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EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — President Donald Trump and former Congressman from Texas Beto O’Rourke had competing rallies Monday night in El Paso with the main topic President Trump’s border wall.
O’Rourke’s rally started first and the two rallies overlapped for a while. Then O’Rourke’s rally ended and Trump’s continued.
The two rallies happened about a mile from each other.
President Trump said the partial government shutdown showed the country, politicians and the world “what the hell is happening with the border.”
Trump also downplayed a potential breakthrough to avert a second shutdown, though West Wing aides have acknowledged there is insufficient support among Republicans to sustain another shutdown fight.
Trump told thousands at the rally that he was told lawmakers are making progress in their bids to avert another shutdown. But he says he told his staff that he didn’t want to hear about it and that it was important to speak “to my people from Texas” first.
Trump says, “I had a choice. I could’ve stayed out there and listened, or I could have come out to the people of El Paso and Texas, I chose you.”
The crowd has chanted back, “We chose you.”
Meantime, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is considering running for president in 2020, told a hometown crowd that it’s time to “show the country that there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the U.S.-Mexico border.”
O’Rourke spoke Monday at a baseball stadium across the street from the arena from where President Donald Trump was promoting his U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Cheers from Trump’s fans could be heard at the counter-protest.
O’Rourke said, “The judgment of history is looking back at this moment.” The former congressman is mulling a 2020 presidential run, and many in the crowd yelled for him to announce his candidacy. But O’Rourke said only, “This is where we make our stand.”
President Trump Rally
Beto O’Rourke Rally
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)