What America needed on a Monday night in mid-February was a pair of dueling rallies.
Because why not? There’s not another election until next November, but we’ve got a showdown over the border wall and we’ve got Betomania going on.
Amid that backdrop were two large gatherings down in El Paso, Texas. The first was President Donald Trump’s “Finish the Wall” rally in the El Paso Coliseum. The second was a counter-rally by former Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, who really ought to just officially change his name to “Potential Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke.”
“In the first dueling rallies of the 2020 campaign season, Trump’s ‘Finish the Wall’ rally in El Paso went head-to-head against counterprogramming by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a former Democratic congressman and potential Trump rival in 2020, who argued that walls cause more problems than they solve,” The Associated Press reported.
“The rallies across the street from each other served as a preview of the heated yearslong fight over the direction of the country that has now begun in earnest. And they made clear that Trump’s long-promised border wall is sure to play an outsized role in the presidential race, as both sides use it to try to rally their supporters and highlight their contrasting approaches.”
There’s a pretty big contrast in the level of energy the rallies were able to corral.
The best indication of the difference between the two rallies might be summed up by this one clip.
As you can see, the sound from Trump’s rally can be heard over O’Rourke’s:
President Trump’s rally is so high energy that it puts Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s tiny rally to a pause 🤣🔥 pic.twitter.com/zAhKq3th6m
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) February 12, 2019
Well, that’s what happens when you host something right across the street from a bunch of people who want the wall to be finished.
At his rally, Trump belittled the size of the O’Rourke gathering.
“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,” Trump said during the rally, according to The Hill.
“Not too good. In fact what I would do, that may be the end of his presidential bid.”
He later put the number even lower.
“They will say Beto O’Rourke – that’s his last name, right, O’Rourke? – had a wonderful rally of about 15 people,” Trump said.
That’s obviously a bit small. According to Bloomberg, El Paso police put it at between 10,000 to 15,000.
Trump’s rally, meanwhile, was limited by the size of the El Paso Coliseum, which holds about 11,000 people. However, there seemed to be more out there than that.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 12, 2019
As for Beto’s content, he basically said that “walls don’t save lives,” according to NBC.
Well, this was the message that he tried back during his 2018 race to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz. It didn’t work then. It’s not going to work in 2020, particularly if he’s going to be the nominee.
And who knows? Maybe he will be. God knows President Trump wouldn’t mind that.
However, the idea that this is what the Democrats can ride to victory in 2020 is patently ridiculous. Just look at the reaction on Monday.