President Obama put it bluntly: “I can do whatever I want.”
Yesterday, while visiting with French President François Hollande at Monticello, Obama made the off-hand comment.
The remark comes in the wake of other recent statements, including the President’s comment that all he needs is “a pen and a phone” to get things done without Congress.
After the original “pen and phone” comment, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “He will not limit himself and certainly doesn’t think the American people would want him to limit himself just to what he could do legislatively through Congress.”
Obama’s comments — and subsequent actions — have faced criticism. Some say Obama is not respecting the separation of powers in the government.
“President Obama has shown no qualms about taking unilateral actions that bypass Congress and ignore important separation of powers principles that are an essential safeguard of our liberty,” said Heritage’s John Malcolm, director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
Here’s a video clip of Obama’s remark at Monticello: