Beto O’Rourke’s rally in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, on Monday night was the first truly public appearance that the former congressman has made since he failed to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in November.
Though he didn’t make such an announcement on Monday night, there’s long been speculation that O’Rourke is going to try to unseat President Donald Trump in the 2020 race. In a crowded Democratic field, he would be something of an outsider; he’s never even held a Senate seat, and the press can’t stop writing about the young star.
When asked about his plans, O’Rourke said he would make a decision “before the end of this month.”
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— The Hill (@thehill) February 12, 2019
Trump was also in El Paso on Monday night where he held a rally nearby only a few hours after O’Rourke’s event, which was sponsored by the local branch of the Women’s March.
During his rally, the president took a few opportunities to criticize O’Rourke, calling the 46-year-old a “young man who’s got very little going for himself, except he’s got a good first name.”
As is his form at this point, Trump took the opportunity to spit out a few lies about El Paso and the crowd. At one point, he claimed that the El Paso Fire Department packed 10,000 people into an arena with a capacity of 8,000. The fire department says that’s not true. At another point, he told his crowd that his wall began construction that morning. Instead, the wall was already there and is only being replaced.
The possibility that O’Rourke could challenge him in 2020 wasn’t lost on Trump, either. The president took a shot at the size of the former congressman’s crowd before saying “that may be the end of his presidential bid,” as IJR Blue reported.
Instead, the numbers for the crowd sizes seem to fluctuate depending on who you ask, but we can be sure that both men drew thousands of supporters.