Former Attorney General John Aschcroft said that President Obama appeals to ethnic politics while ignoring the law.
“The president believes that the democracy speaks to him not through Congress but through opinion polls” and advisers, Ashcroft said Friday in a speech before a group of Republican lawyers at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Ashcroft weighed in on the controversies surrounding Obama’s immigration executive order and the racial powder keg in Ferguson, Missouri. The Bush Department of Justice chief spoke about the police officers shot in his home state and the two officers tragically executed in New York City since the beginning of the Michael Brown-Eric Garner protests.
Without specifically naming current Attorney General Eric Holder, Ashcroft took aim at the Obama administration’s actions.
“I do not believe that prosecutorial discretion includes ignoring wholesale sections of the law,” Ashcroft said, noting that the administration will pursue certain initiatives to appease “some ethnic portions of the country” to help assemble a governing majority.
“I find this to be very threatening,” Ashcroft said. “I find this to be very disconcerting.”
“The rule of law is not only threatened. But when it is perverted [for politics] I find it to be repugnant.”
Ashcroft said that those in government who seek to put politics over the law should apologize.
“They need to apologize to the American people and they need to apologize to law enforcement,” Aschcroft said, adding that officials should be “promoting liberty rather than pandering to politics.”
Approached by The Daily Caller after his speech, Ashcroft declined to comment on Holder’s specific Ferguson actions. “I said what I said,” Aschcroft replied, referring to his speech. “I stand on that.”
Ashcroft praised the economic contribution of immigration through history, citing industrialist Andrew Carnegie, but also noted the threat posed by immigrants seeking welfare benefits rather than assimilation in the American culture.
“They don’t come here to be one people, some of them, as much as they come here to get free stuff.”
As for the gridlock on Capitol Hill, which the press almost uniformly blames on the obstructionism of congressional Republicans, Aschcroft points toward the administration in power.
Obama and his way of thinking “misinterprets the inaction of Congress and calls the inaction of Congress a denial of democracy,” Aschcroft said in his speech.
“When Congress fails to act it is an expression of democracy” because it “means that the people don’t want to do what is being offered.”
Ashcroft also remarked on Obama’s comment this week on the virtues of mandatory voting.
The former attorney general said that Obama is “incapable of distinguishing that not voting is one of the democratic freedoms that we enjoy.”
With America reeling from “a very, very serious disruption” in law enforcement, Ashcroft made a subtle overture to 2016, which garnered the speech’s biggest applause break.
“When we’re electing a president we should be very careful about who we elect.”