President Barack Obama poked a few holes in Republican criticism of his decision to take executive action on immigration, which Obama formally announced on Thursday.
In the speech on Friday in Nevada Obama joked about the lengths he went with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to get him to pass an immigration bill.
“I cajoled and I called and I met,” Obama said. “I told John Boehner: I’ll wash your car. I’ll walk your dog. Whatever you need to do — just call the bill. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.”
“Call the vote,” Obama added.
Boehner, by the way, does not have a dog, as Boehner spokesman Michael Steel tweeted to reporters after the speech.
@seungminkim I can confirm: Boehner does not, in fact, have a dog.
— Michael Steel (@michael_steel) November 21, 2014
Much of the new criticism Obama’s received for taking executive action is, according to conservatives, that he’s overstepped his bounds
“The actions that I’ve taken are not only lawful, they’re the kind of actions taken under every Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century,” Obama said. “Ronald Reagan took action to keep families together. The first President Bush took action to shield about 40 percent of undocumented immigrants at the time. This isn’t something I’m doing as if it’s never been done. This kind of thing has been done before. So when members of Congress question my authority to make our immigration system work better I have a simple answer: pass a bill.”
But that’s unlikely to silence Republicans who are outraged with Obama’s decision to take executive action. On Friday Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) likened the move to when then-President Franklin Roosevelt signing an executive order that resulted in the internment of Japanese-Americans.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on CNN Friday afternoon said he was “very frustrated” with Obama’s decision.
“What kind of a precedent does this set for future presidents, Wolf,” McCain said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer.
This post has been updated.