President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he hasn’t visited the U.S.-Mexico border because “there are more important things going on,” despite traveling to Delaware 59 times and stopping for ice cream eight times since taking office.
Biden defended his decision to skip visiting the border while in Arizona, telling Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, “There are more important things going on.”
Biden made the defense while boarding Marine One to travel to Phoenix ahead of semiconductor manufacturer TSMC’s announcement to increase its chip investment in the state to $40 billion.
“They’re going to invest billions of dollars in a new enterprise,” the president said.
President Joe Biden eats ice cream in Traverse City, Michigan, on July 3, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
When Donald Trump was president, Biden described “horrifying scenes” at the U.S. southern border of “kids being kept in cages” and federal agents “ripping children from their mothers’ arms.” But nearly two years into his presidency, Biden has never visited the border despite thousands of illegal immigrants flooding into the country every day.
To Biden, “more important things” than visiting the border apparently include 59 trips to his home state and eight separate stops for his favorite dessert.
President Joe Biden stops for ice cream at Baskin-Robbins in Portland, Oregon, Oct. 15, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
A Fox News Digital analysis found last month that Biden’s regular trips to Delaware have cost taxpayers upward of $11 million since the start of his presidency.
The trips require taxpayer dollars to fund costs associated with the use of either Air Force One or Marine One, as well as security costs for the Secret Service.
The $11 million receipt for Biden’s Delaware trips is probably a significant underestimate since it does not tally many other miscellaneous costs. These include spending for additional helicopters that travel along with him, travel to or from military airports before or after an Air Force One flight, and accommodations for staff who accompany him.
Biden also loves his ice cream and so does the media. The president has stopped for ice cream at least eight times since taking office, and it almost always makes national news.
President Joe Biden carries an ice cream cone as he leaves Jeni’s Ice Cream in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 25, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Biden was criticized in October for an appearance at a Baskin-Robbins in Portland, Oregon, when he claimed the economy is “strong as hell” while munching on a chocolate chip ice cream cone.
“I’m not concerned about the strength of the dollar. I’m concerned about the rest of the world. Our economy is strong as hell,” the president said while inflation was at a whopping 8.2%
Most recently, Biden was pictured eating ice cream last week with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Fiola Mare restaurant in Washington, D.C.
White House assistant press secretary Abdullah Hasan told Fox News Digital in a statement that Biden’s top priority is the economy, not the border.
“The President was clear that his top priority is investing in the American economy and in American communities, out-competing China, and bringing back American jobs from overseas,” Hasan said. “In fact, as Fox News’ own analysis showed, the economy is the top issue for most Americans. If anyone believes that shouldn’t be the President’s top priority too, they should say that out loud.”
“Of course, the President is also taking action to secure our border and build a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system,” Hasan continued. “He’s secured more funding than all of his predecessors to support the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, put forward a comprehensive immigration reform proposal, and brought 20 world leaders together to jointly manage the migration challenge impacting the entire Western Hemisphere.”
“President Biden is focused on real solutions, not political stunts. And if border security is such a top priority for Republican officials, voting against President Biden’s request for record funding for the Department of Homeland Security is an odd way to show it.”
Fox News’ Patrick Hauf contributed to this report.
Jessica Chasmar is a digital writer on the politics team for Fox News and Fox Business. Story tips can be sent to Jessica.Chasmar@fox.com.