After White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined an offer to visit the border to see the issue for herself, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz pushed down on his challenge to her on Tuesday.
After Jean-Pierre made the false assertion a month ago that migrants do not “walk” across the border, Cruz extended an invitation to Jean-Pierre to visit Texas, which is a state through which migrants enter the United States on a daily basis.
On his podcast, Cruz called Jean-claim Pierre’s an “11-alarm, pants-on-fire” lie. She is “deliberately lying” about the border situation, Cruz claimed, or else she is “deliberately uninformed.”
On Tuesday, a journalist questioned Jean-Pierre about whether or not she would accept Cruz’s offer, and she promptly replied that she would not. Jean-Pierre seized the opportunity to criticize former President Donald Trump by claiming she had visited the border earlier, in 2018, before the current border issue.
She said: “I’ve been to the border. I went in 2018. I stood outside facilities where the Trump administration was separating families, tearing babies out of their mothers’ arms. Some of those kids still haven’t been reunited with their families. And so, one thing I will say is I certainly don’t need lectures or invitations from Republicans about the border or border policies.”
"*" indicates required fields
BORDER: Karine Jean-Pierre is asked about Sen. @TedCruz‘s (R-TX) invitation for White House representatives to visit the border: “I certainly don’t need lectures or invitations from Republicans about the border or about border policies.” pic.twitter.com/LtcoWT4lJQ
— Forbes (@Forbes) September 6, 2022
The Texas senator not only restated his earlier offer but raised the stakes.
Cruz made these comments while appearing on Fox News. “I’m going to give a challenge, Karine Jean-Pierre, right now,” Cruz said. “Come to this border. Spend 60 minutes, one hour, with me and the Border Patrol union. We will encounter dozens, if not hundreds, of illegal immigrants coming across. And if we don’t, let’s bring the entire White House press corps, and one of two things will happen: If we don’t encounter anyone, I’ll stand up and say, ‘I was wrong,’” he continued.
“But when we encounter hundreds of people crossing, do you have the courage and integrity to stand in front of the press corps you’re lying to and say, ‘I lied to you?’” Cruz stated that this is the response that an ethical press secretary at the White House would provide.
While high-ranking officials in the current administration have declined requests to visit the southern border, President Joe Biden has not even made a single trip there since he became president.
However, the United States has witnessed a record number of migrant interactions under his leadership. Because of the severity of the problem, it is possible that the number of migrants encountered during the fiscal year 2022 may exceed 2 million by the end of this month.
The Washington Post claims Biden has never been to the southern border again. According to the publication, this took place in 2008 when Biden “briefly drove past the border while on a campaign swing.“