Once again, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is at the center of criticism for a controversial response to a journalist during a press conference held this Thursday, October 22.
The press secretary justified President Joe Biden’s statement when he said he knew the border and had been there, only she left out the detail that it was during the 2008 presidential campaign when he was former President Barack Obama’s running mate.
The reporter asked Psaki why President Joe Biden said he was at the border when, given the recent immigration crisis, the head of state has not visited the border states recently, especially those most affected by the situation, such as Texas.
“Following up on something else the President said last night, why did President Biden say he has been to the border?” the reporter asked.
Psaki, unfazed, replied that the president said that because he has indeed been to the border, 13 years ago. “There has been reporting that he did drive through the border when he was campaigning in 2008.”
The secretary then tried to make a better case for her justification: “He does not need a visit to the border to know The mess that was left by the last administration,” she said. “the President has worked on this issues throughout his entire career and is well versed in every aspect of our immigration system, including the border.”
Quickly, the clip of Psaki saying that Biden was at the border in 2008 went viral generating multiple criticisms and mockery against the Democratic administration.
The Daily Wire’s Editor Emeritus, Ben Shapiro, took to Twitter to mock Psaki’s response: “Gonna use this excuse next time my wife asks me if I went to the grocery store like she asked.”
Peter J. Hasson, an editor with Fox News, wrote on Twitter that “This — Biden being in El Paso in 2008 — is what Psaki is claiming amounts to a border visit.”
“That’s like driving through DC and claiming you’ve been to the White House,” Hasson added in a second tweet.
Mike Memoli, White House correspondent for NBC News, gave details about Joe Biden’s “visit” to the border in 2008.
“President Joe Biden again said last night he’s “been there before” when asked about going to the border. The last time I found where he went close was a 2008 campaign trip to NM. We landed in El Paso and drove along for a stretch,” Memoli wrote. “The schedule called for wheels down around noon, an hour drive to Mesilla, NM, and later back to El Paso five hours later. Other than a motorcade ride at times near the border, there was no specific border-related stop.”
All this controversy came after President Biden told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he had visited and knew the border very well.
“Do you have plans to visit the southern border?” asked Cooper to Biden, who responded, “I’ve been there before and I haven’t — 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.”