Former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) said on Friday evening in Wisconsin that “hatred” and “racism” have defined Donald Trump’s presidency.
Speaking to political science students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, O’Rourke told the Badgers that President Trump came to the border in El Paso, Texas, this week to “stoke the anxiety and the paranoia and the fear and the hatred and the racism that has defined his campaigns and his presidency.”
O’Rourke, who headlined an anti-wall rally across the street from Trump, added that protesters, knowing that the “eyes of the nation” were on them, met what Trump has “projected at the border” and “his fear and his lies with this profoundly powerful display” of their values.
O’Rourke then claimed that “immigrants and asylum seekers” are actually part of what make the country “secure and safe.”
As he ponders a presidential bid—O’Rourke has reportedly been discussing with potential strategists and operatives what a potential presidential campaign would look like—the former Congressman who did not really stand for much before has amped up his anti-wall rhetoric.
He told Oprah Winfrey in a recent interview that Trump’s border wall is a “racist response to a problem we don’t have.” And this week, he went even further to the left on immigration, saying he wants the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, actually torn down.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked O’Rourke: “If you could, would you take the wall down here now?”
O’Rourke responded: “Yes, absolutely, I would take the wall down.”