Ex-RNC Chairman Declares The GOP’s Border Trips Just ‘Performative,’ Demands Action

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Michael Steele, an ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee, which is the main organizational arm at the national level of the Republican Party, spoke out Friday about the penchant for some in the GOP to make hyped up visits to the southern border.

The trips are part of the GOP’s broader insistence on using the southern border as a political talking point… while rejecting opportunities for action in the form of a bipartisan border/immigration deal presented in the Senate, $14 billion in border security funding proposed by the White House, and more. That funding pushed by the Biden admin would have even expanded the technology on hand for authorities to go after fentanyl — one of the real-world problems actually involving the southern border.

Steele was responding specifically to a trek to the border by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who briefly ran in this year’s GOP presidential primary before eventually just endorsing Trump. The candidates who weren’t named Trump sometimes seemed suspiciously hesitant to actually confront the man they were challenging. Now, even past bitter foe Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, has dropped out of the primary and endorsed Trump.

“Oh for heaven’s sake stop with the performative “visits”! The Senate had a bipartisan border bill and you rejected it because Trump told you to. Turn the car around, head to the Capitol and introduce a border bill to fix the problem because you already know what it is,” Steele said on X, formerly Twitter.

Even Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) has taken such a visit, demanding while there that President Joe Biden also travel to the border. When reminded during a CNN interview that Biden had, in fact, done so, Johnson pivoted and characterized that past trip as somehow still deficient and more of a photo op. Republicans in the House have been pushing border proposals like a revival of the “remain in Mexico” policy that forced asylum-seekers to wait in potentially dangerous conditions outside of the United States while their cases were processed.