President Trump, O'Rourke held competing rallies in El Paso over border wall

EL PASO, Tx. (AP / NBC News) - President Donald Trump and former Congressman Beto O'Rourke are holding competing rallies in El Paso, Texas over the much-debated U.S./Mexico border wall.

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / MSNBC / Ron Reiring / CC BY-SA 2.0 / MGN

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The Latest on President Donald Trump and Beto O'Rourke in Texas (all times local):

8:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump's rally in El Paso, Texas, to push for his border wall took a strange twist when he began to talk about dogs.

Trump said he's impressed by German shepherds and their ability to sniff out illicit drugs, but doesn't see himself getting a dog while at the White House.

Trump said he wouldn't mind having a dog, but he doesn't have the time.

He asked the crowd, "How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?" The crowd laughed loudly in response.

He then shook off the thought, saying, "It feels a little phony to me."

He noted that some people have told him it would be good politically to have a dog. He ended up not buying that one though, saying, "That's not the relationship I have with my people."

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8:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump said that the partial government shutdown showed the country, politicians, and the world what is happening at the border.

Trump told thousands at a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday that he was told lawmakers are making progress in their bids to avert another shutdown. But, he said 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 said, "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."

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8 p.m.

President Donald Trump has ripped a proposal that some Democrats have embraced to curb global warming, claiming that it would shut down American energy and air travel.

Trump said the so-called Green New Deal sounds like a high school term paper that got a low mark.

He claimed the plan would cost $100 trillion, but no other country would follow suit. He said American companies would end up moving to China.

He said, "That's the way the system works," but adds, "Don't worry, it's not going to happen."

The nonbinding resolution outlined ambitious plans to cut all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero over 10 years while instituting massive investments in wind and solar production, energy-efficient buildings and high-speed rail.

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7:55 p.m.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke told a hometown El Paso 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."

Police did not give official estimates on O'Rourke's crowd size, but it appeared to exceed 5,000, in contrast to Trump's estimate of a few hundred.

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7:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump has boasted about the size of the crowd attending his rally in El Paso, Texas, versus that for former Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

Both are speaking in El Paso. Thousands attended O'Rourke's event, but Trump estimated the crowd at 200 or 300 people. He claimed: "That may be the end of his presidential bid."

Trump said O'Rourke has little going for himself and noted that he lost a Senate race to Republican Ted Cruz. The president did credit him for having a "great first name."

The ex-congressman is still deciding on a presidential run. But treating the political world to 2020's first dueling rallies may indicate O'Rourke is ready to join the race.

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7:30 p.m.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke said El Paso, Texas, is "one of the safest cities in America - safe not because of walls but in spite of walls."

O'Rourke headlined a protest Monday night across the street from an arena in which President Donald Trump was promoting his long-promised border wall between the United States and Mexico.

The former congressman, who is considering a presidential run in 2020, said, "We are making a stand for the truth."

He said, "Walls do not save lives, walls end lives," citing the danger to asylum seekers who are rejected by the U.S.

Protesters are chanting "Beto!" during breaks in O'Rourke's speech.

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7:15 p.m.

Donald Trump Jr. told the crowd in Texas that Democratic lawmakers are fighting more for immigrants in the U.S. illegally than they are for the American people.

Trump Jr. spoke Monday night shortly before his father was due to address the crowd in El Paso.

He said he loves seeing young conservatives at the rally. He told them "to keep up that fight, bring it to your schools. You don't have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth."

Trump Jr. also spoke about those attending the rally of Democrat Beto O'Rourke, who is marching with thousands of protesters decrying the border wall that the president is in town to promote.

Trump Jr. said that if the protesters chanted "USA" at the O'Rourke rally, "I don't know what would happen to you, but it wouldn't be good."

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6:55 p.m.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said that when it comes to immigration, Texans understand something very simple: "It is time to build the wall."

Cruz warmed up a crowd in El Paso on Monday night before President Donald Trump was due to speak. At the same time, Cruz's 2018 Democratic opponent, Beto O'Rourke, marched with thousands of protesters to decry the border wall Trump was in town to promote. O'Rourke is considering a 2020 presidential run.

Cruz said the goal is to "stop the human traffickers, stop the drug traffickers and build the wall."

Cruz also said Texans welcome legal immigrants, but that they need to "stand in line" and "follow the rules." The crowd roared in agreement.

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6:10 p.m.

Beto O'Rourke is marching with thousands of protesters through the streets of El Paso, Texas, decrying a border wall that President Donald Trump is in town to promote.

Wearing a black fleece pullover and stopping every few steps to hug supporters, O'Rourke is among a group walking close to the U.S.-Mexico border and along the city's existing border fence.

The group is heading to a venue across a small side street from the arena where Trump is holding his own a rally.

O'Rourke told the crowd, "You make El Paso proud and you make the country proud."

Protesters chanted "No wall!" and "Viva Beto!" as they proceeded.



 
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