In a segment on his PBS show Thursday night, Charlie Rose and his guests discussed President Obama’s executive order on illegal immigration and described the responses from those in the Republican Party as “a bit extreme” and “ludicrous” while also harping on the conundrum that Republican leadership now supposedly faces in dealing with conservatives now that the executive amnesty is announced.
Joined by Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post and Michael Shear of The New York Times, the three discussed the President’s executive action in a segment that was taped prior to his speech during the program’s first 15 minutes.
On the topic of actions Republican leadership in Congress should take, Tumulty had no issues asserting that the leaders will have a “delicate” job rejecting more conservative members of the party: “[T]he leaders here have a pretty– pretty delicate job on their hands, on the one hand to push back against the President but on the other hand, to tamp down some of their own members.”
Rose also spent time reading the reaction of outgoing Republican Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who emphasized that this is “a very serious situation” and was hoping there wouldn’t be any “but you could see instances of anarchy” and “violence.” For simply raising this possibility, Rose was befuddled and declared that it was “a bit extreme, I think.”
Tumulty made another snide remark about the GOP later in the segment when Rose asked her what she thought about Paul Ryan’s rebuttal to the President that the Democrats had solid majorities in both the House and Senate for two years and he failed to get his version of immigration reform through:
Well, he has a point and he doesn't have a point. Yes, it is true, that the Democrats did not act when they had not only a majority in the house but a, you know, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They were completely preoccupied with health care, but also the idea that the Republicans were somehow going to deal with this in a few weeks is unrealistic to the point of being ludicrous.
The relevant portions of the transcript from PBS’s Charlie Rose on November 20 is transcribed below.
PBS’s Charlie Rose
November 20, 2014
11:43 p.m. Eastern
KAREN TUMULTY: You know, there's a feeling they need to sort of step on the people within their own party who are talking about shutting down the government or impeaching the President, that in many ways, this is the kind of act that also brings out the worst impulses of the Republicans and so the leaders here have a pretty– pretty delicate job on their hands, on the one hand to push back against the President but on the other hand, to tamp down some of their own members.
11:46 p.m. Eastern
TUMULTY: And the Republicans have a problem here, too because they actually did fairly well with Latino voters in this midterm election, but they know that they-- that to alienate this group, which is the largest-- the fastest growing minority in the country, is to-- creates a long-term problem for them.
CHARLIE ROSE: There are two points here from Republican Senators Jon Cornyn of Texas, said, quote, "I believe his unilateral action which is unconstitutional,” anticipated unilateral action, “which is unconstitutionally illegal will deeply harm our prospects for immigration reform. It will be deeply harmful to our nation's tradition and rules of law and deeply harmful to the future of democracy.” That from Cornyn, John Cornyn and this from Senator Tom Coburn, whose leaving the Senate, "The country's going to go nuts because they're going to see it as a move outside the authority of the President and it's going to be a very serious situation. You're going to see – hopefully not – but you could see instances of anarchy. You could see violence.” That's a bit extreme, I think, but what could we see as a response to this executive action?
TUMULTY: The calculation that the White House is making and it’s certainly it's what I'm hearing from a lot of lawyers I've talked to is that this is the kind of case that the Courts don't like to get involved in. They see it as a sort of political dispute between the other two branches of government. So Congress's options here are to a., they could pass a bill with a veto-proof majority to over-ride this executive order. They could defund the parts of the government that would be required to implement it and in the most extreme case, they could impeach the President.
11:48 p.m. Eastern
ROSE: Does Paul Ryan have a point when he said, “he had two years with the super majority of his own party and didn't lift a finger and now he won't give us two weeks. He's basically choosing to give us a partisan bomb.”
MICHAEL SHEAR: I mean, look – I think, go ahead Karen.
TUMULTY: Well he has a point and he doesn't have a point. Yes, it is true, that the Democrats did not act when they had not only a majority in the house but a, you know, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They were completely preoccupied with health care, but also the idea that the Republicans were somehow going to deal with this in a few weeks is unrealistic to the point of being ludicrous.