Sen. Elizabeth Warren is sorry that a 20-year-old Iowa student
is dead and that a reported illegal alien has been charged in
the killing, but the Massachusetts Democrat wants to stay
focused on the “real problems.”
This isn’t a paraphrase of something she said Wednesday on CNN.
This is her actual response to a question about reports that law
enforcement agents have charged Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, in
the disappearance and murder of Mollie Tibbetts.
“I’m so sorry for the family here, and I know this is hard, not
only for the family, but for the people in her community, the
people throughout Iowa,” Warren told CNN’s John Berman. “But one
of the things we have to remember is: We need an immigration
system that is effective. That focuses on where real problems
Berman asking the senator specifically to respond to President
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence claiming the Tibbetts murder
is proof of the need for stronger immigration enforcement.
Warren continued, saying, "Uh, last month, I went down to the
border, and I saw where children had been taken away from their
mothers. I met with those mothers, who had been lied to, who
didn’t know where their children were, who hadn’t had a chance
to talk to their children. And there was no plan for how they’d
be reunified with their children."
Tibbetts' remains were found early Tuesday morning, according to
law enforcement officials. Rivera, who authorities believe has
been living in the U.S. illegally for four to seven years, has
been charged with first-degree murder. His bail was set Tuesday
at $1 million.
“I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose
a real threat, and I don’t think mammas and babies are the place
where we should be spending our resources. Separating a mamma
from a baby does not make this country safe,” Warren said.
Trump signed an executive order on June 20 reversing the policy
of separating illegal immigrant families. And as to the issue of
mothers being separated from their babies, I think Tibbetts’
mother, Laura Calderwood, might have some thoughts on that.
The Washington Examiner’s Phil Klein disagreed Wednesday with
the criticisms of Warren, arguing the Massachusetts senator had
not really stepped in it with “outrageously tone-deaf” comment.
“I'm no Warren fan, but this strikes me as a stretch. In clip
she goes on to say we need to focus on actual threats, and that
family separation doesn't make us safe," he wrote. "She isn't
saying that a young girl getting killed isn't a problem.”
I disagree that the negative reaction is a stretch. The
criticisms are well-deserved. Her comments follow a clear path.
She starts by saying she’s sorry about the Tibbetts murder, and
then changes the subject to attack Trump over an immigration
policy he rescinded two months ago.
It’s true Warren's remarks were about the White House’s response
to the murder. That doesn’t take away from the “but” in her “I’m
sorry someone is dead” response. There should never be a "but"
in those statements.