President Obama refuses Gov. Perry's border invite after Texas trip
Update: Since this story was originally published, the Associated Press is reporting that the White House has sent an invitation to Governor Perry to hold a meeting to discuss the situation on the border.
The White House has responded to last week's Twitter invitation from Texas Gov. Rick Perry asking President Barack Obama to accompany Perry to the border after Obama's upcoming Austin visit. Two weeks into his tenure as White House press secretary, Josh Earnest announced Monday that the president will not be taking the governor up on his offer.
The news came the same day that the White House announced it will not be providing amnesty to most of the unaccompanied minors seeking refuge illegally in the United States. In a year that has seen more than 52,000 children apprehended at the border, the United States is facing an unprecedented political and cultural crisis. Although conservatives decry the administration for the border security policies at home, the Obama Administration is facing a cultural battle in many Central American countries where it is a commonly held belief that children who cross the U.S. border will be allowed to stay.
After it was announced that the president would be visiting Austin for a two-day fundraising tour, Perry issued a twit-invite to Obama:
.@BarackObama: While in TX next week, I invite you to tour the border with me to see firsthand what is happening there. cc: @WhiteHouse— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) July 2, 2014
Appearing on ABC's The Week, Perry accused the administration of having an "ulterior motive." While some have brushed off Perry's goading as a political maneuver, it was a question raised to Earnest by the White House press corps. Writes TheWashington Post:
Earnest said the administration is "not worried about those optics" of the president fundraising while what the administration has called an "urgent humanitarian situation" is happening hundreds of miles away.
Earnest said a number of administration and White House officials have traveled to the border, and Obama is "very aware of the situation that exists on the Southwest border."
The president will be in Austin on July 9-10, where he will give a speech on the economy and attend two political fundraisers.