Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wasn’t laughing when President Obama stood at the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday and joked that Republican lawmakers who won’t support a sweeping overhaul of the immigration system until the border is secured won’t be happy until they get a moat with alligators along the border.
“I think he should get back to business being the president of the United States,” Brewer told Fox News on Saturday.
“I don’t think his comic attitude and laughing at a serious issue is being very well received, certainly not here in Arizona, I would imagine not across America,” she said. “This is a serious situation. And for him to go to a pep rally and make light of the situation is unbelievable.”
In a new video created by the Arizona Republican Party and posted to YouTube, Brewer tells Obama to stop the jokes, do his job and secure the border.
The video notes that Brewer invited Obama to visit the Arizona border nearly a year ago, but he declined.
In his speech on Tuesday, Obama boasted of increasing border patrol agents, nearing completion of a border fence, and screening more cargo.
But the video says the U.S. Border Patrol controls only 44 percent of the border with Mexico – only 15 percent of that right on the border, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The video also notes that Mexican drug cartels are operating in more than 230 U.S. cities, according to the State Department, and points out that Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in December by an armed group of illegal immigrants.
The video also compares the speech the president made in Tucson, Arizona in January after the mass shooting that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, to the one he made in El Paso.
Read more here.
A California congressman known for edgy sarcasm mocked an opponent of illegal immigration during a town hall meeting last week, asking, “Who are you going to kill today?” before the constituent, a self-identified Minuteman, posed his question.
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., no stranger to controversy, mocked the idea that the borders are not secure when asked about the federal government’s lack of activity on border security.
“We can’t get enough Minutemen armed. We’d like to get all the Minutemen armed so they can stop shooting people here,” Stark said.
Eventually, members of the audience urged Stark to offer a serious answer.
“If you knew anything about our borders, you would know that’s not the case. Our borders are quite secure, thank you,” Stark said, drawing jeers.
Stark resumed his hostile act, asking the Minuteman what he would do to secure the border.
“I would send about about 25,000 troops for one thing and build a wall down so vehicles could not pass,” the Minuteman said.
“How high and long would it be?” Stark asked.
“As high and as long as it takes,” the Minuteman said, elicting cheers.
Stark said he would start a ladder company with the Minuteman if he designed the wall and doesn’t shoot the people coming over.
“But I’ve got to know how high the wall is and I’ll sell a whole lot of ladders for people who want to come,” Stark said.
“This is a very serious matter and you’re sitting there making fun of it,” the Minuteman responded.
“I don’t have to make fun of you sir, you do a fine job all by yourself,” Stark said.
Stark made the comments last week at a town hall audience that included Steve Kemp, a member of the Golden State Minutemen, a group that opposes illegal immigrants. Kemp recorded the confrontation.
A spokesman for Stark did not return voicemail messages left at his office or on his cell phone. He also didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The clash came as the national spotlight focuses on Arizona’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigrants and the protests it is drawing across the country, including a legal challenge from the federal government.
Immigration is shaping up to be among the critical election-year issues as Republicans try to regain control of both chambers in Congress riding a wave of anti-Washington sentiment.
Stark, a liberal Democrat, is expected to easily win re-election against a lightly regarded opponent, political newcomer Justin Jelincic, who describes himself as a conservative Democrat.
Stark earned his primary challenge after he slammed a constituent who voiced his opposition to Obama’s health care plan last summer at a town hall meeting.
“Mr. Congressman, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining,” the constituent told Stark, referring to what he called the smoke and mirrors of the president’s plan.
“I wouldn’t dignify you be peeing on your leg,” Stark fired back. “It wouldn’t be worth wasting the urine.”
In March, Stark seized control of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee for one day after Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., stepped aside due to an ethics probe. But Stark was quickly pushed aside in favor of Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., after many Democrats privately complained that Stark was too volatile to lead such an important committee.
Stark is known for making inflammatory comments.
In 2007, Stark accused President Bush of sending troops to Iraq “to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”
He also once called former Colorado Republican Rep. Scott McInnis a “fruitcake.”
One of the few responsibilities of our federal government is the security of this nation. For decades they have not done their job securing our borders. Now that We The People are calling for action and Arizona has passed a strong illegal immigration bill, the Republicans have started pushing forward with legislation to strengthen the borders. While Obama is sending up to 1,200 National Guard troops to border, Sen. John McCain has referred to that move as inadequate and introduced a bill calling for 6,000 troops to be sent.
McCain got about twelve Democrats to join him, but it was not enough for the 60 vote supermajority needed and so the measure was killed. As was a measure requesting more than $2 billion in additional border security spending that was introduced by Republicans John Cornyn of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona. So the Democrats stood against more border security today. But they were not finished with just these two pieces of legislation.
Jim DeMint proposed an amendment to finish the 700 miles of border fence in one year. A press release from Senator Jim DeMint on the amendment said:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) today announced that he will introduce an amendment to the financial regulation bill to require the completion of 700 miles of double-layer physical fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border within one year. Senator DeMint’s amendment follows through on the four-year-old promise made by Congress to secure the border under the Secure Fence Act of 2006. According to staff at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), just a fraction of double-layer fencing has been completed to date, with only 34.3 miles of double layer fencing in total (11.8 in California, 9.1 in Arizona, and 13.4 in Texas).
Senator DeMint’s amendment was already approved last year by the Senate in a bipartisan 54-44 vote, with 21 Democrats joining 33 Republicans in support of the measure. However, Democrat leaders gutted the amendment behind closed doors after “the Obama administration had opposed rapid expansion of the fence.”
“We’ve now had two administrations fail to keep their promise to the American people to secure our border and Americans are tired of excuses,” said Senator DeMint. “Americans have demanded a real fence to combat the very real problems of illegal immigration that have led to human trafficking, drug trafficking, kidnapping and violence on our border. Congress will never be able to achieve long-term reform to create a legal immigration system that works until we secure our borders.
“We’ve had rhetoric and promises for four years without results. It’s time we completed the fence and secured our borders to protect American citizens.”
Jim DeMint just tweeted at around 8pm ET this evening that the measure had been defeated by the Democrats in a vote of 45 to 52. We cannot even get these incompetent imbeciles in Congress to at least build a fence. A fence they promised us and are required by law to build. A fence that has worked wonderfully for San Diego. The Democrats are not interested in border security obviously.