President Donald Trump’s televised negotiating session with a bipartisan group of 22 lawmakers on Tuesday should end speculation about his mental fitness — but key details from the immigration talks could be much more troubling, according to Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
Ingraham, host of “The Ingraham Angle” and co-founder of LifeZette, played a clip of the president at Tuesday’s DACA summit promising to sign any bipartisan bill that lands on his desk and calling for a “bill of love.”
Ingraham said the language reminded her of a certain Republican presidential candidate whom Trump blew away in the 2016 GOP primaries.
“Wait a second,” she said. “I hope the president hasn’t been reading that Jeb Bush immigration book. Remember in 2014, when Jeb described illegal immigration as an ‘act of love’?”
Ingraham said Trump and his party risk electoral disaster if they turn away from their base on the single biggest issue of the 2016 campaign.
“I would caution that this is not the reason why he won,” she said. “The American people elected him to protect their security and well-being first.”
Ingraham noted five principles that should inform any deal granting legal status for illegal immigrants enrolled in the soon-to-expire Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
1.) Focus on the American worker, in policy and even language.
2.) Prioritize what is good for American citizens and legal immigrants.
3.) Be honest that passing a DACA amnesty will not be a “magic elixir for Americans.”
4.) Reform the legal immigration system or the “melting pot will break beyond repair.”
5.) Corner Democrats over the issue of “chain migration” and force them to choose between protecting illegal immigrants whose parents brought them to American as children — and maintaining a system that allows new citizens to sponsor extended relatives from their home countries.
Washington Examiner columnist Byron York told Ingraham that an exchange between Trump and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) especially troubled populist conservatives.
“Sen. Feinstein did the classic Democratic strategy, which is, ‘Why don’t you give us everything we want first, and then we’ll talk about what you want,'” he said. “And it sounded as if the president agreed with that.”
However, Ingraham said, Trump’s decision to allow television cameras to capture the back-and-forth during much of the session should put to bed questions about the president’s mental acuity.
“The president left no doubt as to who’s running the show in Washington, and the future of immigration,” she said.
Ingraham added, “That media story that they’ve been peddling for days and weeks and even months — that the president doesn’t have a handle on things — well, he was clearly in command.”
Ingraham contrasted the meeting with a summit then-President Barack Obama had with Republican lawmakers during the health care debate. In response to a comment at that meeting by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Obama snipped, “Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not [in the] campaign anymore. The election’s over.”
Tuesday’s meeting was different, Ingraham said.
“The people have a right to see where everybody’s cards are in this game of high-stakes poker for the nation,” she said. “And the president made sure that happened, in quite a respectful manner.”