OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Imagine you are being interviewed by a news organization that loves you and promoted you and wants you to succeed, and you look ridiculous.
Imagine the interviewer asking you softball questions he would have never asked your predecessor, questions you should know are coming, and then you get stuck on an answer.
That is what happened to Kamala Harris this week when she was interviewed by NBC News anchor Lester Holt and asked why she had not visited the border since Joe Biden named her the person to be responsible for the migrant crisis. And now people in the White House are “perplexed,” “not thrilled” and “confused” by her answers.
“The Vice President saw this trip as an opportunity to burnish her foreign policy credentials after entering office with very little foreign policy experience,” CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond said. “She also hoped to make real progress on the root causes on migration from Central America.”
“There was certainly progress, but there are now concerns that some of that progress may have been overshadowed by her answers to some of these questions that her team knew that she would be facing,” the reporter said.
“It’s left some of the administration officials perplexed, and the vice president’s team frustrated,” Diamond said.
“Some administration officials are quietly perplexed about the Vice President’s answers to some questions, in particular the particular question she got from Lester Holt where she equated the question about the border with Europe,” he said.
“There was hope the trip would be a success, and in the end, they feel it may have been overshadowed by some of her answers to these questions,” he said.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, mocked Harris for the interview.
“It seemed like a hostage video she was just reading the words. We’ve seen in the 5 months they’ve been in office an absolute disaster unfolding at the border. In that entire interview what you don’t hear is any willingness to fix the problem. They can fix the problem tomorrow, and they can fix the problem by ending ‘catch and release’ and by reinstating the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.
“But they won’t. And so instead, she laughs it off and says ‘well, I haven’t been to Europe.’ Well, okay, you haven’t been to Europe, you haven’t been to Australia. But we don’t have an Australian border crisis, we don’t have a border crisis in Europe,” he said.
“Do you have any plans to visit the border?” Holt asked by Harris started stuttering and stammering.
“I – at some point – you know – we are going to the border. We’ve been to the border,” Harris said. “So this whole – this whole – this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border,” she said.
“You haven’t been to the border,” he said.
“I – and I haven’t been to Europe,” she said, as if Biden placed her in charge of Europe the way he did the migrant crisis. “And I mean, I don’t – I don’t understand the point that you’re making,” Harris said before adding “I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”
“Listen, I care about what’s happening at the border,” Harris said. I’m “in Guatemala because my focus is dealing with the root causes of migration.”
“There may be some who think that that is not important, but it is my firm belief that if we care about what’s happening at the border, we better care about the root causes and address them. And so that’s what I’m doing,” she said.
But, during her trip to Central America she did tell migrants to stay home, something that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not like.
“I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come,” Harris said as she emphasized that the United States would continue to enforce its laws.
It continues the Biden administration’s campaign of attempting to undo what it did at the start, when many migrants believed that Biden was opening the doors in a free for all allowing everyone in.
But the idea of the United States enforcing its immigration laws was not something that met with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s approval as she was furious with Harris.
“This is disappointing to see. First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival. Second, the US spent decades contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America. We can’t help set someone’s house on fire and then blame them for fleeing,” she said in her first tweet.
This is disappointing to see.
First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival.
Second, the US spent decades contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America. We can’t help set someone’s house on fire and then blame them for fleeing. https://t.co/vADyh5H0bw
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 7, 2021
“It would be helpful if the US would finally acknowledge its contributions to destabilization and regime change in the region. Doing so can help us change US foreign policy, trade policy, climate policy, & carceral border policy to address causes of mass displacement & migration,” she said.
It would be helpful if the US would finally acknowledge its contributions to destabilization and regime change in the region.
Doing so can help us change US foreign policy, trade policy, climate policy, & carceral border policy to address causes of mass displacement & migration.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 7, 2021
Harris was made aware of Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on Tuesday by a reporter with her on her tour of Central America and immediately responded.
“Why did you emphasize that people shouldn’t come? AOC is now being critical of that, sort of, emphasis that you made,” the reporter said.
“I’m really clear: we have to deal with the root causes, and that is my focus,” Harris said, then added, “Period.”
It was a particularly tough day for Harris who had part of an interview with Lester Holt air earlier in which she looked ridiculous answering as to why she has not visited the border.