House Dem: Hey, I tried to warn Biden about his border messaging since January

Just how bad has the border crisis become for the Biden administration? Bad enough that at least one House Democrat went to NBC News to say I warned them about this. Henry Cuellar’s Texas district hugs the border with Mexico, which gives him a unique perspective on the issue, and he told Chuck Todd yesterday that Joe Biden has made the problem a lot worse than it had to be.

“You can’t say ‘don’t come now, come later’,” Cuellar says. “That’s a bad message”:

He went on to tell host Chuck Todd that he’s been “calling the White House” since the end of January to describe “what’s happening on the ground.”

This is based on Cuellar’s firsthand knowledge of the situation since he’s not just a visitor to the border but lives there. “I’m seeing the numbers,” he said.

“I’ve been warning the administration … You can’t say ‘don’t come now, come later.’ That’s a bad message. It’s got to be clear and concise. Don’t come in here illegally. That should be the message,” he argued.

Cuellar has become more vocal in the last few days about the Biden administration’s fumbling of the border crisis. Allahpundit alluded to Cuellar’s criticisms yesterday, but his remarks to the Washington Post are certainly worth a close look, especially with Biden and his team still trying to blame Donald Trump. Cuellar is adamant that Biden’s rhetoric is what touched off the flood of illegal entries:

Rep. Henry Cuellar, a moderate Texas Democrat whose district hugs the border with Mexico, isn’t happy with how President Biden’s team has responded to the surge of migrants trying to enter the United States. “His people need to do a better job of listening to those of us who have done this before,” he said Monday. …

“The Republicans will turn around and use this for a political weapon against Democrats — that we’re weak on the border, we’re not doing enough, we’re letting everybody in,” Cuellar said in an interview. “I’ve been warning the party and the administration: Don’t let this get out of hand, because all you’re going to do is you’re going to give Republicans an issue.” …

Cuellar, like many others, said Biden’s rhetoric was heavily responsible for the influx of migrants. Last week, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the new U.S. president had stirred hopes for many Central Americans seeking to immigrate or reunite with loved ones already here.

It appears that the White House has finally begun listening to Cuellar, but it’s several weeks late and many border-security dollars short. Changing the message now makes it look as though the administration is either waffling on enforcement or outright lying about it to get out from under a political crisis. They have no credibility left, on this and other issues. That should be especially true in the media, after weeks of denying a crisis existed in the first place and then trying to blame it on the previous administration. Cuellar’s criticism exposes those as blame-shifting excuses, and nothing more.

And finally, Cuellar has been proven correct on his other point. Biden handed Republicans a big issue, and now he’ll have to work with them on border security to extract himself from his own mess.