Attention media: Graham wanted Obama to "step it up" on immigration reform


Fox News' Dana Perino and Byron York of The Washington Examiner channeled Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) criticism of Democrats for reportedly planning to pursue immigration reform legislation before a climate change bill. But last month, Graham himself reportedly called for President Obama to "step it up" on immigration reform efforts.

Graham himself reportedly called on Obama to "step it up" on immigration reform

In March, Graham reportedly called for Obama to "step it up a little bit" on immigration reform. Politico reported on March 10 that Graham "said Obama's lack of direction on immigration reform is hampering Graham's efforts to recruit additional Republicans to the cause." Politico then quoted Graham as saying, "At the end of the day, the president needs to step it up a little bit. ... One line in the State of the Union is not going to do it." The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen highlighted Graham's comments to Politico on April 25.

Politico: White House "puzzled" by Graham's reaction in wake of his "step it up" remark. On April 25, Politico reported Graham's comment that "[m]oving forward on immigration ... is nothing more than a cynical political ploy" and then noted:

White House officials were puzzled by the vehemence of Graham's reaction -- especially after Graham told POLITICO in March that President Barack Obama needed to "step it up" on a comprehensive immigration reform proposal he's been crafting with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Perino, York advance Graham's claim to have been "double-crossed"

Perino: Graham has "gotten screwed around." On the April 26 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, discussing Democrats' plans to move forward on immigration reform ahead of climate change legislation, Fox News contributor Dana Perino said that Graham has "gotten screwed around and he finally said, 'you know what? I'm not going to put up with this,' and he's walking away."

York: "Graham's angry words ... suggest a man who believes he's been double-crossed." In an April 25 Washington Examiner column, chief political correspondent Byron York wrote: "Graham's angry words -- senators don't usually throw 'phony' at each other -- suggest a man who believes he's been double-crossed. And indeed, a talk with aides familiar with what happened reveals a senator who thought he had [sic] deal only to find out -- mostly from press reports -- that he didn't." York also wrote:

Saturday afternoon, a clearly angry Graham decided to go public with his version of what happened, releasing an extraordinary open letter accusing Reid and other Democratic leaders of engaging in "phony" and "cynical" political maneuvering by dumping energy and climate in favor of immigration. Reid, of course, is in deep trouble in his re-election fight in Nevada, where about 26 percent of the population is Hispanic. President Obama hopes to increase Hispanic voting and fire up the Democratic base to avert potentially disastrous Democratic mid-term losses across the country. Pushing aside the energy and climate bill -- which had at-best iffy prospects in the Senate, anyway -- for "comprehensive" immigration reform might possibly save a few Democrats. Or at least Reid. Of course, at the moment there's no bill and no real probability that one could pass, but some Democrats apparently believe even a losing fight could help them politically by motivating the base.

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