Correction: An earlier version of this article included incorrect times for the president’s arrival in and departure from El Paso.
On the eve of President Donald Trump’s visit to El Paso, the sparks were already flying.
With the president planning to arrive in the Texas town Wednesday evening, he was involved in a social media clash with former Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, the El Paso native and Democratic presidential hopeful.
And the conflict was very, very public.
Trump is visiting El Paso in the wake of the Saturday mass shooting by a maniac that left a total of 22 people dead. Liberals wasted no time attempting to tie Trump and his supporters to the killing spree — the mainstream media has been filled with little else since the news broke Saturday.
(The mass killing in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday, by a man who apparently supported leftist causes and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the presidency, hasn’t gotten nearly the same attention.)
O’Rourke has been one of the most vocal of a vocal band of Democrats who have disgracefully attacked Trump for the killings.
On CNN on Monday, the former congressman called Trump a “white nationalist,” implicitly blaming him for the killing of Americans on American soil.
“He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism,” O’Rourke said. “He’s not tolerating violence. He’s inciting racism and violence in this country.”
In a tweet shortly before midnight Tuesday, Trump came out firing back.
“Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1 percent in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement – & be quiet!” he wrote on Twitter.
Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement – & be quiet!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
O’Rourke has stumbled badly in the early stages of the Democratic primary fight. He’s averaging 3 percent in the latest polls, according to RealClearPolitics.
Pretty clearly hoping to get some bounce out of his personal clash with the president, O’Rourke shot back on Twitter.
22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism. El Paso will not be quiet and neither will I. https://t.co/dakFPKj0vJ
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 7, 2019
O’Rourke and his handlers probably thought that made him sound manly, an El Paso native taking on the man in the Oval Office — and not, say, a callow politician trying to take advantage of a tragedy to boost his political prospects.
But the last time the two were in direct competition in El Paso, it didn’t go well for O’Rourke. In February, a Trump rally swamped an O’Rourke campaign event being held nearby.
Trump is scheduled to land at 1:45 p.m. local time (3:45 Eastern) and to leave at 4:20 p.m. (6:20 Eastern), according to the White House calendar.
How this plays out will likely determine whether O’Rourke is around for many more Democratic primary debates.
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