O'Rourke, Trump to headline dueling Texas border town rallies

Blanche Robertson
February 12, 2019

CNN's Jake Tapper opened today's The Lead by calling out President Donald Trump for his false claims about El Paso ahead of his trip their tonight.

Trump made the claim last week in his State of the Union Address when he said El Paso "used to have extremely high rates of violent crime - one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation's most unsafe cities".

O'Rourke, who became a Democratic star in 2018 during his unexpectedly close but unsuccessful bid for a U.S. Texas Senate seat, will make a speech lambasting Trump's plans for a border wall as Trump promotes his long-promised barrier at an event nearby.

"Tonight, the President will join the millions of Americans who understand that a southern border wall is essential to border security".

Trump's rally comes just four days before the possibility of another government shutdown.

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He concluded, "The president is lying to you to get his border wall".

On the other side of the debate, Trump's campaign put out a video highlighting the need for a wall and featuring El Paso residents. "Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities".

Women's March El Paso has organized a counter to Trump's visit. So far, O'Rourke has not made a decision. "El Paso was never one of the most risky cities in the U.S. We've had a fence for 10 years and it has impacted illegal immigration and curbed criminal activity".

Trump hasn't won many new supporters, either, particularly after last week, when during the State of the Union he falsely said, "The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime - one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation's most risky cities".

"These distortions about our vibrant community are harmful to our reputation and degrade our spirit", Escobar wrote.

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