During Texas visit to tout border wall, Trump takes swipe at Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke answers questions on is future plans Friday at Paso Del Norte international bridge. Rudy Gutierrez, El Paso Times
AUSTIN — After arriving in McAllen, Texas on Thursday for a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump deviated from his stated mission of promoting construction of the border wall to take a swipe at Democrat Beto O'Rourke.
O'Rourke, who came within three points of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz during the midterm election, has been at the center of conversations about Democrat's presidential ticket in 2020. He has not announced plans to run.
In opening remarks before a round-table discussion on border security, Trump congratulated Cruz on his re-election before taking aim at his opponent and his 2020 buzz.
“Now he lost and he wants to run for president and I said I thought you had to win to run for president," Trump said, according to the pool report. He did not mention O'Rourke by name.
Trump came to Texas to campaign on Cruz's behalf during the election, speaking at an event in Houston alongside Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials.
Thursday was not the first time he took aim at O'Rourke.
After a televised debate between Cruz and O'Rourke in October, Trump called him a "flake" and said he would undo progress Cruz made while in office, writing on Twitter that O'Rourke "would blow it all!"
Madlin Mekelburg is a reporter with the USA Today Network Austin Bureau; she may be reached at 512-479-6606; firstname.lastname@example.org; @madlinbmek on Twitter.