Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto blasted Republicans on Wednesday for preparing to file a federal lawsuit challenging the executive actions of President Barack Obama. During an interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Cavuto belittled the effort as “an enormous waste of effort” and “a political football,” suggesting that President George W. Bush used similar executive authority.
The segment devolved into a shouting match, with Cavuto laughing off Bachmann’s indignation about Obama’s use of executive powers.
“You just said it, congresswoman, we might not get anywhere,” Cavuto exclaimed in frustration. “Maybe Republicans are within their rights, maybe the president is within his rights.” As Bachmann sought to defend the suit, Cavuto accused her of “conflating issues and being silly.” “Where was your rage when Democrats were going after President Bush on the same use of executive orders, because I think you knew then that that was a waste of time then and I think you know in your heart of hearts this is a waste of time now,” he exploded. Watch it:
Cavuto’s real rage came out in response to Bachmann’s suggestion that Republicans in Congress should simply defund the executive branch. “Think about what you’re saying,” he screamed. “Defund the executive branch? Congresswoman! If Democrats had said to you, ‘we’re going to defund President Bush,’ you would have laughed at them and so you should have been.”
As of February, Obama had issued fewer executive orders than all but one of the other presidents since World War II. Republicans, meanwhile routinely embraced the power of Republican president George W. Bush to take action, even at times when he would circumvent Congress by doing so.