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White House press secretary Jen Psaki tried on Friday to explain away President Joe Biden’s latest lie, but her efforts were unsuccessful and appear to have only further damaged the administration’s already poor credibility.
When asked during a CNN town hall on Thursday whether he “plans to visit the southern border,” the president claimed he’s “been there before” and “know[s] it well,” adding, “I guess I should go down [again].”
Yet it was already established just a month ago by Fox News’ Peter Doocy that the president has, in fact, never once been to the border. Psaki tried at the time to pull a “circle back” on him, but he wound up circling back on her with the facts, forcing her to concede defeat, though she then tried arguing that visiting the border is pointless.
Listen to the president lying at the CNN town hall below:
On Friday, Doocy again circled back to this issue.
“Following up on something else the president said last night, why did President Biden say he has been to the border?” he asked the truth averse press secretary.
Despite her prior concession just a month ago, Psaki decided to weave an entirely new narrative about how the president once “did drive through the border.”
“Well, Peter, as you may have seen, there’s 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 — with the fact that in El Paso, the border goes right through the center of town,” she said.
Apparently, she thinks the border is a Taco Bell …
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 22, 2021
“But what 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 continued.
“And he went to Mexico and Central America 10 times to address border issues and talk about what we can do to reduce the number of migrants who were coming to the border. He worked in a bipartisan manner with senators like Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, John McCain, and others to push for comprehensive immigration reform,” she added.
And so, the White House press secretary concluded, the president “does not need a visit to the border to know what a mess was left by the last administration.”
The border was in fact secured, with illegal migrations being at a record low, prior to Biden taking office in January.
Moreover, as of Saturday morning, the president’s average job approval on immigration was only 32.1 percent, with a 59.1 percent uber-majority disapproving.
Conversely, former President Donald Trump repeatedly earned higher marks for his immigration policies throughout his presidency:
There’s an almost perfect match between President Trump’s approval ratings on immigration — including his overall policies and his proposed border wall — and his job approval rating.https://t.co/kzb4CrL7CR pic.twitter.com/xuzIProVth
— Axios (@axios) August 7, 2018
Trump approval at 46% total
55% on “stimulating jobs”
54% on “the economy”
52% on “fighting terrorism”
47% on “immigration”
44% on “administering the government”
43% on “foreign affairs”
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) September 27, 2019
Doocy set aside the lie about the supposed “mess” left by the prior administration and instead zeroed in on the press secretary’s “drive-through” remark.
“Does that count as a visit? He said, ‘I’ve been there before.’ You’re saying he drove by for a few minutes. Does that count?” he asked.
Instead of answering the question, Psaki tried to deflect by responding with another question, asking him what the “root cause” of illegal migration is.
The question reflected the administration’s flawed belief that the solution to the border crisis isn’t securing the border but rather addressing the so-called “root causes.”
“The president said that he has been to the border …,” Doocy responded in an attempt to direct the conversation back to reality.
Psaki then repeated her deflection, prompting him to repeat his question. She eventually posited an answer, but not to his decision.
“OK, I’ll answer it for you: People come from Central America and Mexico to go to the border. The president has been to those countries 10 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, answering her own dubious question.
“That may be a difference he has with Republicans,” she snarkily added.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 21, 2021
She appears to believe that actually visiting the border, surveying the crisis and speaking with Border Patrol agents, counts as nothing more than a “photo op.”
Yet Trump’s alleged “photo ops,” in addition to his carrot-and-stick policy persuasion, actually worked, reducing illegal migration to record lows. And the administration seems to know this deep inside, despite its rhetoric.
In September, The New York Times reported that administration officials were secretly happy over the Supreme Court ruling that they must reinstate Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. The decision allowed them to return to a policy they know works without angering the Democrat Party’s radicalized base.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 7, 2021
Doocy responded to Psaki’s “photo op” attack by noting that the president had himself said on Thursday that he “should go down.”
“But that’s not what he said either. He said, ‘I guess I should go down.’ So, does he think that he needs a photo op? Is that what he’s saying? Is that what you’re saying?” the Fox News correspondent noted.
“He doesn’t. And that’s a fundamental disagreement he has. I would say the former president went to the border at least once, maybe more — you may know the numbers,” Psaki replied, completely dismissing his point.
FYI, Doocy already confirmed just a month ago that the number is zero.
“How did that immigration policy result, Peter? That immigration policy resulted in separating kids from their parents, building a border wall that’s feckless and that cost billions of dollars for taxpayers. The president fundamentally disagrees on how we need to approach the immigration issue,” she continued.
Again, Trump-era immigration policies worked. This is a fact.
Yes, walls work.
The security fence outside San Diego led to a more than 90% percent reduction in illegal border crossings.
— PragerU (@prageru) December 21, 2018
But apparently, in this administration, the facts don’t matter …
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