Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Obama's "Red Lines" Are Not Much To Worry About If History Is Any Indicator
Josh Earnest: Obama will speak up if Trump admin. crosses ‘red lines’
Former White House press secretary Josh Earnest says former President Barack Obama will speak up if President Donald Trump's administration crosses the "red lines." (Image source: YouTube screen cap)
MSNBC political analyst and former White House press secretary Josh Earnest says former President Barack Obama will speak up if President Donald Trump’s administration begins crossing the “red lines.”
During an appearance Monday on MSNBC, host Chris Jansing made reference to Obama’s first public remarks since leaving office at an appearance Monday at the University of Chicago. During the event, Obama discussed with high school and college students how to encourage more young people to get involved in civic engagement.
Obama never mentioned his successor by name in those comments. It was widely anticipated that Obama would not step into the politics of the day, since the event was about getting youth more involved in civic engagement. However, as Jansing noted, many had hoped the former president would take a jab at Trump.
“What do you think would motivate him to get back involved in the public debate in a way he’s not willing to do right now?” Jansing asked.
Earnest responded by saying that Obama “doesn’t have much interest” in weighing in on Trump’s policies.
“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,” Earnest said. “He spent the last eight years doing it. It’s somebody else’s turn to do that now.”
But there is one thing, according to Earnest, that could cause Obama to speak up.
“I think what would motivate President Obama 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 that we’ve started to take for granted,” he said.
The former Obama spokesman cited the federal government using the information submitted by DREAMers to deport them as one possible “red line.” DREAMers are unauthorized immigrants who qualify for Obama’s deferred action initiative and meet the general requirements of the DREAM Act.
Thousands of DREAMers provided personal information to the federal government during the Obama administration in the hopes of being granted some legal status. But with Trump now in the White House, it’s not clear whether the information DREAMers provided might not now be used against them.
“That would represent a broken promise to those DREAMers. We made a promise to them that that information we collected from them would not be used for enforcement purposes,” Earnest said. “It also would be a pretty stark departure from the values of this country that signal that people who want an opportunity to succeed here and want to follow the law and make a substantial positive contribution to their community should be given a chance.”