right? But he suffered a great defeat,” Trump said at one point during the El Paso rally. “Watch what the news does tomorrow, though, they won’t mention the disparity [in crowd size], they won’t mention the disparity tomorrow. They’ll say “Beto O’Rourke” – that’s his last name, right, O’Rourke? – “Beto O’Rourke had a wonderful rally, although about 15 people…”
Speaking at his rally, O’Rourke said that his hometown was safe “not because of walls but in spite of walls.”
“With the eyes of the country upon us, all of you together are going to make our stand in one of the safest cities in the United States of America. Safe not because of walls but in spite of walls,” he said.