President Donald Trump and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke both hosted rallies in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night. The president tried to demean the Democrat’s gathering by falsely stating the rally has only had a few hundred people when, in reality, O’Rourke drew in thousands.
“We were all challenged by a young man who lost an election to Ted Cruz,” Trump said at his rally, refusing to mention O’Rourke by name, calling him “a young man who’s got very little going for himself.”
“He challenged us,” Trump continued. “So we have, let’s say, 35,000 people tonight, and he has 200 people, 300 people, not too good. In fact, what I would do is I would say that may be the end of his presidential bid.”
Watch the video below:
President Trump says Beto O’Rourke’s march only had “200 people, 300 people — not too good.”
But a reporter on the ground is citing law enforcement saying O'Rourke's crowd is in the thousands. Watch live here, courtesy of @KTSMtv: https://t.co/kIgFHZzX1fhttps://t.co/AdiwedEPu7 pic.twitter.com/RjzK3YgGjg
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) February 12, 2019
O’Rourke has not announced a 2020 presidential campaign, and it is unclear if he ever will, but the president definitely took the counter-rally as a threat.
How many people actually attended both rallies is still up for debate. One Bloomberg reporter estimated between 10,000 and 15,000 people attended O’Rourke’s event. A Wall Street Journal reporter confirmed that number with the El Paso Fire Department.
According to NPR, the stadium where Trump held his rally reached full capacity at about 6,500 people. Local law enforcement estimated another 10,000 to 12,000 people watched the rally in overflow areas outside.
Despite those numbers, the Trump team still inflated its own and highly underestimated O’Rourke’s. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out a picture of the overflow crowd, captioning the photo, “Beto trying to counter-program @realdonaldtrump in his hometown and only drawing a few hundred people to Trump’s 35,000 is a really bad look.”
The president shared the tweet on his account.
Beto trying to counter-program @realdonaldtrump in his hometown and only drawing a few hundred people to Trump’s 35,000 is a really bad look.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 12, 2019
Trump’s crowd-size jab Monday night is reminiscent of a similar one he made when he first became president. Trump boasted that he brought in a larger crowd to his inauguration than former President Barack Obama ever did.
According to Vox, experts believe Trump drew about a third of the number of people than Obama did at his historic 2009 inauguration.