This Texas border city of 684,000 residents was rocked Monday with dueling political rallies, as a campaign event by President Donald Trump was met with counter protests led by former Democratic congressman and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, widely believed to be a potential contender against Trump in next year’s presidential election.
Across the city, pro-Trump backers voiced their support for the president, especially in his steadfast effort to erect a border wall along the southwest border with Mexico. A campaign rally at the El Paso County Coliseum drew several thousand supporters.
Trump took a jab at his El Paso rival, calling O’Rourke “a young man who has very little going for himself except he has a great first name.” His speech was interrupted repeatedly by anti-Trump protestors in the crowd.
“Where do these people come from?” Trump said, widening his arms.
A mile away, several thousand protestors shouldered a windy, cold evening to hold a counter-rally. Protestors held signs that read “Immigrants Make America Great” and “BETO 2020,” while mariachi music rang out.
O’Rourke delivered a speech in both English and Spanish, denouncing Trump’s policies and harsh rhetoric on immigration.
“We, together, are making a stand for the truth against lies and hate and intolerance,” he told the cheering crowd. “We are going to show the country who we are.”