Former vice president Joe Biden's lack of a forceful defense for Obama administration immigration policies is a failure of messaging, Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Eliana Johnson said Sunday.
Ed O'Keefe argued on Face The Nation that Biden is now calling the detainment of children a mistake because of Nevada's large Latino population, but Johnson replied Biden is missing an opportunity to address immigration in a way more moderate voters would appreciate.
"The problem with Biden and immigration is his response to it," Johnson said. "If he wanted to own that moderate lane, he should be vocally defending the Obama administration's policies on this by saying, ‘This is an endemic problem that multiple administrations, Democrat and Republican, have been dealing with—we dealt with it the best we could.'"
"Trump's strongest supporters are on the issue of immigration. Biden needs to win some of those Obama-Trump voters back, and I think explaining and backpedaling, and doing so in such a tentative way, is a fail for him," she added.
Biden told Univision's Jorge Ramos in a new interview that the Obama administration made a "big mistake" by deporting undocumented immigrants who didn't have a criminal record.
While Biden defended the administration's record regarding young migrants and their families, he said it's not truthful to compare the Obama administration's detainments to those of the Trump administration. O'Keefe said Biden was "happily" discussing the issue now that the campaign has turned to Nevada, since he needs to shore up support among young and Latino voters.