I can't believe Plouffe has to appear on This Week and answer these stupid charges. As cautious as Obama appears to the rest of us, the Republicans paint him as some reckless dictator, imposing his will over the rule of law - which just goes to show what venal, shameless liars they are. Decent people should shun these Republican liars - that is, if any of them ever got out of the Beltway bubble long enough for you to actually see them.
But this new immigration policy also shows you that the president is more than capable of getting things done when it comes down to risking his reelection if he doesn't. Maybe there's some way he could use his "discretion" to help the unemployed - or at the very least, stop prosecuting medical marijuana cases, which the administration has previously resisted, using the exact same reasons they cited for immigration policy.
The LGBT community and the DREAM Act constituency held his feet to the fire, and they got results. There's a lesson in there for the rest of us: When they ask, "Are you in?" respond: "It depends on whether you're cutting Social Security and Medicare, and what you're doing to help the jobless."
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's begin with that immigration announcement the president made in the Rose Garden on Friday. Governor Romney has already criticized it. This morning, he's out in a new interview saying it was political, that if the president was serious about immigration reform, he would have gotten it done before now. What's your response?
PLOUFFE: Well, George, it's ironic coming from Governor Romney, who said he would veto the DREAM Act, whose immigration policy during the primary seemed to consist of just sending 11 million people home, asking them to self-deport.
We tried, as you know -- you covered it -- we've tried as hard as we can to pass both the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. Congress has refused.
Now, this is not a permanent solution. This simply gives Homeland Security and our law enforcement officials the opportunity to enforce the law with some discretion and allows these young people, who came here many times early in their life, who want to serve in our military and work in our businesses and study in our colleges, the ability to apply for a two-year period for work authorization.
So we still need a permanent fix. The president would sign the DREAM Act tomorrow, the next day, the day after that. That's ultimately the only way to fix this, is for congressional action. But in the interim, this is a smart step by the Homeland Security Department.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But other Republicans have said it's an overstepping of the president's constitutional authority. Senator Jeff Sessions of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the president's -- this is a prosecutorial policy not to enforce plain law. And the president did seem to suggest last year that he couldn't take this kind of action on his own. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system, that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: But isn't that what the president's doing now?
PLOUFFE: It's not, George. What the president was speaking about is he couldn't through executive order essentially establish the DREAM Act. And that's not what we did this week. You know, our attorneys -- the homeland security attorneys -- are absolutely confident this is within our authority, to use some discretion. And this builds on a series of steps we've taken to try and make sure that we're focusing on tougher border security, that we are deporting criminals, people who pose a threat to our community, not people who are just trying to live the American dream.
So this -- again, this is not a permanent fix. This for a two-year period allows people to try and apply for work authorization. All of those applications will be reviewed. But we need Congress to act here.