Speed Reads

rally vs rally

Trump, O'Rourke hold dueling rallies in El Paso

Thousands of people gathered in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night for two very different rallies.

On one side of the street, President Trump touted the southern border wall he's been promising for years, claiming that miles upon miles have already been built. On the other side, former Democratic congressman Beto O'Rourke, an El Paso native, held a rally with community leaders protesting Trump's stance on immigration and the wall. Both rallies were attended by thousands of people, although Trump inflated the numbers at his, claiming that the El Paso County Coliseum holds 8,000 but the El Paso Fire Department let 10,000 people in; the department told the El Paso Times the maximum capacity is 6,500 people, and they didn't sacrifice safety by letting any more people inside.

At the Trump rally, the crowd started chanting the familiar refrain "Build the wall," but Trump encouraged them to try out a new slogan. "You really mean finish that wall because we've built a lot of it," he said. Trump also said the government shutdown was important because it brought attention to what is happening along the southern border, and he declared that "walls save lives," adding he loves living behind one "because I want to be safe and I want to make America safe, if you don't mind."

O'Rourke said El Paso is one of the "safest cities in the United States of America ... safe, not because of walls, but in spite of walls." He criticized the government for detaining migrant children, and spoke about the need for respect. "We, together, are making a stand for the truth against lies and hate and intolerance," he said. "We are gonna show the country who we are."