White House press secretary Jay Carney Friday said that President Obama has been “judicious” in using executive orders, dismissing GOP criticism that the president has completely sidestepped the legislative branch to enact his agenda.
“There is no question that this president has been judicious in his use of executive actions,” Carney told reporters, insisting that Obama has wielded such power less frequently than his predecessors.
"The biggest problems that we're facing right now had to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that's what I intend to reverse when I'm president of the United States of America," then-Sen. Obama said in 2008.
When asked about such remarks, Carney insisted that Obama was speaking about the “quality” of Bush’s executive orders, not the overall number. Obama’s top spokesman pointed to Bush’s endorsement of torture against enemy combatants and other executive actions related to national security as proof of overreach by the White House.
Obama on Friday continued to frame his executive actions quite differently than how he labeled Bush’s orders.
“I'm not going to wait, because there’s too much to do,” he told Democratic lawmakers at a conference in Cambridge, Md. “And America does not believe in standing still. America insists on moving forward.”