On Thursday night, President Barack Obama told the nation his plan to prevent deportation of some four million undocumented immigrants, an announcement that earned vastly diverse reactions from media.
Obama’s 20-minute delivery from the White House – which he previewed in a trailer on Wednesday – was not that of a lame-duck president whose party was just defeated by the GOP in midterms a month earlier.
"Pass a bill," he said, squarely addressing his opponents, meaning, of course, the GOP, who oppose his executive order. The GOP also filed a lawsuit against him this morning over the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Perhaps prepared for naysayers, POTUS barricaded himself in the final minutes of his speech by quoting scripture.
"Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too," he said.
Obama’s proposed action is not a move toward amnesty, the president clarified, saying criminals will still be at risk of deportation.
"Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability – a common-sense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law," he said.
Despite several networks not airing the address (ABC had its winter drama finales to consider), analyses, perspectives, hot takes, and bad jokes from media were plentiful on Twitter.
Here are some media reactions:
Boehner on how close immigration reform was = you on how you were THIS CLOSE to going to the gym until it started to drizzle outside.— daveweigel (@daveweigel) November 21, 2014
Critics say Pres. Obama went too far. Immigration activists say he didn't go far enough.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 21, 2014
I'm not an expert on prosecutorial discretion or constitutional issues of Obama speech. But I doubt other pundits are, either.— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) November 21, 2014
Jesus, the @CNN montage of Obama repeatedly saying that he couldn't do what he just did on immigration is pretty damning.— Daniel Drezner (@dandrezner) November 21, 2014
When Obama says "pass a bill" what he's really saying is "pass the bill I want you to pass or I'll veto that sucker" http://t.co/4nvB5ooa74— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) November 21, 2014
Obama speech? time to close twitter for the night— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) November 21, 2014
Apparently, the president’s Facebook post ahead of his speech put a dent in public awareness.
In case the morning-after lawsuit didn’t make it clear, House GOP wasn’t thrilled with Obama’s address.