White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s attempts to defend President Joe Biden for not visiting the U.S.-Mexico border are reminiscent of Vice President Kamala Harris’ own attempts earlier this year to dismiss concerns that the administration had not seen first-hand the crisis at the border.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy questioned Psaki on Friday about whether Biden had ever been to the border – which he claimed during a Thursday night CNN town hall that he had visited before.
“Why did President Biden say he has been to the border,” Doocy asked Psaki.
“As you may have seen, there has been reporting that he did drive through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008,” Psaki replied, according to The Daily Wire. “And he is certainly familiar with the fact, and it stuck with him, the fact that in El Paso, the border goes right through the center of town.”
“But, the most important thing everyone should know and understand is that the president has worked on these issues throughout his entire career and is well-versed in every aspect of our immigration system, including the border – that includes when he was Vice President,” Psaki added.
Biden said during the Thursday even with CNN that he should visit the U.S.-Mexico border, but claimed he hasn’t had time to go, even though he has had time to visit his Rehoboth Beach house numerous times while president.
“I’ve been there before, and I haven’t — I mean, I know it well,” Biden said, according to The Daily Wire. “I guess I should go down. But the — but the whole point of it is: I haven’t had a whole hell of lot of time to get down. I’ve been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion worth of damage done by — by hurricanes and floods and — and weather, and traveling around the world.”
“But I plan on — now, my wife, Jill, has been down. She’s been on both sides of the river,” he said. “She’s seen the circumstances there. She’s looked into those places. You notice you’re not seeing a lot of pictures of kids lying on top of one another with — you know, with — with bla- — with, you know, looks like tarps on top of them.”
Psaki said during the press conference on Friday that Biden “does not need a visit to the border to know what a mess was left by the last administration. That’s his view.”
On Twitter, users noted that Biden can’t blame former President Donald Trump for the current border crisis. One user included a chart showing border encounters by month per year, with 2021 encounters soaring after Biden took office in January.
The Biden administration’s attempts to deflect from the fact that Biden has not visited the border are reminiscent of Harris’ own attempts to defend herself from not visiting the border. In June, NBC News’ Lester Holt asked Harris if she had plans to visit the border, leading to the following exchange:
“At some point, you know, we are going to the border, we’ve been to the border,” Harris claimed. “So this whole, this whole, this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.”
“You haven’t been to the border,” Holt responded.
“And I haven’t been to Europe,” Harris responded.
A couple weeks later, Harris snapped at Fox News’ Doocy when he questioned why she scheduled her first trip to the border right after Trump announced he was going to the border.
“It’s not my first trip, I’ve been to the border many times,” Harris snapped, referencing trips she took as a senator before the current crisis erupted.
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