Mitch Perry Report – 11.24.14

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President Obama’s announcement on Thursday night that he would sign an executive order shielding up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation predictably has outraged Republicans, but the question about how they’ll fight his action is still being decided.

On Friday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner announced that he was following through on a threat to sue the President – but on the Affordable Care Act, not immigration.

The Miami Herald’s Mark Caputo has a fascinating story about how many of the Republican Governors who are looking at a run for president in 2016 dealt with Obama’s executive order when asked about it at the Republican Governors Association meeting last week in Boca Raton. Many of them seemed disgusted that they had to comment on it at all. “We are actually talking about issues that people care about in our states,” the story quotes Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as saying, “instead of obsessing about the things you’re talking about right now, which aren’t even on the top 10 list of most Americans.”

One Republican who isn’t playing his cards close to the vest in venting his disgust regarding  the president’s actions is Texas Senator Ted Cruz, also rumored to be fancying a run for the White House in 2016. Cruz wants Mitch McConnell to announce that the next Congress not confirm a single nominee – executive or judicial – outside of national security positions, as way to rebuke the president. But when asked yesterday on Fox News Sunday that doing so could allow Eric Holder to remain as Attorney General, Cruz initially didn’t answer (Holder has been the most loathed figure amongst Republicans on the Cabinet, and surely he’d like to see him jettisoned for his successor, Loretta Lynch).
Cruz ultimately  responded that, “In my view, the majority leader should decline to bring to the floor of the Senate any nomination other than vital national security positions. Now, that is a serious and major step.”
Meanwhile, two Democrats (perhaps in name only?) who have written endlessly critical pieces about President Obama over the past few years, pollsters Doug Schoen and Patrick Caddell (who has been a regular contributor on Fox), have penned an op-ed in this morning’s Wall Street Journal ,where they write that Obama’s executive order on immigration may have serious consequences for “Washington, the country and the Democratic Party, most of all Hillary Clinton.” The authors don’t get too much into the policy (which Mrs. Clinton has said she supports), instead speculating that Obama’s dragging poll numbers could put her in a difficult position as she tries to separate from him without alienating his supporters.
But back to the GOP governors who were in Boca Raton last week. The guy to look out for in terms of distinguishing himself might be Ohio Governor John Kasich, who stood out not only for saying he’s open to the possibility of supporting eventual citizenship for immigrants currently in the country illegally, but also was the only one to defend Common Core and advocate for Medicaid expansion.
The demographics nationally are much different than they are in specific congressional districts, where you hear the most heated rhetoric on the immigration issue. Every serious GOP candidate for president realizes that, and also realizes how Mitt Romney doomed himself with his “self-deportation” comment back at the debate at USF in January of 2012.
In other news… We attended the discussion between political strategists Adam Goodman and Steve Schale on Friday in Tampa. The conversation was fascinating, especially when it turned to Cuba.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.