February 24th, 2014
05:09 PM ET
9 years ago

Vintage Rahm: Emanuel supports Obama's executive actions '1000 percent'

(CNN) - Former White House chief of staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended President Barack Obama's accelerated use of executive actions "1,000 percent," in an interview with CNN.

"Do you think Japan or China is able - or Taiwan looks to the future and says, well, let's see what the United States Congress does before we invest? So I'm proud that the President took executive action, because he can't allow America's future to be held hostage by a Congress that won't do anything," Emanuel said.

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Emanuel is in Washington to help the President promote new Defense Department-led projects that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in private and federal funds developing manufacturing jobs in both Chicago and Detroit.

Chicago's hub, created by another one of Obama's executive actions, will pioneer "digital manufacturing," White House officials said.

"This is the Olympic gold. It brings brains and brawns together," Emanuel said.

The President has expanded his use of executive orders in 2014 to go around Congress in pursuit of his economic agenda. The Chicago mayor said Obama's pattern is no different than what previous presidents have done in the past.

"These are not equal but the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive action. Integrating the armed forces was an executive action. Doubling the national parks was an executive action," Emanuel said. "He has a responsibility to not let the future slip from our hands."

Republicans have attacked Obama's strategy of circumventing Congress as leading an "imperial presidency" in his second term. Emanuel, who once served in the House of Representatives and earned the nickname "Rahmbo" for his combative style, argued GOP lawmakers are just as capable of supporting local projects through the appropriation process.

"You don't want him to be an imperial President – put the money in the barrel. Go for it! Nobody is stopping you!" Emanuel exclaimed.

Emanuel left the White House just two months before the 2010 midterm elections, when Obama acknowledged he took a "shellacking" and lost the House of Representatives to Republicans.

The mayor said it's way too early for Democrats to worry about what will happen to Congress in the fall.

"The one thing I know about politics is anybody who tells you they know what's going to happen 10 months from now doesn't know what they are talking about."

As for 2016, Emanuel plans to back Hillary Clinton should she run for president.

"I think she would be very competitive. I've already said publicly, if she runs I will be a supporter," Emanuel said. When asked whether his support would change if Vice President Joe Biden jumped in the race, Emanuel didn't flinch in backing the former secretary of state.

"Hillary Clinton was a great secretary of state, great U.S. senator. She has a lot to offer the country. I've already said, if she runs, that's a personal decision she has to make. If she asks my advice, I'll give it. If she runs I'm 100 percent in."

Emanuel, a veteran of both the Obama and Bill Clinton administrations, insists he is not longing for life back in the White House.

"Are you out of your mind? I could not be happier," Emanuel joked.

"I'm glad I had the honor to serve my friend, my President and I can't be more honored to serve the people of the city of Chicago and have their confidence to do these type of things; have an investment that's a game changer for the economic future of our city."

Filed under: President Obama • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Abbey

    The birth place of thug politics and the modern school of progressive dysfunctional leadership.

    February 24, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Me

    The Real Tom Paine


    salty dog

    Counting,,explain how it reduces our oil dependence? If you don't think the Koch brothers are corrupting our system, I'm not going to go there, only an idiot thinks otherwise. Why did they spend over 100 million in our last election? Just because, wake up, they have nothing for you, its just that simple.
    Is this all you people can do, call other idiots when they don't agree with you??? Seriously you need to get a life and get out more, you will be much happier, walk away from the computer once in a while!!!
    Very ironic, coming from a fairly prolific poster who has been known to engage in ad hominem attacks.
    Come on Tom P, EVERY regular poster at one point or another has engage in ad hominem attacks, in fact you seem to have gotten worse over time as well. I recall you never used to engage in them but you do and fairly regularly now, we ALL let emotions get the best of us sometimes!! Salty and Tim just seem to do it pretty much every post (tim does it EVERY post), that is not letting your emotions get the best of you once in a while, that is just sad and childish, I actually wonder if tim is just a 15 year old troll sometimes because there is not substance to ANY of his posts, just name calling, Salty does actually have substance most of the time but still resorts to name calling non-stop! That is in no way ironic, I only do it once in a while (as all of us do) when I can't control my emotions, they do it with every post! What is ironic is that you will call me out on it but NEVER say anything to either them, funny since you have ask posters why they don't call out the GOP from time to time, WHICH I HAVE LATELY (on gay marriage, pot legalization, and a couple others), if you have been paying attention, but that doesn't surprise me. Do as I say not as I do huh???

    February 24, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Emmanual is another member of the Chicago mob.

    February 24, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Smitty

    Hows the murder capital of the USA doing under this idiot ??? Not well enough said.

    February 24, 2014 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Chuck

    Ah the Chicago Mob, how fun

    February 24, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. Brian

    He's from Chicago. Nuff said.

    February 24, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Spgfld Tom

    This is good news? Rahm "the Mayor of Dodge City" Emanuel, the same guy who has driven Chicago to the brink of bankruptcy, completely supports Obama's Banana Republic "pen and a phone" leadership AND supports Hillary in '16. Isn't Rahm's brother the mastermind (poor choice of words) behind ObamaCare? Does this mean Rahm has pulled his support for the Biden/Sebelius '16 dream team ticket?

    February 24, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. JFS3

    Emanuel is a pathetic mayor, and clearly has no problems resorting to dictator-like actions to push whatever half-baked agenda he has planned.

    February 24, 2014 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Piyush "Bobby" Jindal / Ted Cruz 2016

    The Suit makes the Man ?

    February 24, 2014 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. 2_indy1600

    Rahm Emanuel is one of the few people around Cllinton who managed to escape the Clinton Rogue Gallery.

    February 24, 2014 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  11. joeplantamura

    The president's use of executive action is not of his doing. It is a precedent set by Congress. By its inaction, it is allowing the President to act in its stead.

    February 25, 2014 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  12. Lizzie

    Don't worry Rahm, you bankrupt Chicago, the President will bail you out.

    February 25, 2014 04:55 am at 4:55 am |