President Obama on Thursday had plenty to say about how he believes the Republican party is blocking prosperity and economic growth, but said virtually nothing about the humanitarian crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, less than 300 miles from the very spot where the president spoke.
At a campaign-style rally in Austin, a passionate Mr. Obama stuck to the script he’s used at party fundraisers in recent weeks — blast the GOP, rally Democrats ahead of the November midterm elections and tout the more than 40 executive actions he has taken since the beginning of the year.
“When folks say they’re frustrated with Congress, let’s be clear about what the problem is. I’m just telling the truth now. I don’t have to run for office again, so I can just, you know, let it rip,” the president said. “So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class.”
Specifically, Mr. Obama blasted Republicans for opposing a hike in the nation’s minimum wage to $10.10, not backing the administration’s plan to pour billions of dollars into infrastructure and other agenda items.
He also mocked House Speaker John A. Boehner’s plan to sue him for executive overreach.
“Sue him. Impeach him. Really? Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job? OK. I mean, think about that. You’re going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job while you don’t do your job,” Mr. Obama said. “I’ve got a better idea — do something.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers of both parties continue to call on the president to visit the southern U.S. boundary, where a flood of unaccompanied children streaming into the country has reached crisis-level proportions. Mr. Obama met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other state and local officials in Dallas on Wednesday night and addressed the immigration crisis in remarks immediately afterward.
Thus far, however, he has rejected calls to visit the border, saying such a move would be nothing more than “theater” and a “photo op.”