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USA Today reporter calls border crisis Obama’s ‘Katrina moment’

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MSNBC panelists on Monday seemed puzzled by the president's refusal to visit the U.S.-Mexico border while he fundraises in Texas, with USA Today reporter Susan Page calling the decision Mr. Obama's "Katrina moment."

Appearing on "The Daily Rundown," Carolyn Ryan of The New York Times argued that the crisis on the border, in which thousands of immigrants are crossing illegally in record numbers, goes to question the president's competence.

"You can see that 30-second TV ad," host Chuck Todd added, The Washington Free Beacon reported. "You start with the health care rollout. You go to the VA. You go to Syria. You go to Iraq. And you can go to the border. And you can draw a straight line."

"This is unacceptable to more than Republicans on immigration, the situation we have there," Ms. Page said. "And boy, is that going to anger some of his core constituents who have wanted him to do more on immigration, not less. ... I think this is kind of a lose-lose for him, politically speaking."

Mr. Todd said the administration has been "defiant" in refusing to visit the border while the president attends a fundraiser in Texas on Wednesday.

"It's a Katrina moment, right?" Ms. Page asked. "And you're going to a fundraiser and not going to the border where there's this crisis?"

"It's conceivably a lose-lose," argued The Washington Post's Dan Balz. "I mean, if he goes he draws even more attention to the fact of the problem that they were unable to solve right now. In a symbolic sense he almost has to go, but in a practical, political sense there's a risk."

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