White House press secretary Josh Earnest hastened to explain President Obama’s claim last week that he unilaterally changed immigration law, claiming the president was merely “speaking colloquially.”
While being heckled by immigration activists during an event in Chicago last Tuesday, an exasperated Obama told the crowd he’d already acted to “change the law” by granting amnesty to 5 million people. Until that point, the White House had repeatedly claimed it was working within existing law passed by Congress.
“Did the president misspeak in a moment of passion, to try to calm the crowd?” CBS’ Major Garrett asked Earnest. ”Or do you fundamentally believe that he has taken action to change the law?”
“I think he was speaking colloquially,” Earnest replied. “That what he has put in place — uh, meaning that, obviously — well, no meaning that it’s the responsibility of the United States’ Congress to pass laws, and it’s the responsibility of the executive branch to implement and enforce them.”
“I think the impact of the law certainly has been changed, in terms of the way that it affects millions of people who are in this country,” he continued. “And I think that’s what the president was alluding to.”