Rove blasts Obama's executive actions: 'This is imperial power'

Karl Rove, a White House adviser to former President George W. Bush, said Sunday that President Obama takes greater liberties with his executive power than his predecessor did.

Speaking to "Fox News Sunday," Rove accused Obama of picking and choosing which laws he will enforce and which ones he won't.

"This is imperial power," Rove said. "This is George III."

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Rove said the House Republicans' lawsuit against Obama for what they say is excessive use of his executive authority will set an "important" precedent for the White House.

"The legislative power is embodied in the House of Representatives, in the United States Senate," Rove said. "It does not say the legislative power is shared between the president and the Congress."

"The president is given under the Constitution broad authority in waging war independent of the Congress," Rove said in defense of Bush's war on terror. "But when it comes to the execution of the laws passed by Congress, the statutes, a president must first and foremost look whenever they take an executive action, an executive order, for example, they must look for, is there a statutory basis to do so?"

Rove suggested that Obama does not have the authority to issue executive actions exempting people from complying with immigration laws and companies from complying with portions of ObamaCare, even though he has done that.

"I remember plenty of times as we discussed executive orders, the counsel's office and other legal authorities inside the administration were weighing in on what was the statutory authority for the president to take his action," Rove said.

"One of the instances was we reviewed, does the president have authority to take a class of individuals and exempt them from the enforcement of immigration laws? And the lawyers came back and said, you have an ability to exempt individuals but no ability to exempt a class," he said. "And yet, this president has exempted a class of people from enforcement of immigration laws."

"I actually read the Affordable Care Act," he added. "I can find little or no authority at all for the 39 exemptions that he's gotten. There's no statutory in the law that says the president can delay the individual mandate, delay the employer mandate."