Speed Reads

Immigration Reform

Obama insists he's not punting on immigration to save Senate Democrats

Obama insists he's not punting on immigration to save Senate Democrats

President Obama denies he's holding off on immigration reform to spare Democrats potential fallout in an election year, though he concedes there was a "shift" in the politics surrounding the issue that necessitated the delay.

"That's not the reason," Obama said on Meet the Press when asked directly if he was playing election year politics.

Rather, Obama insisted he'd "been consistent" on immigration, and that his administration "laid the groundwork" for moving ahead with executive action next year. However, he added that the surge of unaccompanied minors to the border "got a lot of attention, and a lot of Americans started thinking we've got this immigration crisis on our hands."

"The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem," he said. "I want to spend some time, even as we're getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this, why it's the right thing for the American people, why it's the right thing for the American economy." --Jon Terbush