At the Univision forum yesterday, President Obama said his “biggest failure” as president was failing to pass immigration reform. Not only was this news to everyone — last we heard, his biggest mistake was focusing too much on policy and not enough on telling stories — but he wouldn’t even take responsibility for the lack of progress. The real culprits? Obstructionist Republicans and distracting economic problems. According to Obama, his only real error — if you could call it that — was being too “naive” about the whole situation:
“My biggest failure so far is we haven’t gotten comprehensive immigration reform done,” Obama said. “But it’s not because for lack of trying or desire, and I’m confident we are going to accomplish that.” …
The president faced tough questions on why he hadn’t accomplished comprehensive immigration reform, an important issue for Hispanic voters. Jorge Ramos, one of the moderators for Univision, put it bluntly: “You promised that and a promise is a promise and with all due respect, you didn’t keep that promise.”
Obama said on Univision that he accepted responsibility but that he faced an economy “on the verge of collapse” in his first year and blamed Republicans for abandoning support for comprehensive immigration reform.
“What I confess I did not expect, and so I’m happy to take responsibility for being naive here, is that Republicans who had previously supported comprehensive immigration reform, my opponent in 2008 who had been a champion of it and who attended these meetings, suddenly would walk away,” he said. “That’s what I did not anticipate.”
This is completely delusional. If Obama was so tied up with economic issues his first year in office, why did he spend the majority of that time focused on his health care reform bill? The idea that Republicans have been blocking his attempts at immigration reform is also absurd. When did Obama do anything during his first three years — outside of giving occasional speeches — that moved the ball forward on immigration, or showed that he had any serious interest in tackling it? When confronted by Hispanic leaders, Obama would blame Republicans and insist that he couldn’t just issue an executive order on immigration. Then, as soon as the GOP started moving forward on its own immigration reform plan, he suddenly flip-flopped and took executive action.
Republicans haven’t refused to work with Obama on immigration. There’s no indication Obama even tried to reach out to them on the issue. In fact, he’s done just the opposite. The White House made every effort to kill Marco Rubio’s DREAM Act proposal, and eventually succeeded once Obama issued his immigration executive order — a temporary bandaid that’s no substitute for real reform.