[guest post by Dana]
As we know, the president is refusing to visit the southern border while in Texas this week because he would rather rub shoulders with glamorous stars at a high-priced fundraiser in the Lone Star state than witness firsthand the plight of thousands.
With that shameful decision, it is up to his staff to deflect and smooth over accusations and criticism that he does not care enough about the self-declared “humanitarian crisis” to see it firsthand.
Ceclia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, did her best to defend what is fairly indefensible. Note, too, that Muñoz refers to the border situation, not as the previously termed “humanitarian crisis”, but rather as the “urgent” humanitarian crisis. Urgent, and yet clearly *not* so urgent to the president.
And, on an interesting side note , let’s not forget this about Cecilia Muñoz…
Muñoz is the former Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). She was appointed as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration in 2009, and then in 2012, she became the President’s Domestic Policy Advisor and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
Prior to Muñoz joining the Obama administration, La Raza received $4.1 million in federal funds. When President Obama brought her aboard in 2009, he issued a special “ethics waiver” since it violated his lobbyist ban. In 2011, it was reported by Judicial Watch that between 2009 and 2010, the funding increased from $4.1 million to $11 million — more than doubling and nearly tripling.
During 2010, La Raza also received $2.5 million in funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for reasons such as housing counseling. The Department of Education doled out $800,000, and the Center for Disease Control gave nearly a quarter of a million.
In other words, LaRaza funding more than doubled since Munoz joined this administration. There’s more at the link.
Update: Sen. John Cornyn spoke to reporters this morning about the president’s non-visit to the border.
Sen. John Cornyn called it “mystifying” that President Obama is coming to Texas later today without taking time to visit the border or any facility related to the crisis of migrant minors.
“Why in the world would the president create the impression that he has so little regard for and so little interest in this crisis?” Cornyn said this morning on a regular call with Texas reporters.
He speculated that Obama has become insulated, as presidents sometimes do, and the problem when you live in a bubble, he said, is that “sometimes you do some things that are self-defeating in the long run.”
Only that lack of perspective, said Cornyn – the deputy GOP leader in the Senate – can explain the president’s “amazingly stubborn refusal” to visit the border, a decision that signals “that in effect he doesn’t care.”
“There’s a lot he could learn,” he said.
A teachable moment, indeed, to those willing to learn.