Santorum: On immigration, Obama 'has not faithfully executed' the law
June 17th, 2012
09:15 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: On immigration, Obama 'has not faithfully executed' the law

(CNN) - Rick Santorum used a phrase from the presidential oath of office when asserting on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that President Barack Obama crossed the line in an immigration directive he issued on Friday.

The oath is a pledge to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States" and follow the Constitution.

ALSO SEE: Romney walking fine line on immigration, Santorum says

"There's a difference between saying, 'I don't like the law. I wish, you know, I wish the law were different. But I'm the president. My job is to faithfully execute.' And he has not faithfully executed," Santorum told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

He said the selective enforcement of laws practiced daily by police officers is very different from the directive that deportations for some young people who are in the United States illegally be deferred, provided they arrived at a young age, have no criminal record, are not a security threat and are pursuing higher education.

"It's the difference between someone who is actually in the, you know, out there on the street, you know, making a call as to whether to charge someone with a crime," Santorum said, and having "a policy at the top saying we are going to carte blanche order people not to enforce the law."

Santorum and other Republicans sharply criticized the president following Friday's announcement, which some saw as political posturing.

The former senator from Pennsylvania has repeatedly criticized Obama for bypassing the congressional lawmaking process by issuing the directive.

"To me, the most outrageous thing was the process in which he did it," Santorum told Crowley.

When campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, he often prefaced his answers to questions on immigration with the story of his father's move to the country at a young age. He said in the interview he doesn't "like a lot of the rhetoric and tone that I hear from some on our side," and that he understands "the sympathy for people who came here through no fault of their own."

Santorum also defended his endorsement of Dan Liljenquist to replace long-time Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a fixture of the Senate with whom Santorum served from 1995-2007.

"It's not Orrin Hatch's seat. It wasn't my seat when I was in the United States Senate. In other words, nobody owns it," he said. "The people of Utah, just like the people of every other state, have an opportunity every time to assess who's the right person at the time."

One of Santorum's previous endorsements, for fellow Pennsylvanian Arlen Specter's 2004 re-election, came under criticism as Santorum's rivals argued he supported the man who cast the deciding Senate vote in favor of Obama's health reform law. Santorum said he backed Specter - who was a Republican, then switched parties in 2009 - in exchange for Specter's support of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees, a promise Specter said he never made.

Reflecting on his primary run this year, Santorum told Crowley that he stands by his statement in April - shortly after ending his presidential bid - that he regrets calling the president "a snob."

"That's the one I feel bad about," Santorum said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" at the time. He told Crowley that during the primaries, "sometimes the rhetoric might have, you know, gone over the line a bit."

Also see:

No mention of Romney as Palin serves up anti-Obama red meat

Back in the spotlight, Cain invokes rabble-rousing routine

Romney bus tour's immigration detour

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Immigration • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. SafeJourney

    Santorum the failed senator and candidate, trying to tell the President about the law.

    June 17, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. clarke

    Just because Rick said it doesn't make it true. Besides this man is last weeks news, if that is what you would like to call it.

    June 17, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. TM

    Where was Santorum's concern when Bush was wiretapping without warrants and ordering torture?

    June 17, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. darrell teichmer

    Please tell me why a "news station" would interveiw a proven liar and believe anybody would place any trust at all in what he has to say. I just wish santorum would go live in The Netherlands without a bracelet.

    June 17, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. King

    it's amazing how these repubs always say that Obama is doing stuff for political reasons, yet the repubs not only do almost every thing for political reason, they tell you that they are doing it for political reasons, like Obama will be a one term president at the start of his presidency. it's amazing how the dems allow the repubs to spin the narrative to their advantage. how the hell the repubs blame attorney general holder for their gun running policy to Mexico to please their number one lobbyist, the NRA. these are the same people that cries on a daily basis that the dems atr to take their guns away. does this gun laundering skeem looks like dems doing, or an attempt to reward the NRA, by selling their guns to Mexico, in the attempt to reward them for being such a loyal lobbyist to the repubs party

    June 17, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. frag

    Obama just faithfully executed Romney's chances of winning the Latino vote. Tough luck Ricky!

    June 17, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. T'sah From Virginia

    The Republicans wanted to be the "Immigration Saviors" and all of them are PISSED because President Obama beat them to the punch with his executive order!!! Maybe if Congress would have concentrated more on "working" with the president on these issues and others, they can pat themselves on the back and enjoy what is right for America. But they had "other" intentions.

    "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." This was quoted November 4, 2010 by Mitch McConnell – two days after the 2010 election. From that day on, FILIBUSTER and OBSTRUCTION in the Senate – "DO-NOTHING" in the Congress!!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    June 17, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. Desmond in Canada

    "Sanctum Sanctorum", please do get more pathetic by the minute. I am pretty sure that your President would not be flouting the law. Having said that, with all your pseudo-Catholic pretensions, have you not heard 2 Cor. 3:6 ":He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life."
    My dear conveniently sanctimonious Sanctorum, people like you SUCK the life out of your country's soul. Try to understand the spirit of your laws!

    June 17, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. mike

    the sanctity of Santorum is amazing...youre yesterdays news Mr Santorum...go back to your pulpit

    June 17, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    He need more time , presidential campaign affect him lot , I wish till election Romney send him for long vacation

    June 17, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Cynthia L.

    I have no problem with the children who were brought here as babies and toddlers being able to become citizens. Many have already served bravely in our military. Many have finished not only high school but, graduated college. We need them as much as they needed us. We are the only country and people they know. We are their family now.

    June 17, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Larry L

    Republicans in Texas are howling for more agricultural workers to work in the fields. It seems since the border tightened up the crops aren't getting picked. It appears those "American jobs" the illegals were filling are too tough and the pay too low for our workers...

    June 17, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Where is a republican’s immigration reform idea? They don’t have anything and Romney refuse to answer immigration question

    June 17, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. g

    if it wasn,t for immigration there would have been no space program and germany would have had the nuclear bomb

    June 17, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Four more years of THIS?! NO WAY!!

    How many laws does this make that Obama and his lackeys have chosen to ignore or simply break? The Obama administration is the closest this country has ever come to an Executive Dictatorship. Our elected Representatives have been rendered unnecessary with these illegal actions and I expect them to take action to STOP the lawless of Obama and his administration. How far an dhow long can we or they sit idly by while a dictatorship forms in the Whitehouse?

    The American people are paying attention. While Obama may have picked up a few Hispanic votes, he lost a far greater number of votes from LEGAL CITIZENS whose rights he has spit on and trampled with his illegal behavior.

    June 17, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. RINO Bil

    Rick Santorum pulled out of the GOP presidental primary race early. Rick Santorum did not get enough votes to win the GOP presidental nomination, Mitt Romney did. Why should anyone wish to pay attention to a quitter and a loser?

    June 17, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |