The White House has responded to last week's Twitter invitation from Texas Gov. Rick Perry asking President Barack Obama to accompany him to the border after his 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 invitation.
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 U.S. 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. While 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, Gov. Perry issued a twit-invite to Obama.
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 The Washington 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," Earnest said.
As CultureMap previously reported, the president will be in Austin on July 9-10. He will be giving a speech on the economy, and will be attending two political fundraisers.