Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel went to bat for his former boss Monday, claiming he supports President Obama’s strategy of bypassing Congress “one thousand percent” and comparing Obama’s executive orders on healthcare to the Emancipation Proclamation.
Emanuel — the former White House chief of staff in Washington DC on Monday to receive federal money for a new “manufacturing hub” in Chicago — spoke with CNN’s Jim Acosta. The reporter asked if he thought Obama’s plan to use executive actions to ignore an unwilling Congress is the right approach.
“One thousand percent,” he declared. “He can’t allow America’s future to be held hostage by a Congress that won’t do anything.”
And what about worries over an imperial presidency? “So? Well, I dunno,” he began. “These are not equal, but the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive action. Integrating the armed forces was an executive action.”
“There are times which, if Congress would step up, the president would work with them,” he added. “But he has a responsibility not to let the future slip from our hands.”
Emanuel also waved away concerns about a looming Democratic defeat in midterm elections this November. “The one thing I know about politics,” he claimed, “is that anybody who tells you they know what’s gonna happen ten months from now doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”
And he provided valuable insight into how a stateside Democratic politician views Washington DC. “I like coming here when I can take money back home,” he said, laughing. “And this is one of those opportunities.”
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