Maybe there’s something in the air in Minnesota.
During a two-day trip to the Gopher State, the president referred to himself Thursday as a “caged bear,” who is on the “loose” when he’s able to get outside the White House.
Then, on Friday, the bear was apparently riled up. Smarting from House Republican opposition that announced it was going to sue the president over his use of executive action, the Obama grizzly declared he was going to “say what’s on my mind.”
“They’re not doing anything, and then they’re mad at me for doing something,” Mr. Obama said of Republican lawmakers, adding, “They’ve decided they’re going to sue me for doing my job.”
This came two days after Republican House Speaker John Boehner announced his conference was taking him to court.
“The Constitution makes it clear that a president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws,” House Speaker John Boehner alleged Wednesday. “In my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws.”
The president mocked it all.
“You know, I might have said in the heat of the moment in one of these debates, ‘I want to raise the minimum wage, so sue me when I do,’” the president said. “But I didn’t think they were going to take it literally.”
“They don’t do anything, except block me and call me names,” he said.
The remarks in Minnesota were in addition to the president’s interview Friday morning on ABC, in which he vowed no apologies and dismissed the lawsuit.
“I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing,” Obama said before adding, “The suit is a stunt.”
Obama has ramped up his use of executive action since the beginning of the year, acting on rules for everything from climate change and manufacturing to women’s pay and student loans.
But his use of the power has actually paled in comparison to past presidents. He ranks 19th among all presidents and trails every president back to and including Jimmy Carter, except George H.W. Bush, who served just one term.
However, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said on the NewsHour June 18 that the numbers don’t matter.
“I think it’s silly to compare the actual numbers of executive orders,” Turley argued. “In fact, when this came up the last time I testified in Congress, and I told Congress you can’t simply look at the number of executive orders. You could have a single executive order that changes the very essence of our system.”
“The bear” might have something else to say about that.