White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki attempted to defend President Biden on Friday for his unwillingness to travel to the southern border, using a trip he made more than a decade ago to the region as evidence for his familiarity with the issues there.


"Why did President Biden say he has been to the border," Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki, referencing remarks made by the president during Thursday night's town hall with CNN.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on October 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

"As you may have seen, there has been reporting that he did drive through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008 and he is certainly familiar with the fact, and it stuck with him, the fact that in El Paso, the border goes right through the center of town," Psaki told reporters during the press briefing. "But, the most important thing everyone should know and understand is that the president has worked on these issues throughout his entire career and is well-versed in every aspect of our immigration system, including the border – that includes when he was Vice President."

Psaki also attempted to defend Biden's understanding of the immigration system in America by claiming that Biden "does not need a visit to the border to know what a mess was last by the last administration," adding "that's his view."


Further pressed by Doocy on whether that does "count as a visit," Psaki began to ask questions. "What is the root cause?" Psaki questioned. "Where are people coming from who are coming to the border?"

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

CIUDAD ACUNA, MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 20: Mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents watch Haitian immigrants on the bank of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas on September 20, 2021 as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico.(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)  ((Photo by John Moore/Getty Images))

"People come from Central America and Mexico to go to the border," Psaki said. "The president has been to those countries ten times to talk about border issues. There is a focus, right now, on a photo-op. The president does not believe a photo-op is the same as solutions."

"That may be a difference he has with Republicans," Psaki added.

Last night, during the town hall event, Biden said, "I've been there before, I know it well, I guess I should go down. … The whole point of it is, I haven't had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down."