Former Texas Congressman and potential presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke challenged President Donald Trump during their dueling rallies in Texas on Monday and slammed the Republican for his border wall calls on a stage just a few miles away from Trump's rally in El Paso.
O'Rourke, in his most direct attack at the president, said: "With the eyes of the country upon us, all of us together are going to make our stand, here in one of the safest cities in the United States of America — safe not because of walls, but in spite of walls. We treat each other with dignity and respect. That is the way we make our community and our country safe."
The former Congressman's address tested his potential run for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination and the opportunity to take on Trump in a general election. As the Democrat weighs on entering the list of multiple candidates already running for Democratic nomination, Monday's event appeared to be a test of the Texan's ability to confront Trump with a national audience.
Reports state that O'Rourke's event was so close to Trump's rally that the attendees could hear the president's "God Bless America" blaring over the nearby loudspeakers. The president, during his rally, also referred to the former Texas congressman as he called him "a young man who has got very little going for himself except he's got a great first name," according to CNN. The Republican also mocked O'Rourke's recent Senate loss in Texas, saying that he had just "lost an election to Ted Cruz," adding that O'Rourke is "supposed to win in order to run."
The former congressman, however, has not announced his presidential run yet and has said that he will make up his mind about the presidential election by the end of the month. Although he referred to the president multiple times during his Monday event, he never used Trump's name. O'Rourke, while addressing the crowd, said: "We stand against national security declarations that allow the President to subvert an equal branch of government."
"Walls do not save lives. Walls end lives," he said. "We stand for America and we stand against walls," he said. "We know there is no bargain in which we can sacrifice some of our humanity to gain a little more security."