The domestic crisis on the Texas border is so bad for President Barack Obama that he tried to divert the media’s attention Wednesday by highlighting various foreign-policy crises.
Multiple polls show Americans blame him for the flood of Central American immigrants, which is showing no sign of ending anytime soon. The flood has already derailed his top legislative priority and was declared by a Gallup poll on July 16 as the nation’s No. 1 problem.
It is damaging his cooperation with Latino advocacy groups, and threatens his campaign plans to woo disenchanted Latino voters with a late-summer quasi-legal amnesty for perhaps six million illegal immigrants.
White House officials can even read about the political damage in the New York Times.
So in recent days, Obama and his allies have tied to change the subject with speeches on ”economic patriotism,” calls for more road construction and statements about the latest Arab attacks on Israel — plus new legislation that would regulate free speech and remove state-level safety and health regulations on abortion.
His Wednesday afternoon statement was announced at 4.47 p.m.
He was 30 minutes late to the podium, and when he spoke, he offered only talking points and platitudes. He did not mention the border crisis.
“I want to take a few minutes to update the American people on some pressing foreign policy challenges that I reviewed with Secretary [of State John] Kerry this afternoon,” he opened.
If Afghanistan’s vote-counting goes well, “Afghanistan will witness the first democratic transfer of power in the history of that nation,” said Obama, who pans to withdraw all U.S. forces — and nearly all political influence — from the country by the end of 2014 or maybe 2016.
He next talked about negotiations with Iran over its program to develop nuclear weapons. “Based on consultations with Secretary Kerry and my national security team, it’s clear to me that we have made real progress in several areas and that we have a credible way forward,” the president said. However, those negotiations are way behind schedule, and Iranian officials continue to declare publicly that they won’t give up their nuclear program.
He shifted the topic to the latest Arab attack on Israel. “We continue to support diplomatic efforts to end the violence between Israel and Hamas,” he said, adding “As I’ve said repeatedly, Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks that terrorize the Israeli people.” Regardless of his statements, Hamas continues to shoot rockets at Israel’s cities, schools and playgrounds.
He ended his speech by announcing a few additional sanctions on Russian companies.
The new sanctions follow increased evidence that Russia is providing military aid to ethnic-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, despite Obama’s many protest and threats
“Russia must halt the flow of weapons and fighters across the border into Ukraine; that Russia must urge separatists to release their hostages and support a cease-fire; that Russia needs to pursue internationally-mediated talks and agree to meaningful monitors on the border,” he said.
He ended his speech by literally restating the obvious.
“In closing, I’ll point out the obvious,” Obama said.
“We live in a complex world and at a challenging time. And none of these challenges lend themselves to quick or easy solutions, but all of them require American leadership. And as Commander-in-Chief, I’m confident that if we stay patient and determined, that we will, in fact, meet these challenges.”
Meanwhile, down in McAllen, Texas, up to 1,500 migrants from Central America are crossing the border each day, a law-enforcement official told The Daily Caller.
That’s 10,000 migrants a week, or 40,000 a month. By October, the 12-month total could exceed 200,000 migrants into Obama’s economy, where millions of low-skill Americans can’t find well-paying jobs.