In the Morning Report earlier this week, I noted a disconnect in some of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s rhetoric that’s been making me uncomfortable:
Faulconer is notoriously conflict-averse, but he’s spoken out against (President Donald) Trump, a fellow Republican, multiple times. Yet his criticisms, especially his recent remarks on Trump’s refugee ban, have been relatively muted. Instead of condemning the order for ripping families apart, for example, Faulconer has talked about wanting to protect “commerce” and “culture.”
Faulconer is being more outspoken about the impact of a potential border wall and other immigration actions than some other Republicans, and he deserves credit for that. Yet, the disconnect seemed to grow as the week went on.
This is what the L.A. Times noted in a column on Faulconer this week, during a press conference the mayor held with Tijuana’s mayor:
More than half a dozen times reporters asked some variation of how Trump’s taunting of Mexico might sunder the warm San Diego-Tijuana relationship. More than half a dozen times Faulconer sidestepped the question.
It would be one thing if Faulconer refused to talk about Trump and immigration altogether – but he was declining to address those things at a press conference called specifically to address them.
His strange insistence on bringing up the issue, but sticking to vague, inoffensive concepts and platitudes like the fact that he supports “opportunity for everyone” is only getting more jarring as details about the very real tolls of strict immigration enforcement come to light.