Review Category : Poltics

President Obama to Offer Legal Status to Millions of Undocumented Immigrants

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is set to announce a sweeping executive action to “secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules,” the White House announced in advance of the president’s 8 p.m. address to the nation Thursday night.

“That’s the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair,” President Obama will say, according to excerpts of his remarks prepared for delivery. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.”

The action will be finalized Friday with the signing of a presidential memorandum at a rally in Las Vegas. It fulfills, at least in part, the promise Obama first made in 2008 as a candidate to lift the threat of deportation from millions of people living in the U.S. illegally.

The move means nearly half the nation’s undocumented immigrants — roughly 5 million people — will be eligible for temporary legal status and work permits.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century,” the president will say, according to excerpts. “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

The announcement is expected to set off celebrations on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and at watch parties organized by immigrant advocacy groups all around the country. It also no doubt will unleash a flurry of protests from critics who have asserted Obama is exceeding his constitutional authority and setting a dangerous new precedent.

The White House said the president’s primary focus, in light of limitations on his executive power, is on keeping families united. The biggest group that will benefit is an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and who have children that were born here as American citizens.

Obama’s order will also extend legal status to a larger universe of so-called Dreamers, who first came to the U.S. illegally as children and either are now attending school, have graduated high school or served in the military. As many as 270,000 more undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for legal status under the program, which Obama first unveiled in 2012, administration officials said.

All immigrant applicants must have clean criminal record, provide their biometric information, and pay a fee of around $500, officials said. The legal status will only last three years but can be renewed. The president’s executive action does not create a pathway to citizenship or allow access to federal health care benefits.

The application process won’t begin until the spring of 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to deportation relief, Obama has also directed that immigration enforcement agencies focus on those who have committed felonies and those who have crossed the border within the last year. By forgoing crackdowns on those without criminal records and who have been here longer, the White House claims it will be able to devote more resources to border enforcement and cracking down on those who pose a threat.

“Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a statement.

Ahead of the president’s address, Republicans were sharply critical of Obama’s move to circumvent Congress, some vowing to sue the administration and others warning it would spoil any attempt at bipartisan compromise over the next two years.

“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. But that is just not how our democracy works,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a short video statement posted on YouTube. “The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”

Even some congressional Democrats questioned Obama’s unilateral action, expressing preference for a more permanent solution through legislation.

“It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. “I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”

Said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, “I am concerned if the president’s action goes too far, that number one it will set the cause back, that it will inflame our politics, get us into a kind of retribution situation with the opponents of immigration reform, and really change the subject from immigration to the president and whether he should’ve done what he did.”

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President Obama to Offer Legal Status to Millions of Undocumented Immigrants

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is set to announce a sweeping executive action to “secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules,” the White House announced in advance of the president’s 8 p.m. address to the nation Thursday night.

“That’s the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair,” President Obama will say, according to excerpts of his remarks prepared for delivery. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.”

The action will be finalized Friday with the signing of a presidential memorandum at a rally in Las Vegas. It fulfills, at least in part, the promise Obama first made in 2008 as a candidate to lift the threat of deportation from millions of people living in the U.S. illegally.

The move means nearly half the nation’s undocumented immigrants — roughly 5 million people — will be eligible for temporary legal status and work permits.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century,” the president will say, according to excerpts. “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

The announcement is expected to set off celebrations on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and at watch parties organized by immigrant advocacy groups all around the country. It also no doubt will unleash a flurry of protests from critics who have asserted Obama is exceeding his constitutional authority and setting a dangerous new precedent.

The White House said the president’s primary focus, in light of limitations on his executive power, is on keeping families united. The biggest group that will benefit is an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and who have children that were born here as American citizens.

Obama’s order will also extend legal status to a larger universe of so-called Dreamers, who first came to the U.S. illegally as children and either are now attending school, have graduated high school or served in the military. As many as 270,000 more undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for legal status under the program, which Obama first unveiled in 2012, administration officials said.

All immigrant applicants must have clean criminal record, provide their biometric information, and pay a fee of around $500, officials said. The legal status will only last three years but can be renewed. The president’s executive action does not create a pathway to citizenship or allow access to federal health care benefits.

The application process won’t begin until the spring of 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to deportation relief, Obama has also directed that immigration enforcement agencies focus on those who have committed felonies and those who have crossed the border within the last year. By forgoing crackdowns on those without criminal records and who have been here longer, the White House claims it will be able to devote more resources to border enforcement and cracking down on those who pose a threat.

“Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a statement.

Ahead of the president’s address, Republicans were sharply critical of Obama’s move to circumvent Congress, some vowing to sue the administration and others warning it would spoil any attempt at bipartisan compromise over the next two years.

“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. But that is just not how our democracy works,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a short video statement posted on YouTube. “The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”

Even some congressional Democrats questioned Obama’s unilateral action, expressing preference for a more permanent solution through legislation.

“It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. “I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”

Said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, “I am concerned if the president’s action goes too far, that number one it will set the cause back, that it will inflame our politics, get us into a kind of retribution situation with the opponents of immigration reform, and really change the subject from immigration to the president and whether he should’ve done what he did.”

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Meet the Biggest Upset Winner of 2016 Midterm Elections

Hogan For Governor(BOCA RATON, Fla.) — Larry Hogan, the political longshot who is now the governor-elect of Maryland, is being applauded at the Republican Governors Association conference for his shocking upset win in the midterm elections.

Hogan says he won despite being outspent “five to one” and says he’s only the “second governor in nearly 50 years to be elected as a Republican” in the state.

Maryland was one of the rare spots that even got a visit from the president in the days before the election. The race wasn’t on the national radar and he even describes himself as a “no name, regular” guy.

But he’s at this week’s annual Republican Governors Association conference and he’s getting quite the reception. The RGA even decided to go into $1.5 million in debt to play in the state, a successful gamble.

Here’s a condensed Q and A with the man who pulled off the biggest upset of the midterm cycle, including his thoughts on 2016 and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:

ABC: Are you being treated like a rock star here after your big win?

LH: Well I’ve got to tell you nobody really expected us to win Maryland and it does seem like the surprise of the election season, so we are getting people coming up and congratulating us, I’ll tell you that.

ABC: How much has your life changed overnight?

LH: It is a little bit overwhelming quite frankly and it’s a little bit of a whirlwind. I mean immediately on election night state troopers show up in my room and now everybody in the country wants to talk to us and I’m just a no name guy who’s a small businessman whose never held elected office and now we pulled off the biggest upset in the country so it’s changed quite a bit, but I’m going to try and stay grounded. I mean what got me elected was talking to real people and just being a regular guy that was saying the same kind of things average Marylanders were talking about.

ABC: Are you the most in demand governor here?

LH: It seems like. Well, we ran a lot of tough races in Illinois, in Massachusetts, and in Maryland, but a lot of people are pretty excited about our win…I was surprised last night when during the opening dinner [New Jersey] Gov. Christie spent half his speech talking about the win in Maryland. And he came into our state four times and he really pushed the other governors to try and make a decision to come in and help us. And he said a lot of them thought he was completely crazy when he talked about Maryland, but we’re happy to have his support and the RGA helping us at the end of the race.

ABC: How much do you think that Chris Christie himself helped put you over the top?

LH: Well he helped a lot. We ran a great campaign. I worked for three and a half years to try and make this happen and we had a great grassroots effort with 130,000 volunteers involved, half of which were Democrats and Independents. But Chris Christie came at the end when no one believed and that helped convince the media to pay more attention to our race and it helped us raise a little bit more money to get our television ads on at the end.

ABC: How did you pull it off?

LH: We went into non-traditional areas. We did better among women, we did better among Hispanics, Asians, black voters. We did tremendously well, three times better than the last candidate than ran in our state. We won a lot of Jewish voters. We won in places people didn’t expect to win because we went there we talked with people and we talked about things they cared about and we came up with solutions they thought were better for the state.

ABC: When it comes to 2016, do you think it has to be a governor?

LH: I don’t know it has to be a governor, but my opinion is the crop of governors we have here, and I’ve gotten a chance to know some of them and have been following them all for a long time, they actually govern. And being a governor of a state you have to govern, you have to represent everybody, you have to make really tough decisions, you have to actually manage things… It’s a better breeding ground, better training to become president when you are in an executive capacity. Not to say we don’t have any great folks in the Senate or in the House, but legislators dont’ have the same experiences as people who are actually governing and running things.

ABC: Is that person here now?

LH: I think there’s a very good likelihood that the next president of the United States could be right here at his conference, yes.

ABC: What about Chris Christie?

LH: I’m a huge Chris Christie fan, have been for a long time since he was first elected in 2009. He won in a blue state, which is what I did, and he was kind of a role model for me because he did it in 2009… Nobody believed he could win, he pulled off an upset, and he’s done a great job as governor and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for his help and his advice and for believing in us and coming in to our state. I think the world of Gov. Christie and I think he would make a great president.


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The Seven Luckiest and Unluckiest Freshman Members of Congress

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — It’s not every day you spot suits doing backflips in the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives. But this week, the rules were different.

The 57 new members of the 114th Congress, gathered in a Capitol committee room to draw numbers for the Congressional Office Lottery, needed all the luck they could get.

“There’s a direct correlation between the number you drew and demonstrations of something that brings luck to you,” House Building Superintendent Bill Weidemeyer told fledgling members.

Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham, D-Fla., wasn’t leaving anything to chance.

She asked her chief-of-staff’s husband, Paul Woodward, to do a lucky backflip in the aisle before she reached her hand into the box to pick a numbered button that would determine the location of her office for the next two years.

Those with the lowest numbers pick their office space first and can choose some envy-creating digs. Those with high numbers choose their office space last when only some pretty cramped rooms with views of ventilation vents are left as options.

THE LUCKY ONES

Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham, Number: 6

Woodward’s stunt apparently worked. Graham drew pick number six.

“It was a last minute decision. We just — the room seemed like a fun room, and Gwen was like, will you do a back flip? I’m like, ‘Sure.’” Woodward told ABC.

“I was worried about his safety,” Graham chimed in. “I can barely do a forward roll.”

She eventually selected Longworth 1213, an ancillary office building located just south of the Capitol.

Rep.-Elect Steve Knight, Number: 1

Despite his refusal to bust a move, Rep.-Elect Steve Knight, R-Calif., drew number one, netting himself a highly-coveted office in the Longworth building.

Rep.-Elect Will Hurd, Number: 18

Former CIA agent Rep.-Elect Will Hurd, R-Texas, snagged a hidden gem: Cannon 317, an office former President John F. Kennedy occupied during his time in the House.

“I think every office in these buildings has a unique history. When you think about some of the legends and characters that have walked these halls, you know, it’s interesting to know our names are going to be added in that footnote,” he said.

But for the Republican congressman, utility was more important than sentimentality.

“I think as long as it has Internet connection and some desks, we’ll be ready,” he said.

But he wasn’t the only one who had his eye on JFK’s office.

THE NOT-SO-LUCKY ONES

Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell, Number: 40

Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who in January will replace her husband, retiring Rep. John Dingell, the U.S. House’s longest serving member, was itching to claim the JFK office.

“I am somebody that believes in rituals and traditions and has some sentimentality,” she told ABC. “But I’ll never get it.”

She was right. Dingell ended up in Cannon 116.

In her new workspace, the Michigan Democrat says, she’ll likely use her husband’s desk. It also belonged to his father, former Rep. John Dingell Sr., a newspaperman who served in the House for 22 years.

“If I could have the desk that the man who authored Social Security and the man who sat in the chair and helped author Medicare and the Civil Rights Act, maybe it’ll inspire and help me to do good things while I’m here,” Dingell said.

Rep.-Elect Rick Allen, Number: 50

Rep.-Elect Richard Allen, R-Ga., the second new lawmaker to choose a button, refused to dance.

He’s probably regretting it right about now.

“Mr. Allen did not dance and he drew number 50 [out of 57]. Just saying,” Weidemeyer quipped, as Allen hung his head.

Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock, Number: 57

Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock, R-Va., laughed when she drew pick 57 — dead last.

Some of her colleagues began to groan.

Comstock took it with good grace and soon her colleagues began to applaud.

“As I’ve told folks when I first started working here, I worked in House Annex Two. So any office in the people’s house is a fabulous office to be working in,” Comstock told ABC.

Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford, Number: 11

Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford, D-Neb., drew a fairly good number — 11 — despite being late to the selection and being bumped to be the last person to draw a button.

Ashford reportedly joked that his lateness was “sort of nonpartisan gesture to my new colleagues.”

“In the end, I feel good about it, since it’s fine. It’s so incredibly unimportant to me, so I was glad the others got their picks,” he told The Hill.

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Ted Cruz Graduates from Dr. Seuss to Cicero on Senate Floor

US Congress(WASHINGTON) — It seems Sen. Ted Cruz has graduated from Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham to the towering words of Cicero.

The Texas Republican took to the Senate floor Thursday to criticize President Obama’s expected executive action on immigration, set to be announced at 8 p.m. Thursday. But instead of using his own words, he adapted Cicero’s speech against Catiline to make his point.

“The words of Cicero, powerfully relevant 2,077 years later,” Cruz said.

“When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience?” he said, substituting “President Obama” for “O Catiline” in the speech’s opening. “How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end to that unbridled audacity of yours swaggering about as it does now?”

Cruz continued, appropriating features of Cicero’s address to fit the specifics of the immigration debate.

“Do not the nightly guards placed on the border, do not the watches posted throughout the city, does not the alarm of the people and the union of all good men and women, does not the precaution taken of assembling the Senate in this most defensible place, do not the looks and countenances of this venerable body here present have any effect upon you?” he asked. “Do you not feel that your plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and rendered powerless by the knowledge that everyone here possesses of it?”

Cruz regularly referred to notes while reading, though Cicero was said to have had the capacity to memorize his speeches.

The speech by Cicero, delivered in 63 B.C., was meant to further humiliate Catiline, apparently attempting to seize and overthrow the Roman Republic while Cicero was a consul.

Cruz’s Cicero references were a giant leap from when he read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham during a marathon filibuster in 2013. The reading was supposedly intended to entertain his kids, who were at home watching Cruz on the Senate floor.

The late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., was also known to use Cicero quotations to enhance his arguments on the Senate floor.

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CIA Praise, of Sorts, for Glenn Greenwald’s Book on Edward Snowden

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A CIA reviewer has halting praise for journalist Glenn Greenwald’s book on the Edward Snowden affair, calling it the book “the most complete, though far from the most objective account” of the leaker who exposed the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance programs.

The review, written by a veteran of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology and Directorate of Operations, was posted recently on the CIA’s website, in a regularly-updated section called the “Intelligent Officer’s Bookshelf.” The Agency veteran and others often review espionage-related popular nonfiction and fiction books for the site.

The reviewer describes Greenwald’s account in No Place to Hide of being contacted by Snowden and eventually meeting him in Hong Kong, before taking issue with what he called Greenwald’s “core arguments” presented later.

“Greenwald is appalled at the concept implied in the [third] chapter’s title [“Collect It All”] and analyzes it with the presumption of illegality while dismissing without comment the intelligence issues that led to its adoption,” the reviewer says. “Greenwald also ignores other interpretations regarding the legality of the NSA’s collection programs…”

Greenwald’s book is reviewed along with two others that cover the Snowden affair, and the reviewer concludes that Greenwald’s “sums up the common themes of these three books: Snowden’s acts were justified because he chose to seek ‘reform of the surveillance state.’”

A disclaimer at the bottom of the website notes that the opinions “expressed in this journal are those of the authors” and shouldn’t be “construed as asserting or implying U.S. government endorsement…”

In January, America’s top intelligence officials, including CIA Director John Brennan, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the purported severe damage Snowden’s disclosures had done to U.S. national security.

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CIA Praise, of Sorts, for Glenn Greenwald’s Book on Edward Snowden

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A CIA reviewer has halting praise for journalist Glenn Greenwald’s book on the Edward Snowden affair, calling it the book “the most complete, though far from the most objective account” of the leaker who exposed the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance programs.

The review, written by a veteran of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology and Directorate of Operations, was posted recently on the CIA’s website, in a regularly-updated section called the “Intelligent Officer’s Bookshelf.” The Agency veteran and others often review espionage-related popular nonfiction and fiction books for the site.

The reviewer describes Greenwald’s account in No Place to Hide of being contacted by Snowden and eventually meeting him in Hong Kong, before taking issue with what he called Greenwald’s “core arguments” presented later.

“Greenwald is appalled at the concept implied in the [third] chapter’s title [“Collect It All”] and analyzes it with the presumption of illegality while dismissing without comment the intelligence issues that led to its adoption,” the reviewer says. “Greenwald also ignores other interpretations regarding the legality of the NSA’s collection programs…”

Greenwald’s book is reviewed along with two others that cover the Snowden affair, and the reviewer concludes that Greenwald’s “sums up the common themes of these three books: Snowden’s acts were justified because he chose to seek ‘reform of the surveillance state.’”

A disclaimer at the bottom of the website notes that the opinions “expressed in this journal are those of the authors” and shouldn’t be “construed as asserting or implying U.S. government endorsement…”

In January, America’s top intelligence officials, including CIA Director John Brennan, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the purported severe damage Snowden’s disclosures had done to U.S. national security.

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Takata Airbag Safety Exec Denies Need for Nationwide Recall

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A vice president of Takata, the airbag company that has been subject to a series of recalls in recent years, told a congressional committee on Thursday that he does not believe a nationwide recall of Takata’s airbags is necessary.

Takata feels “strongly” that Takata recalls should continue to focus on “regions of high absolute humidity. Our best information supports the view that these regions must be the priority for the replacement of airbags,” Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata’s senior vice president of global quality assurance, told the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday morning.

The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration has called for a series of regional recalls to be expanded to a nationwide recall to replace Takata airbags installed in cars.

Senators had their first opportunity to question a Takata representative since its airbags were linked to five deaths related to faulty deployments. Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., sought to link Takata airbags to a sixth death, holding a press conference with a young woman who lost her sister in a 2003 automobile crash in Arizona.

Kim Kopf detailed how her sister Charlene Weaver was killed after a car accident while riding as a passenger in a 2004 Subaru Impreza. Kopf and her family maintain Weaver was killed after she was struck by an airbag in the passenger’s seat.

Kopf noted that the car her sister was a passenger in has yet to be recalled for airbag related reasons though similar models in humid states have been placed on the recall list.

“The American people have a right to know about the story behind this airbag recall,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who chaired the hearing. “That’s why we’re here today.”

Shimizu maintained that the main causes of airbag malfunctions are the age of the airbags, their exposure to humidity, and “potential production issues, which we have worked to identify and address.”

So far, automakers including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota have recalled several million cars because of defective airbags.

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Former Sen. Jim Webb Exploring Possible Run for the White House

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb is exploring whether to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

Webb announced his intention to form an exploratory committee in a message posted Thursday on his website, Webb 2016 Exploratory Committee.

In his post, Webb asks, “Is it possible that our next President could actually lay out a vision for the country, and create an environment where leaders from both parties and from all philosophies would feel compelled to work together for the good of the country, despite all of the money and political pressure that now demands they disagree?”

Webb suggests he’s the person for the job because of his one term in the Senate as a Democrat from 2007-20012 while also serving as Navy secretary during the Reagan administration in 1987 and 1988.

An exploratory committee is generally the first step in gauging the public’s interest in one’s potential candidacy as well as what kind of fundraising support is available.

Should Webb decide to run in 2016, one of his likely challengers will be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who many believe is just biding her time before making her candidacy official at some point in 2015.

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GOP Governors Mostly Hostile on Obama Immigration Executive Action

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Potential Republican presidential candidates at the Republican Governors Association annual conference gave very different responses to the president’s decision to announce major executive action on immigration reform Thursday.

At the gathering at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dodged, Texas Gov. Rick Perry threatened, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accused the president of throwing a “temper tantrum” and Ohio Gov. John Kasich sounded a more moderate tone.

Christie, the RGA’s outgoing chairman, refused to weigh in, saying, “We will have to wait and see what he says and what he does and what the legal implications are.”

Christie, never known to be less than vocal or shy, was asked several times his thoughts on the president’s decision and he refused each time, saying, “I am not going to articulate the basis of a yet-unknown candidacy.”

He did note his work in the state on the issue, including legislation he signed last year that gave tuition breaks to New Jersey residents who are the children of undocumented working immigrants, as well as his opposition to driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Asked specifically about a pathway to citizenship, Christie said he would share his thoughts on that issue: “If I run for president.”

Other governors weren’t shy and didn’t hesitate to critique the president, with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal calling it “absolutely an overreach of power.”

“This is not how the president should be doing this. If he wants change then he should go to the House, go to the Senate and pass a bill changing the law. He’s not the first president to ever disagree with Congress, but he is becoming the first president to consistently throw a temper tantrum and ignore Congress time and time again,” Jindal said in an interview with ABC News.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — also considering a possible run for the White House — said the president is acting without the “consent of the governed.”

“I think it would be a profound mistake for the president to overturn America’s immigration laws with a stroke of a pen,” Pence said.

Gov. Perry, also considering attempting another run in 2016, said he sees a “very real possibility” that his state of Texas sues the president over his executive action, something the man who will take over for him in January, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, has already been saying. Perry noted that he believes if the president does move forward he could even endanger his party’s chances of regaining power in Washington, saying it would be sticking a “a finger in the eye of the American people with no thought about it.”

“I think the president is taking a major, major political chance with what he’s doing,” Perry said at an RGA session with four other possible 2016ers, including Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio’s Gov. John Kasich, Pence and Jindal.

“He’s putting his party in jeopardy, and I think he’s putting members of the Senate and the House in jeopardy,” Perry said.

“The president is going to take this action supposedly tomorrow. It is unconstitutional, in his own words, in his own words,” Perry added. “The American people are not for this…you will not get Americans to support an immigration reform bill until the border is secure…not until that point.”

Kasich, who recently won re-election by a massive margin, consistently gave a more moderate position than his GOP counterparts, although he did call unilateral action on the part of the president a “mistake.” He did call on Republican leaders to work with the president on immigration. He even said he wouldn’t oppose citizenship eventually for these immigrants after a “laborious and tough process” because “we’ve got to think about what’s going to bring about healing,” adding “everybody in this country has to feel like they have an opportunity.”

The governors gathered here are celebrating their recent big wins, including in blue states like Maryland, Illinois and Massachusetts. In January there will be 31 governors in state house across the country, which is the most for either party in 16 years. They spent a total of $130 million in the cycle.

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