A Democratic congressman from Texas tore into President Barack Obama for being apparently “aloof” and “detached” from the current immigration crisis besetting the Lone Star State and other states along the US/Mexico border.
Rep Henry Cuellar spoke in July 9 interview with Andrea Mitchell, saying "He's so close to the border. And let me say this: when I saw, and I hate to use the word bizarre, but under the circumstances, when he is shown playing pool in Colorado, drinking a beer, and he can't even go 242 miles to the Texas border, and plus, if he doesn't want to go down to the border, there's the Air Force Base where HHS is holding some of the young kids from the border. He could at least make that trip to San Antonio, but again, border community leaders wants to see him down there on the border, and I think the optics and the substance of it is that he should show up at the border."
Saying that he was “very very upset” by Obama’s interlude with
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Cuellar said “When I saw that, it just really floored me,” said Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas, who has been quite vocal in his criticism of the administration’s handling of the issue. “If he’s saying he’s too busy to go down to the border, but you have time to drink a beer, play pool, the optics and the appearance just mean he’s not paying attention to this humanitarian crisis.”
Cuellar said that people living along the border are also upset with Obama’s apparent indifference to the unfolding crisis. Obama will indeed go to Texas today, but will attend a fundraiser rather than visit the government facilities where illegal immigrants, including thousands of minors, are being held in deplorable conditions.
“He’s the president — he can decide not to go — but he really should go down there,” Cuellar said.
He also offered advice to the Obama White House. “If they are worried about putting a face, the president's face, to this human crisis, humanitarian crisis, I think it's worse if he doesn't even show up. Either way, he's going to be tied into this humanitarian crisis. he either can roll up his sleeves and go down to the border, or he can just look aloof and detached and not go to the border, send surrogates down there, and say that he's got everything under control."
Speaking to host Brian Kilmeade of Fox & Friends on July 9, Cuellar said that he had received a reprimand from the White House for voicing his concerns. “But let me just say that I’m more concerned not about who gets angry at me at the White House; I’m more concerned about my constituents who want to find a practical solution to this question that we’re facing down there at the border.”
When Kilmeade asked, “Who called you?”, Cuellar responded, “We’ll just leave it like that,” Cuellar responded. “Did they tell you to pipe down?” Kilmeade asked. “We’ll just leave it like that,” Cuellar repeated. “But notice what I’m doing: I’m still talking about it.”