pcloudy.png
Saturday May 25th, 2019 5:11PM

Trump tries to turn border debate his way with El Paso rally

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is trying to turn the debate over a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border back to his political advantage as his signature pledge to American voters threatens to become a model of unfulfilled promises.

Trump will hold his first campaign rally since November's midterm elections in El Paso, Texas, on Monday as he faces a defining week for his push on the wall — and for his presidency and his 2020 prospects. Weakened by the disastrous government shutdown and facing a fresh deadline Friday, Trump is trying to convince people that that he'll continue to push to build his long-promised wall, even though there's no way it would be anywhere near complete by the time voters have to decide whether to give him another term.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers was negotiating ahead of Friday's deadline, but on Sunday people familiar with the talks said the mood among the bargainers had grown sour amid an impasse over migrant detention policies. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private talks.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said during news show appearances Sunday that another shutdown remained on the table, although he also said Trump probably would be willing to compromise over how much of the $5.7 billion for wall construction he's demanded would be allocated. "Someplace in the middle," Mulvaney said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Even Trump's full demand is a fraction of the money he needs to complete the barrier he wants. His vision for the wall already has been substantially scaled down since the 2016 campaign, when it was to be built of concrete and span the length of the border and be paid for by Mexico. Now, he's looking to build "steel slats" along much of the 1,900-mile stretch, relying on natural barriers for the rest. The amount of federal funding he's seeking would pay for fewer than 200 miles of new barrier.

The president, who feared a backlash from his most loyal supporters last year if he didn't use the last gasp of unified Republican control in Washington to fight for the wall, isn't expected to provoke another standoff with Congress. West Wing aides have acknowledged there is insufficient support among Republicans to sustain another shutdown fight.

Still, Trump has publicly dismissed the work of congressional negotiators as a "waste of time" and on Sunday said he thinks Democrats want a shutdown to turn attention from the economy and other positive news for his administration. Trump also continued to threaten to flex his executive powers by trying to unilaterally tap into existing federal dollars to build the wall through a declaration of a national emergency or another presidential action.

Any independent moves would face almost immediate legal challenges that even Trump's aides fear will be successful. Still, they reckon it will show Trump as determined to fight for the wall, and figure that voters will blame the courts and Congress rather the president.

For some supporters, that's not enough. California-based conservative leader Mark Meckler, who helped found the tea party movement, said Trump's base voters are done waiting for him to deliver on the wall. He warned that the president risks alienating his strongest supporters unless he "goes to war" with Democrats.

"A political crusade is not enough," Meckler said. "Politicians say stuff. He's either doing it or he's not doing it."

The border debate has also proven to be a drag on the president's support among Republican lawmakers, many of whom don't share the president's zeal for the wall. Last month Trump was forced to surrender the shutdown fight after senators in his party broke ranks amid the increasingly painful impacts of the stoppage. It coincided with mounting intraparty disagreements over the president's policies for Afghanistan and Syria that led to a striking rebuke of them earlier this month led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

For all of that, though, Trump advisers on the campaign and inside the White House insist, that fulfilled or not, the promise of a wall is a winning issue for Trump. The president has already sought to rewrite the "Build the Wall" chants that were a staple of his 2016 campaign to "Finish the Wall," and will use his rally in Texas to go in-depth on the issue, aides said.

Highlighting their differing view of the electorate, Democrats are likewise adamant that Trump's struggles for the wall are a political boon to them, believing their 2018 midterm election gains in the House proved that voters want to block Trump's agenda.

An AP-NORC poll conducted during last month's shutdown found that more Americans opposed than favored building a wall along the Mexican border, 49 percent to 36 percent. Eight in 10 Democrats opposed building the wall and only about 1 in 10 were in favor. Nearly 8 in 10 Republicans favored the wall, while only about 1 in 10 were opposed.

A Trump campaign adviser said the Trump team sees the El Paso rally as less about winning over voters ahead of the 2020 election and more an opportunity to reshape the debate around the wall. The campaign views the rally, which is to take place just a few hundred yards from El Paso's border fence, as an opportunity for Trump to make the case that border barriers work, said the adviser, who was not authorized to discuss campaign strategy by name and requested anonymity.

Trump has repeatedly exaggerated the impact of El Paso's fencing on the city's crime rate, as well as statistics about crime committed by people who have entered the U.S. illegally.

El Paso is home to one potential Democratic challenger to Trump, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 and maintains an army of small-dollar donors and a large social media following. The campaign adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking, insisted the venue had nothing to do with O'Rourke.

But there was nothing subtle about O'Rourke's response: He'll be joining a march though his hometown to protest a border wall at the same time as Trump's rally.

___

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Female acts, rap songs win big at the Grammy Awards
Women return and rap songs triumph at Grammy Awards; Childish Gambino makes history with 'This Is America'
1:56AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect due in federal court
A truck driver accused of killing 11 people and wounding seven during an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue in October is expected in court to be arraigned on additional charges
1:06AM ( 1 hour ago )
Possible impeachment could further upend Virginia politics
Virginia lawmakers face the unprecedented prospect of impeachment as they struggle to address revelations of past racist behavior and allegations of sexual assault in the highest levels of power
12:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution
Crowds of Iranians pour out onto Tehran streets, marking victory day in the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution
1:45AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Grammys fashion include sparkles, sequins and statement hats
Sparkly, studded and way relaxed: Grammys often out-there fashion kicks off in the rain
1:41AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Asian stocks rise ahead of new round of US-China trade talks
Chinese markets lead Asian stocks higher ahead of US-China trade talks
1:41AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Kacey Musgraves wins album of the year Grammy
The Latest: Kacey Musgraves win album of the year Grammy Award
11:44PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: 'This Is America' wins record of the year Grammy
The Latest: Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' wins record of the year Grammy Award
11:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Dua Lipa wins best new artist Grammy Award
The Latest: Dua Lipa wins best new artist Grammy Award, beating out Bebe Rexha, H.E.R. and other new acts
11:26PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: H.E.R. wins best R&B album Grammy Award
The Latest: H.E.R. wins best R&B album Grammy Award
10:54PM ( 3 hours ago )
Drake wins rap song Grammy, Childish Gambino makes history
Drake wins best rap song; Childish Gambino makes history with 'This is America'
10:47PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Diana Ross wows in Grammys performance
The Latest: Diana Ross, a few weeks shy of 75-years-old, delivers stunning performance at Grammys
10:23PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
El Paso bristles at Trump's claim that wall made city safe
In his State of the Union, President Donald Trump said a 'powerful barrier' had cut crime rates and turned El Paso from one of the nation's most dangerous cities to one of its safest
9:49PM ( 4 hours ago )
Gaga, Carlile, Musgraves and Gambino win 3 Grammys each
Grammy Awards kick off with powerful women; Gaga, Carlile, Musgraves and Gambino win 3 awards each
9:44PM ( 4 hours ago )
Lady Gaga wins 3 Grammys, Michelle Obama makes appearance
Grammys kicked off with powerful women describing role of music
9:13PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
The Latest: Kacey Musgraves wins best country album Grammy
The Latest: Kacey Musgraves' 'Golden Hour' wins best country album Grammy Award
9:43PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: 'This Is America' wins song of the year Grammy
The Latest: 'This Is America' wins song of the year Grammy Award for Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino
8:56PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Brandi Carlile heading into Grammys with 3 wins
The Latest: Brandi Carlile heading into Grammys with 3 wins; delivers moving acceptance speech during pre-telecast awards ceremony
7:53PM ( 6 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Warren takes on Trump, says he may not be 'free' in 2020
Democrat Elizabeth Warren is taking aim at President Donald Trump, saying he "may not even be a free person" by next year's election
5:30PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: 'Weird Al' Yankovic reflects on 5th Grammy win
The Latest: 'Weird Al' Yankovic reflects on 5th Grammy win, which he calls a standout moment from his career
5:27PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: Jimmy Carter wins best spoken word album Grammy
The Latest: Former president Jimmy Carter wins a Grammy Award for spoken word album for his work 'Faith _ A Journey for All'
5:00PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Shutdown deadline looms as wall negotiations hit a snag
The White House is not ruling out another government shutdown as negotiations over funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall stall
12:02PM ( 14 hours ago )
Virginia lieutenant governor resists calls to step down
Lawyers for both women who have accused Virginia's lieutenant governor of sexual assault say they are willing to testify
10:50AM ( 15 hours ago )
Where are Stoneman Douglas students, parents, officials now?
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 dead pushed students, parents, officials and others into the national limelight, something most never sought
10:33AM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Liberals eye 2020 takeover of Wisconsin Supreme Court
Liberals are optimistic about taking over majority control of Wisconsin's Supreme Court, with a critical election two months away that will serve as both a barometer of the state's political mood heading into the 2020 presidential contest
10:50AM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: Algeria's ailing leader affirms run for 5th term
Algeria's ailing president has announced that he will seek a fifth five-year term in April's election in the gas-rich North African nation
10:05AM ( 16 hours ago )
The Latest: Minn. Sen. Amy Klobuchar set to join 2020 race
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is set to join the 2020 presidential race and would become the most prominent Midwestern candidate as her party tries to win back voters in a region that helped put Donald Trump in the White House.
9:45AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Elections
Booker urges activists, leaders to heed social justice call
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker takes his call for social justice to Iowa, where he is visiting with African-American leaders
11:31PM ( 2 days ago )
Booker taking 2020 campaign, social-justice message to Iowa
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is taking his call for social justice to Iowa, where he is visiting with African-American leaders
6:34PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Booker stresses social justice in Iowa stop
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is taking his call for social justice to Iowa, where he was visiting with African-American leaders on his first trip to the early 2020 caucus state as a Democratic presidential candidate
3:06PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Female acts, rap songs win big at the Grammy Awards
Women return and rap songs triumph at Grammy Awards; Childish Gambino makes history with 'This Is America'
1:56AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect due in federal court
A truck driver accused of killing 11 people and wounding seven during an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue in October is expected in court to be arraigned on additional charges
1:06AM ( 1 hour ago )
Possible impeachment could further upend Virginia politics
Virginia lawmakers face the unprecedented prospect of impeachment as they struggle to address revelations of past racist behavior and allegations of sexual assault in the highest levels of power
12:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
Some Washington sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
Sheriffs in a dozen Washington counties say they won't enforce the state's sweeping new restrictions on semi-automatic rifles until the courts decide whether they are constitutional.
12:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
Drake wins rap song Grammy, Childish Gambino makes history
Drake wins best rap song; Childish Gambino makes history with 'This is America'
10:47PM ( 3 hours ago )