Liberal Spin: 'Waste' of Taxpayers' Money for Obama to Visit Texas Border

By Susan Jones | July 9, 2014 | 9:49am EDT

A toddler sits on the floor with other detainees at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville,Texas.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool)

( - "How much does it cost for the president to actually go to the border?" asked Stephanie Cutter, co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" on Tuesday night.

"And you're willing to waste that taxpayer money? It's taking Border Patrol agents off the job, so they're not projecting the border. Hundreds of local protect him -- and negotiation with the Mexican government to secure the other side of the border."

She spoke on the same day that President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in taxpayer money to mitigate the crisis that many Republicans have blamed on Obama's lax enforcement of immigration law.

Adopting the White House line, Cutter said President Obama is "aware of what is going on. He's having discussions on it in Texas. He's meeting with Governor Perry. He gets briefed on it every day. And you're interested in a photo op," she told her "Crossfire" co-host, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a guest on Tuesday's "Crossfire," agreed that the president is "doing what is necessary. This is not about photo ops. This is not about 30-second political ads. This is all about the humanitarian crisis..."

At Tuesday's White House briefing, spokesman Josh Earnest suggested that a visit to the Texas border -- overrun with illegal immigrants from Central America -- would be nothing more than a photo-op for the president:

"And what we are focused on right now are not political statements that would be made with a -- with an appearance, but rather with specific concrete action, steps that can be taken to mitigate this problem."

"What is important," Earnest continued, is "for the president to be keenly aware of what exactly is happening on the Southwest border." Earnest said the president is "regularly briefed" on the border situation, and he listed all the administration officials -- other than the president -- who have made recent trips to the border.

But Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, says it's important for Obama to see the situation for himself.

"If anything, it's optics," Cuellar told Fox News's Megyn Kelly Tuesday night. "[T]he people on the border want to see the president down there to make sure that he can send surrogates any time, and again, their good folks are going down there, but I think they want to see them.

"Because listen, every day we're getting about 1,200 individuals are crossing the border down there in Texas, and 20 percent of them are kids coming in with no parents. When you see the kids there, and you see the situation, it's a humanitarian crisis, and at the same time, it has homeland security concerned. So we have to look at it."

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