Two Fox anchors are not buying the latest Republican argument against passing immigration reform, further defining a Republican Party civil war over the issue that is pitting Fox News personalities against one another.
Following House Speaker John Boehner's comments that "the main obstacle for moving forward" on immigration reform "is a lack of trust in President Obama," a number of Fox News commentators used the opportunity to validate that Republican talking point and continue conservative opposition to immigration reform.
Fox News' Bill Hemmer seized on Boehner's argument to push the false claim that Obama's historically low number of executive orders constitutes a "presidential record" high. Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer agreed that "the Republicans are absolutely right" to delay on immigration and "to say that if you cannot trust the president to carry out the law faithfully ... how do you expect him to carry out faithfully a law in which he's gonna have to compromise on enforcement?"
Fox News co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle also agreed, asking on The Five: "Why am I going to go ahead and reward you if I'm the American people or the senators, anybody else, and say, 'Go ahead and do immigration'?" She added: "I, quite frankly, haven't been shown that you've been able to do a good job on any of these other things that preceded. You haven't fixed Obamacare. More jobs are going to be lost. So why are we going to just shove through immigration quickly, without support, and then have another big mess for the American people?"
By contrast, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly dismissed the Republican talking point as flawed.
On Fox News Sunday, Wallace stated: "I think it's fair to say that President Obama's trustworthiness, or lack of same, didn't really change dramatically in the last week. I mean, isn't the real issue here that Republicans in the House and in the Senate are deeply divided on immigration reform and they didn't want to expose that division in the middle of an election year?"
On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly picked Boehner as his "pinhead" of the week for his comments that Obama cannot be trusted on immigration and accused Boehner of "pandering to the radio talk show crew." O'Reilly said: "I respect that opinion, by the way. I don't think it's a realistic opinion -- you can't deport 12 million people." He went on: "I think it hurts the Republican Party because it drives away Hispanic voters who don't really pay close attention." O'Reilly concluded: "All right, so you don't trust him. Put out a better plan. Make them look foolish. Don't give them a hand grenade. And that's why Speaker Boehner is the pinhead of the week."
Conservative talk radio hosts have also repeatedly urged Republicans to abandon action on immigration reform. Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham has even vowed to campaign against any House Republican who supports reform. She recently stated that the argument for reform "leads to why have borders at all."
As The Wall Street Journal wrote in a February 6 editorial, "conservatives and the GOP are as responsible for the failure on immigration. The populist wing of the party has talked itself into believing the zero-sum economics that immigrants steal jobs from U.S. citizens and reduce American living standards. Neither claim is true." It added: "So great is the House GOP fear of a talk-radio backlash that it won't even pass smaller bills that 75% of Republicans agree on."