Obama: GOP Trying to Turn Back the Clock
President Obama undressed the Republicans on Friday during a keynote speech at an awards dinner for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
He criticized Republicans for “turning the clock back” on important issues like immigration and racial equality.
“They have invented this new reality where everything was terrific back in 2008, when the unemployment and uninsured rates were rising and DREAMers lived in fear of deportation and [Osama] bin Laden was still at large,” Obama said.
“That was the golden era apparently, the good ole days. Then I came and messed it all up.”
The Hill reports:
He accused the GOP of wanting to turn the clock back furthest on immigration, noting that his predecessor, President George W. Bush, made immigration reform a top priority.
And he implicitly chided Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a Republican presidential candidate, for abandoning immigration reform despite sponsoring the 2013 comprehensive reform bill in the Senate.
”Some of the very same Republican politicians who championed immigration reform in the past, some of whom sponsored these efforts, suddenly they want nothing to do with it,” he said.
“That’s not leadership, turning against what’s right the moment the politics of your base gets tough.”
Obama’s comments came at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) awards gala in Washington, about an hour after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton presented an award. A slew of Democratic politicians also addressed the CHCI during its public policy conference.
The president took aim at Donald Trump for his controversial rhetoric and immigration platform, noting that “America’s greatness does not come from building walls,” and accused Republicans of sowing the seeds of “intolerance.”
“Leadership is not fanning the flames of intolerance and acting all surprised when a fire breaks out. Saying clearly inflammatory things and then saying, ‘That’s not what I meant,’ until you do it again and again and again,” he said.
“The anti-immigrant sentiment that has infected our politics is not new but it is wrong. … Unless you are Navajo or Cherokee, somebody somewhere came from someplace else.”
Photo credit: The New Yorker.