Psaki Defends Biden Not Visiting Border, Mentions ‘Drive Through’ in 2008

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on October 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki fielded questions about U.S. policy toward Taiwan, the ongoing negotiations with Congress over the Build Back Better legislation, the Republican opposition to election reform, President Biden's upcoming trip to Europe and other topics. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Biden said Thursday night that he hasn’t had time to visit the border yet, despite the ongoing immigration crisis. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended him, saying his trip from over a decade ago proves his familiarity with the current issues.

During a CNN town hall event, Biden told Anderson Cooper, “I’ve been there before, I know it well, I guess I should go down”. “he whole point of it is, I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down,” he added.

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He blamed his absence on damage from hurricanes and said he has been too busy visiting areas affected by the disasters.

Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy questioned Psaki on Biden’s remarks about the border. “Why did President Biden say he has been to the border,” he asked.

Psaki responded, “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 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.

She went on to mention that Biden visited Mexico and Central America “ten times” to discuss border issues and said the president “does not need a visit to the border to know what a mess was last by the last administration”.

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Doocy continued to press Psaki, asking if the drive through “count as a visit”. She then asked “What is the root cause?” and “Where are people coming from who are coming to the border?”

“The president has been to those countries ten times to talk about border issues. There is a focus, right now, on a photo-op. The president does not believe a photo-op is the same as solutions,” she said. “That may be a difference he has with Republicans,” she added.

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