Joe Biden has an extended historical past of misspeaking. But on the politically delicate concern of the Southern U.S. border, his vp, Kamala Harris, has brought about the administration much more complications with gaffes and missteps than Biden has. Until now.
During a CNN city corridor on Thursday, Biden was requested if he has plans to go to the Southern border throughout his presidency. He responded that he is been there earlier than and he is aware of it effectively.
“I mean, I know it well. I guess I should go down. But the whole point of it is I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down,” the president mentioned.
Biden added that his spouse, Dr. Jill Biden, has traveled to either side of the river and seen the circumstances.
Biden’s declare that he had visited the border left the White House scrambling on a difficulty that has damage the administration on either side of the political divide. Conservatives criticize Biden for failing to be extra aggressive in pushing again migrants and progressives are livid that he has but to rollback a few of Donald Trump’s powerful enforcement insurance policies.
When requested in regards to the border go to, the White House might solely cite a second when Biden drove alongside the boundary throughout a automobile experience from an airport in El Paso greater than a decade in the past.
“He did drive through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008. And he is certainly familiar with the fact—and it stuck with him—with the fact that in El Paso, the border goes right through the center of town,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki advised reporters Friday.
The Washington Post reported that Biden’s 2008 concerned a route “that for a few minutes hugs the border.”
Psaki went on the offensive, saying that the President “does not believe a photo op is the same as solutions,” and that though former President Donald Trump visited the Southern border he didn’t make a constructive influence on immigration.
There had been different holes in Biden’s story. The First Lady final visited the border in December 2019 in the course of the presidential marketing campaign, in response to CNN. And Biden mentioned he did not have time to go to the border as a result of he was touring around the globe. In reality, he had solely made one worldwide journey.
Biden stirred controversy months after Harris was criticized, principally by Republicans, for by no means touring to the U.S.-Mexico border regardless of main efforts to curb migration.
In an interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Harris mentioned that she plans to go to the border and repeated, “we’ve been to the border.”
“You haven’t been to the border,” Holt replied.
“And I haven’t been to Europe, Harris said. “And I imply, I do not perceive the purpose that you simply’re making. I’m not discounting the significance of the border.”
“I mentioned again in March I used to be gonna come to the border, so this isn’t a brand new plan, however the actuality of it’s that we’ve to take care of causes and we’ve to take care of the consequences,” she told reporters at the time.
However, Harris was denounced by lawmakers for visiting the Western metropolis of El Paso as an alternative of extra excessive exercise areas of the Southern border just like the Rio Grande Valley which incorporates parts of South Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.
But in contrast to Biden, Harris’ tour went past her car.
Her group toured a migrant processing facility and spoke to Customs and Border Patrol brokers and unaccompanied minors. She additionally made an unscheduled go to to Paso del Norte Port of Entry alongside the border. Harris additionally met with leaders from NGOs, social providers and authorized organizations who all work with migrants.
After her journey, Harris urged lawmakers to make use of a “sense of humanity” concerning immigration reform and migrants on the border.
Newsweek reached out to the White House for remark however they pointed to Friday’s press convention.