The President is headed to Texas for fundraising, fun and sun this Wednesday, but has made no plans to visit the border, despite mounting pressure from both sides of the aisle. The White House continues to insist that this is not a problem for the President, even as the words "Katrina Moment" are trading freely across media, having first been raised in this context by Democrat Representative Henry Cueller out of Texas. Today, even the administration press office known as MSNBC has caught on that the President is making an error.
"It's awfully hard for him to go to Texas, raise money, after a trip to Colorado raising money and then not go to the border not see it for himself," said host Andrea Mitchell. Guest Susan Page of USA Today agreed:
Call it the optics, that's right.We call it the optics. The optics would be tough to be there, especially on a fundraising mission and then not to go see what's happening. Even though these things with Presidents are often photo-ops, right, when they go almost anywhere. But it's a demonstration of the President being on the job.
Last week, Ed Henry of Fox News asked Press Secretary Josh Earnest about the situation in a very pointed exchange during the Thursday briefing:
The President keeps saying publicly he wants to get out of the White House bubble. OK, so here's his chance. And as you said he's going to meet with some real folks and talk to them about the economy. He's also going to raise money for the Democratic party. And he's going to pass up the opportunity to get an up-close look himself, get out of the bubble and look at what he's called a humanitarian crisis. How do you defend that?
Earnest said that other people in the government will be going to the border and what the President wants are "regular reports." He also told another reporter that the only reason people want him to go to the border is because they want to "play politics." Watch below starting at 3:29.
With MSNBC, the press corps, and the President's own party asking why he has no interest in seeing firsthand the "crisis" he is using to fundraise and campaign against Republicans with, the continued obfuscation, buck-passing, and impugning of others' motives rings all the more hollow. Asking for several billion dollars for the emergency is just another Democrat tactic for appearing to do something without doing anything of substance.
The President is offering excuses and pandering for votes, not seeking truth or worthwhile solutions. The very definition of "playing politics."