O’Rourke says Trump stoking paranoia about immigrant caravan

FILE - This combination of Sept. 21, 2018, file photos show Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, left, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, right, during their first Senate debate in Dallas. With Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. already visiting Texas and the president himself coming on Monday, Oct. 22, Cruz is convening a veritable parade of Republican powerbrokers to ensure O’Rourke doesn't upset him. O’Rourke is countering with the opposite, blowing off top Democratic brass for celebrity-style cool he hopes transcends politics. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke says “there’s a lot of paranoia and fear” about a caravan of Central Americans walking toward the Mexico-U.S. border, and blamed the Trump administration for stoking those with Election Day looming.

The Democratic congressman told reporters in Austin on Wednesday, “It may not be an accident that we’re 13 days” from the Nov. 6 election. He said concerns about the caravan have come from “an administration that’s trying to make us scared of one another.”

The caravan is in southern Mexico, far from the U.S. border. But O’Rourke’s opponent, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has called it a “serious threat” and suggested deploying the National Guard.

At a separate Austin stop, O’Rourke said of his opponent’s assessment, “I just don’t buy into the rhetoric.”

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