As the 2020 elections get ever-closer, President Donald Trump is back on some of his most familiar nonsense. Monday night, at an El Paso campaign rally, he claimed to have drawn a crowd of tens of thousands of people, including some 10,000 just inside the venue where he was speaking, the El Paso County Coliseum. The El Paso Fire Department, however, says that’s nonsense.
They would know, too, since Trump had claimed that they’d specifically made a special allowance for more people than normal to be inside the venue. Quite simply, the department’s public information officer Enrique D Aguilar explained, “no special permission was given by the Fire Department,” and the venue “holds 6,500 and that’s how many were allowed inside the building.”
Aguilar added that including the people outside watching the president speak on big screens could have brought the crowd total to at least 10,000, but the Fire Department didn’t track the number of people outside.
During the rally, Trump brought up the crowd size in part to lob criticism at Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke, the now former Congressman who failed to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz but, considering his popularity and even how surprisingly close he came, has been considering joining the field of Democrats vying to take on Trump in 2020. Monday night, as Trump supporters gathered in El Paso, O’Rourke led a competing rally against the president’s immigration policy agenda as exemplified most prominently by his long sought border wall blocking off Mexico.
The former Congressman told those assembled:
‘We, together, are making a stand for the truth against lies and hate and intolerance… We are gonna show the country who we are.’
Over at his rally, the apparent best retort Trump had was:
‘A young man who’s got very little going for himself except he’s got a great first name — He challenged us. 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… They will say Beto O’Rourke — that’s his last name, right, O’Rourke? — had a wonderful rally of about 15 people.’
It’s ironic for Trump to criticize O’Rourke for supposedly failing to attract significant enough support when he can’t win large swaths of people to his cause that aren’t already in his base and going to eat up whatever he tweets out.
In those efforts, he keeps distancing himself further and further from reality. In his recent State of the Union address, he claimed that El Paso was a model of the need and efficacy of border barriers because crime went down significantly after some fencing in the area went up.
It didn’t — but Monday night, Trump claimed those who point that out are “full of crap” — just because he says so, apparently.
For now, Trump’s fierce partisan antagonism may not be culminating in another government shutdown, since on Monday, Congressional negotiators claimed they had an “agreement in principle” that could sustain funding beyond this Friday, when current money will run out.
Trump did back out of approving funding at close to the last minute before the last shutdown, though.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot