NBC's Todd Sees 'Long-Term Disaster' for GOP by Delaying Immigration Reform

On Friday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that the Republican decision to put off immigration reform until after 2014 "is a long-term disaster for the GOP." He further declared: "If the House refuses to pass immigration after the Senate did so last year, it will become clear to the public, particularly viewers of Telemundo and Univision....that one party is standing in the way of reform, and it's the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Minutes earlier, after playing a sound bite of House Speaker John Boehner explaining that Republicans simply couldn't trust President Obama to properly implement a new immigration law, Todd sneered: "The argument to slow-walk legislation because the President can't be trusted to implement it, though, strains credibility. If you can't trust the President, then why pass any laws?"

Perhaps Todd has forgotten the long list of unilateral changes the President has made to ObamaCare since it's 2010 passage in Congress.

Todd condescendingly remarked: "We know what this is really about. It's a strategy we've seen before from the Republicans, to downplay the divisions in their own conference they want to seize on the one thing that unites them, opposition to President Obama."

On Thursday, fellow MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell announced that immigration reform would be a "jewel in the crown" of Obama's struggling second term.


Here is a transcript of Todd's February 7 commentary:

9:02AM ET

(...)

CHUCK TODD: Let me get right to my first political reads of the morning, and we start with immigration reform in 2014. Is it mostly or completely dead? Well, on Thursday, after six weeks of raising expectations, after rolling out immigration principles just last week, House Speaker John Boehner abruptly slammed on the brakes.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER [R-OH]: I never underestimated the difficulty in moving forward this year. The American people, including many of my members, don't trust that the reform that we're talking about will be implemented as it was intended to be. There's widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. And it's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.

TODD: Now, Boehner's trust argument echoed what Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan said last Sunday, almost hinting at where this was going. The argument to slow-walk legislation because the President can't be trusted to implement it, though, strains credibility. If you can't trust the President, then why pass any laws? Why pass a farm bill? Why hammer out that budget deal? President Obama will only be in office another two-plus years. Most of the legislation on immigration doesn't even take effect until after he's gone.

But we know what this is really about. It's a strategy we've seen before from the Republicans, to downplay the divisions in their own conference they want to seize on the one thing that unites them, opposition to President Obama.

Now, here's the thing on what Boehner did yesterday, in the short-run, as the party tries to drive up Republican turnout ahead of the 2014 election, it's smart politics. But the short-term gain for the Republicans could mean long-term pain for the party in 2016.

(...)

9:06AM ET

TODD: Here's the thing, Boehner's reluctance to push ahead on immigration is a long-term disaster for the GOP. If the House refuses to pass immigration after the Senate did so last year, it will become clear to the public, particularly viewers of Telemundo and Univision – they cover this story much more closely than English-language television – but it will be clear that one party is standing in the way of reform, and it's the Republican Party. Republicans lost the Latino vote by a whopping forty-four points in the last presidential election, and this won't do anything to solve the GOP's demographic problems.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC