“That’s for the pussy grabbing!”
A video has emerged of Beto O’Rourke supporters taking turns beating an effigy of President Donald Trump at a Monday rally by the Democratic politician.
The theme of the campaign-style speech, staged at a baseball diamond in El Paso, Texas, was supposed to be one of hope and togetherness. O’Rourke, who is widely expected to run for president, spoke out against Trump’s plans for a wall, and touted his border city as a symbol of peaceful coexistence.
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“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,” O’Rourke said. “Secure because we treat each other with dignity and respect.”
But the crowd wasn’t completely on board with the message. As MGMT’s feel-good hit “Time to Pretend” blared from loudspeakers, O’Rourke fans mock-lynched the president. A Trump doll was hung from a rope while people beat it with a bat. Bystanders cheered and snapped photos.
“That’s for the pussy grabbing!” a woman with a scarf and sunglasses over her face screamed as she whaled away, apparently enraged by an old video of the president talking about the practice. “Pussy grabber!”
As a young boy stepped up to bat, a man could be heard shouting: “End hatred! End racism!”
In circulating the video on Tuesday, conservatives mocked the disconnect between O’Rourke’s message and the behavior of some of his supporters. “Remember when Beto said walls cause violence and death?” the Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson tweeted.
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Meanwhile, many liberals and much of the press were focused Tuesday on an incident at a nearby Trump rally in which a man pushed a BBC cameraman.
O’Rourke’s 20-minute address was timed to coincide with one by Trump across the street, and he sought to present himself as a compassionate political foil to the president and his hardline stance on immigration.
“Walls do not save lives. Walls end lives,” O’Rourke told his cheering audience. “We are making a stance for the truth, against lies, against hate, against ignorance, against intolerance.”
The assembled Democrats repeatedly broke out in chants of “Beto, Beto, Beto” and “Beto 2020.”
At the competing Trump rally, several hundred feet away, the president rallied a capacity crowd in the El Paso County Coliseum. He was flanked by two huge signs that read: “Build the Wall.”
Trump dismissed O’Rourke as “a young man who’s got very little going for himself except a great first name,” and called him out for losing his Senate bid against Republican Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterms.
“You’re supposed to win in order to run,” Trump said.
At one point, Trump referenced news that lawmakers had reached a tentative agreement on border security that would prevent another government shutdown. But he assured supporters: “Just so you know, we’re building the wall anyway.”
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