GOP’s 2016 contenders blast Obama

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Potential GOP candidates for the White House sought to one-up each other with their responses to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) said Obama was not above the law, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry denounced the president of “political grandstanding.”

{mosads}Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor to put a modern spin on Cicero’s famous warning to the citizens of Rome that their empire would collapse.

“For we have a resolution of the Senate, a formidable and authoritative decree against you, President Obama; the wisdom of the republic is not at fault, nor the dignity of this senatorial body,” Cruz said. “We, we alone – I say it openly – we, the Senates, are waiting in our duty to stop this lawless Administration and its Amnesty.”

Obama announced moves to protect roughly 5 million immigrants from deportation.

His actions were expected, and had been criticized in recent days by Republicans who accused him of executive overreach.

In a statement, Paul said Obama had no right to “issue executive amnesty.”

“His actions blatantly ignore the separations of powers and the principles our country was founded on,” Paul said, adding that Obama “said 22 times previously that he does not have the power to legislate on immigration.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sounded a familiar Republican refrain, saying no immigration reform should happen unless the borders are secured first. Immigration reform is sticky issue for Rubio, as he helped draft the bill the Senate ultimately passed. He then backed away from his immigration reform push after it became clear the bill he voted for in the Senate wouldn’t get through the House because of conservative opposition. Rubio says he favors a piecemeal approach to immigration reform.

“We need immigration reform. But the right way to do it is to first bring illegal immigration under control by securing the borders and enforcing the laws, then modernizing our legal immigration system,” Rubio said. “After we do these things, we will eventually have to deal with those here illegally in a reasonable but responsible way. The president’s actions now make all of this harder and are unfair to people in our immigration system who are doing things the right way.”

Perry denounced Obama, but he also spread blame to Congress for not addressing the border. And he sought to portray his work in Texas as more responsible.

“Texas has proven beyond any doubt that this border can be secured, even if the federal government refuses to take the steps necessary to do so as required by the Constitution,” Perry said in a statement. “This agreement will ensure the hardworking men and women from DPS, the Texas National Guard and Texas Parks and Wildlife, who have been working with local and federal partners, have the resources they need to maintain a robust law enforcement presence along the border until the Legislature can act.”

Former Florida governor and 2016 hopeful Jeb Bush blasted Obama’s immigration order shortly after his prime-time address.

“President Obama’s ill-advised unilateral action on illegal immigration undermines all efforts to forge a permanent solution to this crisis,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Republicans should not strike a deal with Obama on immigration, and instead should make a legal case against his executive actions and invoke their power of the purse against him.

“This guy went from the audacity of hope to the audacity of the power play,” Walker said in an interview on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “Two weeks after, in his own words, his policies were on the ballot and they were resoundingly defeated, instead of doing what any normal person would do which is to back off and figure out a way to work with the new Senate majority, newly grown House majority, instead he’s doubled down and gone the opposite way, and I think really put in place a legal crisis, at a minimum, and a constitutional crisis in terms of the separation of powers.”

This post was updated at 3:47 p.m. Friday.



Tags 2016 presidential campaign Barack Obama Immigration Rand Paul Rick Perry Ted Cruz

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