It was a stunning moment. A stark revelation that undermined what the president and his supporters have insisted about Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration reform. A casual admission that showed even the president himself knew what he had done was contrary to the Constitution.
During his big immigration speech in Chicago Tuesday night, President Obama became annoyed at hecklers who continued to interrupt his prepared remarks — women who loudly called out for the president to stop all deportations of illegal immigrants.
Going off script — turning away from his teleprompter — Obama acknowledged that he did what a President of the United States does not have the constitutional authority to do — change the law on his own.
Advertisement - story continues below
As noted in a post on rollcall.com regarding Obama’s executive action on amnesty that affects some 5 million illegals:
The White House has defended Obama’s action as a case of prosecutorial discretion grounded in precedent over decades, as many other presidents have also granted executive amnesty of one form or another without Congress.
But Obama did not “change the law.”
That’s Congress’s job.
The comment is certain to feed into the Republican attack that Obama is acting like an “emperor.”
A new poll just released on cnn.com finds that Americans are not happy with the way Obama went about, as the president himself acknowledged, changing the law:
…when asked for their stance on Obama using an executive order to make those changes, just 41% said they favor the move, while 56% said they oppose it.
By clicking on the video above, you can watch Obama’s stunning statement about his changing the law without congressional authority.