Monday, May 15, 2006

Hugh Hewitt Talks to Julie Myers of U.S. Immigration and Customs

Hugh Hewitt initially reacted positively to the President's speech, feeling he hit a middle ground.

However, part of Hugh's favorable response was predicated on the mention of fencing in the speech. His positive reaction to the President's speech quickly dissipated as he spoke with Assistant Secretary Julie Myers of Immigration and Customs on his show after the speech.

Myers told Hugh, "We don't think fencing is the best way to go. You build a fence, they build a tunnel."

So we can protect the border with technology, but not a fence?

As Hugh said to Myers, "I think you just walked the Administration back from the fence." He told her "It doesn't seem like you really believe in it" (the fence).

Myers insists that what matters is results, not a fence, and the Administration can accomplish results without a fence, repeating "You build a fence, you'll have tunnels."

Hewitt responded, "Ms. Myers, they [Americans] want a fence. You're telling me the administration isn't into the fence? I think that's disastrous. I thought the President had come down for the fence, but you're telling me that this is really a much subtler approach."

Hugh concluded: "I'm just stunned. That's not what the President said, but that's what the second level believes."

"I'm staggered...I thought the fence was real. Then I spoke for ten minutes with... Julie Myers...if she is the voice of the Administration on this, then the President did not mean a word he said, and if she's not, then the Administration is badly bollixed on this issue."

The mention of some fencing was one of the few positives for those who are seriously concerned about border security. Myers just completely undermined it.

Hugh Hewitt has updated his post to reflect his complete amazement and dismay with Myers' speech. He said it's as though President Kennedy said we'd put a man on the moon and undersecretaries came out and said, "No, we're really not."

Update: Captain's Quarters has more reaction and commentary on the Hewitt-Myers interview as well.

Mark Levin: "I didn't spend 35 years in the conservative movement for this."

Tuesday Update: Radio Blogger has the interview transcript up, headlined "How to undo the impact of a Presidential address in one easy lesson."

Betsy Newmark noted last night "The Administration had better get a spokesman over to Hugh Hewitt's radio show ASAP."


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