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O'Rourke to headline counter-Trump rally at border
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) will headline a rally on Monday in El Paso at the same time that President Trump is set to hold a rally there.
O'Rourke will join rally-goers in El Paso to "show the country the reality of the border," according to a statement released by his office Friday.
"Beto O'Rourke will join with his city on Monday evening to show the country the reality of the border -- a vibrant, safe, binational community that proudly celebrates its culture, history, diversity and status as a city of immigrants," the statement said.
"While some try to stoke fear and paranoia, to spread lies and a false narrative about the U.S.-Mexico border and to demand a 2,000 mile wall along it at a time of record safety and security, El Paso will come together for a march and celebration that highlights the truth," the statement continues.
O'Rourke, who is reportedly mulling a 2020 run for the White House, is a native of El Paso and outspoken Trump critic. He previously represented the district that encompasses the city.
Trump's trip to El Paso will mark his first rally of the 2020 campaign cycle as he continues his push for a wall along the southern border.
The president has repeatedly held up the border city as an example solidifying his argument for a wall's effectiveness. Trump has cited El Paso crime statistics that he claims represent a drop in violent crimes since the wall was constructed.
O'Rourke, in an interview with The Washington Post this week, condemned Trump's characterization of El Paso.
"Some people have used code words, some have come at it obliquely. He just full on, in the most racist terms, completely divorced from the truth or facts or reality or our experience here in El Paso, uses this to incite fear and paranoia and turn that to political gain," O'Rourke told the Post, referring to Trump.
O'Rourke sparked 2020 speculation after his Senate campaign last year to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) electrified small, individual donors and brought him within three points of winning the typically solidly red Lone Star State.