NBC Giddy Over Beto’s Trump Protest: ‘Going to Be Quite the Split Screen’

On Monday, NBC’s Today show was excited by the prospect of Democrat “rising star” Beto O’Rourke holding a “counter-rally” to President Trump’s upcoming visit to the border in El Paso, Texas. As she promoted the former congressman and failed Senate candidate’s protest event, reporter Kristen Welker declared that it was “going to be quite a split screen.”

“Well, this is President Trump’s first campaign-style rally of the new year. He’s going to be making a hard sell for his border wall,” Welker announced at the top of her report live from the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso. However, she claimed there was “a bit of a cloud looming over it” following the President’s argument in the State of the Union that a fence along the border in the Texas city helped reduce crime: “Well, the fact checkers pounced, and in reality, crime actually decreased in the years leading up to when this fencing was built in about 2008 to 2009.”

 

 

Eager to boost the potential 2020 candidacy of O’Rourke, co-host Hoda Kotb teed up Welker: “And Kristen, the President isn’t the only one having a big event. One of his 2020 challengers is supposed to be there as well, right?” In response, the White House Correspondent gushed: “It’s going to be quite a split screen, Hoda, there’s no doubt about that.”

Explaining that the Democrat would be “holding a counter-rally” just “about a mile away and about the same time,” Welker reminded viewers: “Remember, he’s the former congressman who failed in his bid to take on Senator Ted Cruz, but he became a rising star in the Democratic Party.”

The reporter even touted the message of O’Rourke’s rally: “It’s gonna start with a march. The theme of the march is going to be ‘Stop the lies, stop the wall, and celebrate El Paso.’” Welker concluded: “So you’re gonna have two very different events, two different messages, and potentially a preview of what we could see in 2020.”

ABC’s Good Morning America also highlighted the O’Rourke event while previewing the President’s visit. Correspondent Mary Bruce announced: “And just while the President is speaking in El Paso, one of his potential 2020 rivals will also be speaking out in the city, former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke will be rallying his supporters and making his case against the President’s wall.”

Only CBS This Morning refrained from advertising the potential Democratic contender’s political stunt.

Here are excerpts of Welker’s February 11 report on the Today show:

7:07 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: The next government shutdown is potentially days away, and talks over border security have apparently broken down again. This as the President takes his push for a wall directly to the border today. We’ve got two reports this morning. We’ll start with NBC’s White House Correspondent Kristen Welker, she’s in El Paso, Texas. And Kristen, give us a sense of what the President is hoping to achieve today.

KRISTEN WELKER: Hi Savannah, good morning. Well, this is President Trump’s first campaign-style rally of the new year. He’s going to be making a hard sell for his border wall. The focus is going to be the fencing here in El Paso, about 16 feet high, it stretches about 40 miles long. And this event, Savannah and Hoda, is coming at a critical moment.

(...)

WELKER: His visit, though, does come with a bit of a cloud looming over it because of something that he said about this fencing here in El Paso during the State of the Union address. He said that the fencing made El Paso safer. Well, the fact checkers pounced, and in reality, crime actually decreased in the years leading up to when this fencing was built in about 2008 to 2009. Still, expect it to be front and center tonight for President Trump, Savannah and Hoda.

HODA KOTB: And Kristen, the President isn’t the only one having a big event. One of his 2020 challengers is supposed to be there as well, right?

WELKER: It’s going to be quite a split screen, Hoda, there’s no doubt about that. Beto O’Rourke, who is mulling a potential 2020 bid, is going to be holding a counter-rally here tonight, about a mile away and about the same time. Remember, he’s the former congressman who failed in his bid to take on Senator Ted Cruz, but he became a rising star in the Democratic Party.

So tonight, he’s gonna be holding an event. It’s gonna start with a march. The theme of the march is going to be “Stop the lies, stop the wall, and celebrate El Paso.” So you’re gonna have two very different events, two different messages, and potentially a preview of what we could see in 2020. Hoda and Savannah?

KOTB: Alright, Kristen Welker at the border there. Kristen, thank you.  

GUTHRIE: Alright, that segue brings us right to 2020 and the field of potential Democratic challengers. Well, it’s getting more crowded by the day. NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson is on that part of the story. Hi, Hallie, good morning.

HALLIE JACKSON: Hey, Savannah, good morning to you. You know, that Beto O’Rourke Texas event we were just talking about is prompting speculation he might end up getting into the 2020 mix.

(...)

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Immigration Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats NBC Today Video Kristen Welker Beto O'Rourke Donald Trump

Sponsored Links