Mitt Romney joined a chorus of Republicans on Wednesday in criticizing President Obama's decision to recess-appoint Richard Cordray to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, calling it "Chicago-style politics."
"Instead of working with Congress to fix the flaws in this new bureaucracy, the president is declaring that he 'refuses to take no for an answer’ and circumventing Congress to appoint a new administrator," Romney said in a statement. "This action represents Chicago-style politics at its worst and is precisely what then-Sen. Obama claimed would be ‘the wrong thing to do.’ Sadly, instead of focusing on economic growth, he is once again focusing on creating more regulation, more government and more Washington gridlock."
Earlier in the day Obama announced he would circumvent the Senate and make a recess appointment to put Cordray in charge of the bureau. That decision comes in response to Republicans refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Cordray until the White House modified the bureau so it has more oversight and is run by a small panel rather than one director.
Responding to Obama's decision, a number of Republicans attacked Obama's decision and challenged whether he actually had the authority to make a recess appointment. They said that since the Senate is in a pro forma session it isn't really in recess, and therefore Obama can't make a recess appointment.
The White House has cited legal interpretations by George W. Bush's administration in defense of recess appointments during pro forma sessions.