White House press secretary Jen Psaki expressed her frustration with people asking why President Joe Biden will not visit the Southern border in an interview she gave as the migrant crisis continues.
Psaki spoke about the crisis and the White House response to it in an interview with former President Barack Obama’s campaign manager David Axelrod.
She acknowledged the border was an “important issue” that the Biden White House was “focused on” but argued more Americans were concerned with the coronavirus pandemic.
“What percentage of the public is focused on the border?” she asked. “A much smaller percentage than who’s focused on the pandemic and the economy. So that may be maddening, but, you know, that’s what we try to do.”
Axelrod said the effort to get the Biden administration to describe the border crisis as a crisis was “sort of a game that drives you nuts” in Washington, DC.
“‘White House in crisis,'” Psaki replied, mocking cable news chyrons and headlines about the border.
“Our calculation on that front is one, this is cyclical, we’ve seen surges at the border, every time it happens, it’s bad, until we do something to address it over the long term with root causes, immigration reform, it’s going to keep happening,” she continued.
Psaki said she fought the nature of social media and traditional media to brand the crisis as a crisis.
“Really, what we had to be focused on was like what we were going to do about it,” she said. “And to us it’s like, it’s like that wasn’t really a crisis, it’s a huge challenge.”