Scott Walker berated the reporters for “obsessing” about immigration.
“You have fallen into the trap the president of the United States has done,” the Wisconsin governor snapped at the Republican Governors Association’s conclave in Boca Raton last week.
The ire of Walker and his fellow Republicans over the issue was a sign they were already ensnared by President Barack Obama’s “trap”: an executive action sparing as many as 4.1 million illegal immigrants from deportation.
Obama’s Thursday decision effectively injected the immigration issue into the 2016 presidential campaign. Now, whoever wins the White House in two years will have to decide whether to scuttle the president’s plan, potentially estranging Hispanic voters, the fastest-growing demographic group.
From going it alone to quoting scripture to focusing on a policy that has tripped up Republicans for years, Obama’s announcement seemed designed to troll the GOP.
The announcement overshadowed the conference, at which the RGA wanted to showcase Republicans’ gains. Instead, the Republicans — six of whom are weighing presidential bids — wound up responding to question after question about Obama’s plans. They criticized Obama for overreach, and for not dealing with the issue when he had a Democratic House and Senate under him.
But they offered no alternatives. Walker suggested it wasn’t a big deal.