President Donald Trump ridiculed potential 2020 rival Beto O’Rourke, the ‘green new deal,’ and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at his first campaign rally of the new year.
Speaking to a packed stadium that holds about 8,000 in El Paso, Trump referred to the former south Texas Democrat as a ‘young man’ and mocked the size of his counter-protest.
Trump took on O’Rourke, who held a march and counter-rally just miles from where Trump spoke to thousands of his supporters.
The president called him ‘a young man who’s got very little going for himself, except he’s got a great first name.’
Trump also mocked O’Rourke’s claim to fame – he lost a Senate race against Sen. Ted Cruz, although he kept the margin close in a normally red state.
‘But he suffered a great defeat!’ Trump told the crowd using obvious sarcasm.
O’Rourke didn’t mention presidential politics in his remarks, but he took plenty of shots at Trump’s immigration policies and made his feelings clear on the president’s border barrier.
‘We stand for America and we stand against walls,’ he said.
O’Rourke, who has said he’ll make a decision on a 2020 bid by the end of the month, did implore his supporters to make sure ‘our leaders reflect our values and who we are.’
Trump, speaking on a stage flanked by two large red ‘Finish the Wall’ signs, made it clear why he came to the border.
‘A wall is a very good thing, not a bad thing,’ he told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in an interview after his rally. ‘It’s a moral thing, to put it in the opposite terms. We don’t even say build the wall anymore. We say finish the wall because we built a lot and we are renovating a tremendous amount of stuff that was really in bad shape but it had good structure. So we are saying finish the wall. Walls are very important.’
In freewheeling remarks at his rally, Trump also trashed the ‘green new deal,’ but didn’t single out its most prominent backer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – although he bashed Democrats generally.
‘It sounds like a high school term paper that got a low mark,’ Trump said.
‘It would shut down American energy, which I don’t think the people in Texas are going to be happy with,’ the president continued.
‘It would shut down a little thing called air travel. How do you take a train to Europe?’ Trump said, mocking the plan’s goal of making air travel obsolete in a matter of years.
‘They want to take away your car, reduce the value of your home, and put millions of Americans out of work,’ Trump said.
Trump updated his 2018 campaign-attack on Democrats, when he called them the party of crime and open borders.
‘They’re becoming the party of socialism, late term abortion, open borders and crime,’ Trump said.
Then he took on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who during a widely-panned press conference responding to the blackface photo in his medical school yearbook allowed that he had once applied shoe polish to his face while portraying Michael Jackson.
‘He almost moonwalked. His wife stopped him,’ Trump said, to laughs, referring the moment when Northam turned to his wife when a reporter asked him if he could still do the ‘moonwalk.’
‘This would not have been a good scene. His wife saved him. Darling this would be inappropriate. I think she was right,’ Trump said.
The president also mentioned a possible breakthrough on budget talks including his beloved border wall, but indicated he was more interested in the rally.
‘They say that progress is being made with this committee,’ Trump said, acknowledging the news that broke shortly before he landed in south Texas.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill reached a tentative agreement on border security that would prevent a government shutdown if the president signs it.
The proposal, which the White House still must agree to, calls for $1.375 billion for physical barriers at the southwestern border – enhanced fencing measures – but no where close to the $5.7 billion Trump demanded to build his border wall.
SOURCE: Daily Mail