Earnest: If Trump Crosses ‘Red Lines,’ Obama Will Return to Political Debate

Monday on MSNBC former Obama White House press secretary Josh Earnest said former President Barack Obama would come back to the political debate if President Donald Trump crosses “red lines” such as using information from deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) applications to deport so-called DREAMers.

Earnest said, “After the last eight years, the president doesn’t relish the prospect of getting back into the day-to-day fights that characterize governing the United States of America in the 21st century. The president doesn’t have much interest in weighing in on the tax reform proposal that the Trump folks are promising to release later this week. He doesn’t have much of an interest in weighing in on what steps Republicans in congress can take to keep the government open.”

“He spent the last eight years doing it, it’s somebody else’s turn to do that now,” he continued. “I think what would motivate President Obama to re-engage in the political debate is if we saw the federal government start to cross some clear red lines in terms of long observed norms and values that frankly I think we have started to take for granted. One example that President Obama has himself cited in the past is if we saw the federal government begin to use the information that was submitted by dreamers to round them up and send them out of the country. That would represent a broken promise to those dreamers. We made a promise to them that that information that we collected from them would not be used for enforcement purposes.”

“It would be a stark departure from the values of this country that signal people who want an opportunity to succeed here and are willing to follow the law and make a substantial positive contribution to their community should be given a chance,” Eanrest added. “That is the essence of the Dreamers executive action. I think if we saw the Trump administration try to roll that back in a systematic way, that’s the kind of thing the president would view as a pretty egregious violation of some of the basic norms and principles of governing. I do think we would see President Obama come out and say something about that. His desire is to remain above the fray. While he was president of the United States, he was fond of saying we only have one president at the time and he believes that even now that he has left the White House.”

(h/t RCP Video)

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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