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Mike Johnson: Biden Speech Blaming Trump, ‘MAGA Republicans’ for Border Was ‘Offensive’

via PBS
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House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) criticized President Joe Biden’s speech blaming former President Donald Trump and “MAGA Republicans” for the border crisis, calling it “offensive.”

Johnson emphasized that the situation changed dramatically under Biden’s administration and highlighted low approval ratings for Biden’s handling of the border.

“It was offensive,” Johnson said. “I don’t think anyone is buying it. Everyone understands this all changed dramatically when he walked into the White House. Now, we’ve shown, and we continue to show the American people step-by-step, how he and Mayorkas orchestrated this.”

He also pointed out that Biden has the executive authority to address the border crisis but refuses to act, attributing the crisis to deliberate actions taken by the Biden administration.

“There is a reason why only 18 percent of Americans in the latest polls approve of the administration’s handling of the border. His overall approval rating is only 37 percent in the last poll I saw. That means they know he has to do something to address the border, and he won’t. The idea that he could blame Republicans for the catastrophe they created is laughable. It’s time for him to take ownership,” he said.

“I will tell you, in private conversations, he has acknowledged that the executive authority exists,” Johnson said. “Karine Jean-Pierre has said it from the podium. I think it was early last week that he changed his tune and said he needs further authority from Congress. She had to correct it from the podium and said, ‘The president acknowledges he has the authority.’ So, he knows it’s there. He refuses to utilize it,” Johnson said.

“That’s why we’re so insistent he do the job he is supposed to do, and that is to protect the country. It’s not, as I’ve said so many times in interviews, this is not Republican talking points. The reason we put the five primary provisions in our bill, HR2—reinstate Remain-in-Mexico, end catch-and-release, fix the broken amnesty process and parole process, and rebuild the wall—the reasons we have all those components is that’s what the people in charge say they need.”

“This is Border Patrol agents, veterans of the agency who have been there for decades, and you’ve got the sheriffs on the ground—everybody involved. They say if you don’t do all of these things, you will not solve the problem. He has the executive authority to do every one of those things, and he refuses to act. It is completely and 100 percent his burden and his responsibility.”

Johnson views the 2024 election as a referendum on border security and overall national security, expressing concern about projecting weakness on the world stage.

He also mentioned efforts to hold Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas accountable, describing him as the worst cabinet secretary in American history.

“As soon as he walked into the Oval Office, President Biden and his administration began to intentionally undermine our border security. They encouraged more illegal immigration. It is by design. There is no other way to assess what happened. When we took the time to back and document those 64 actions, it’s just beyond refute. On day one, he stopped construction of the border wall. He did it reflexively because that was Donald Trump’s initiative, Donald Trump’s talking point. He announced a ban on deportations,” Johnson said.

“He doubled down on DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals]. They released legislation that would provide amnesty to millions of people. He rolled back all the Trump policies that would restrict immigration from countries associated with terrorism. That was just the beginning. Then they methodically and deliberately opened it wide, put out the welcome mat, and sent the message around the world to ‘come on in; we’ll allow you.’ So, the catastrophe was created. There’s no other way to see it.”

“I’m basing this on my own observation. I’ve been in 16 states in the last 12 weeks, going to all my members’ districts and helping them campaign,” Johnson said. “We’re talking to large crowds of people all around the country, from coast to coast and north to south. The border is the number one burning issue in every state because every state really is a border state now. People feel this acutely. They are incensed that the president will not take leadership on the issue. I think he’s going to pay a terrible price for this in this election cycle. I just don’t see any way around it.”

“I believe that is going to be a large part of the election,” Johnson said. “To back up a few more feet, it’s really about security in general because not only do we have a wide open border and we’re sacrificing our own national security and sovereignty, we also have the most dangerous time on the world stage since probably World War II. Why? Because the president is projecting weakness on the world stage. That is precisely the reason our adversaries are acting so provocatively. It’s terribly dangerous for America to not project strength. We project peace through strength. That’s the Reagan doctrine, and that’s what Donald Trump continued. We have to get back to it as quickly as possible because there are conflicts all around the globe.”

“I’ll tell you what: It’s a challenge sometimes to keep up with the lies from the White House, but we are. We’ve got our members out,” Johnson said. “We had our last votes for this week, and everybody went home to their districts, and I know it will be the number one topic of conversation all around the country. We’ve also wanted everybody to know that even though the Alejandro Mayorkas impeachment vote was a setback last night—democracy is messy—everyone here understands we have a duty to hold him accountable and hold this administration accountable. We are going to pass those Articles of Impeachment. We’ll do it next week when we return. The reason we have to continue and we cannot let up is because this is such a catastrophe. I’ve made the case, and I believe this, by any measure, that Mayorkas is the worst cabinet secretary in the history of the country. No one has exacted such a toll and done so much damage to America, and he deserves to be impeached, and it should have been done before now.”

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