Tags: Pfeiffer | immigration | president | Republicans

White House Senior Adviser Pfeiffer Talks Impeachment — Part II

By    |   Monday, 04 Aug 2014 07:39 AM

This is the second article on the July 25 appearance by White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor at which he briefed reporters on the White House policy to take aggressive Executive action with respect to immigration and other issues and to dare the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to sue and even to impeach the president if they can.

Pfeiffer was introduced by Dave Cook, senior editor of The Monitor. After giving an opening statement, Pfeiffer took questions from Cook and other reporters. In his opening question, Cook asked for Pfeiffer's reaction to speeches by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to the National Urban League, and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., shifting toward a "compassionate" agenda, "does it matter" for 2014 and 2016?

Pfeiffer sarcastically called it "a positive step" for Republicans to talk about efforts by the working poor to move into the middle class, which they derided in 2012 as the 47 percent, and he referred as well to proposals by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., but Pfeiffer placed all this in the context of a Ryan budget "balanced on the backs of the poor," as the cliche goes. He attributed to Republicans a "top down" program that they realize is a "loser."

As occurred at a previous breakfast, Cook asked the speaker for reaction to criticism of the president in the press and among several Senate committee chairman for weak leadership, this time by failing to punish Russia for the downing of the Malaysian airliner and staying on the fundraising trail instead of responding to the crisis.

Pfeiffer fell back on his message that the very partisan time we live in calls for Republicans to criticize everything the president does, that it started immediately with Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz. He asserted that the administration has been putting increasing pressure on Russia and that it is the Russians who are acting "out of weakness, not of strength." The White House saw "no substantive reason" for the president to return from a trip to the White House, and he has to be able "to do more than one thing."

When asked how much stock the White House puts in the reported approval ratings of the president, Pfeiffer responded that the administration puts more stock in private polling than in the public results. (This raises questions whether and why the two would differ markedly.) He sees the numbers moving within a very narrow band, with the approval rating improving at a point per month but progress limited by events that keep interfering with the ability of the White House to get its message out regarding the issue the American people care most about, which is the economy.

He pointed to a decline in the approval of all institutions and clinched his argument by saying, "The congressional Republicans would kill for our numbers."

A reporter was the first to raise the immigration issue, asking whether the administration has decided to dare the Republicans to "just sue us." Pfeiffer offered a limited response, because of announcements pending at the White House, that the events on the border have raised the visibility of the issue and the resulting sense of urgency that the broken immigration system be fixed gives the administration "broad permission" to proceed with Executive action. He took a shot at the Republican House for leaving for recess without acting on the request for supplemental funding to deal with the border crisis. He contended that the White House will not act without first making sure it is "on solid legal ground."

(Archived video can be found here.)

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Robert-Feinberg
This is the second article on the July 25 appearance by White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor at which he briefed reporters on the White House policy to take aggressive Executive action with respect to immigration and other issues.
Pfeiffer, immigration, president, Republicans
609
2014-39-04
Monday, 04 Aug 2014 07:39 AM
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