By Rebecca Shabad - 06/21/14 10:30 AM EDT
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) ripped President Obama on Friday for not paying attention to a U.S. marine being held in a Mexico jail.
The Florida lawmaker said on Fox News’s “On the Record” that Obama failed to discuss the marine with Mexican President Pena Nieto during a phone conversation this week.
“It is inexcusable. It is inexplicable. It is obscene, it is horrific. This is a marine veteran. This is a hero who has served our country in combat. Worn our nation's uniform,” Ros-Lehtinen said.
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, a South Florida native, has been held in a Mexico jail since he was arrested on April 1. Reports say he accidentally crossed the border into Tijuana, Mexico and police seized a shotgun, rifle, pistol, ammunition and clips from the marine’s pickup truck.
“He's been in a Mexican prison and the days languish on for him. And he is beaten. He has been chained. He has been treated terribly. He's had some contact with the consulate. But, what about the higher ups?” Ros-Lehtinen said.
She said she spoke to Vice President Joe Biden personally about the matter more than a week ago. Biden later had lunch with Mexico’s interior minister, but it’s unclear if they discussed Tahmooressi.
The marine’s mom has appeared on multiple news programs calling for his son’s release and for the U.S. government to intervene.
“The president should be advocating for his release. They shouldn't be up to the moms to plead with elected officials to help them it's pathetic,” Ros-Lehtinen said.
Tahmooressi had been living in San Diego where he had been reportedly undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. He served two tours in Afghanistan.