President Barack Obama announced that he planned to stop deportations and grant work permits for students who meet certain requirements.
The change will apply to those who arrived in the U.S. being a child, who have been in the country for at least five years, and are under the age of 30.
Obama was bewildered after Neil Munro, a reporter for the web site Daily Caller interrupted his remarks by asking a question about what the president’s decision could mean for American workers.
“Excuse me, sir,” Obama told Munro after the reporter shouted a question in the middle of the speech. “It’s not time for questions, sir.”
“No, you have to take questions,” Munro insisted, says a White House transcript of the exchange. Obama shot back, “Not while I’m speaking.”
President Obama finished his speech but not before jousting again with Munro, writes USA Today. As he neared the end of his remarks, Obama criticized the reporter:
“And the answer to your question is sir, and the next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question, is this is the right thing to do for the American people…‚ÄĚ
Munro in his turn shouted questions at Obama. “I didn’t ask for an argument,” Obama said. “I’m answering your question.”
The president explained that in his opinion it‚Äôs not okay to treat the specified young illegals as expendable and that it ‚Äúmakes no sense to expel talented young people‚ÄĚ who are essentially Americans. Obama added he was taking the action in the absence of action by Congress ‚Äúto fix our broken system.‚ÄĚ
In a statement on the Daily Caller web site,¬†Neil Munro tried to defend himself and explained his move.
“I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president. I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States.‚ÄĚ
The reporter went on: ‚ÄúI know he rarely takes questions before walking away from the podium. When I asked the question as he finished his speech, he turned his back on the many reporters, and walked away while I and at least one other reporter asked questions.”
Munro‚Äôs bosses at the Daily Caller also supported his actions.¬†Tucker Carlson, Editor-in-Chief: “I don’t remember Diane Sawyer scolding her colleague Sam Donaldson for heckling President Reagan. And she shouldn’t have.‚ÄĚ
He continued: ‚ÄúA reporter’s job is to ask questions and get answers. Our job is to find out what the federal government is up to. Politicians often don’t want to tell us. A good reporter gets the story. We’re proud of Neil Munro.”
Neil Patel, Publisher said: “The President today announced a very controversial policy and does not want to answer tough questions about it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúNeil Munro is a veteran Washington reporter who today tried his best to time his question to be first as the President was wrapping up his remarks. He in no way meant to heckle the President of the United States,” he added.
Later, Munro wrote of Obama’s remarks, saying that the president “declined to take any questions,” even though two reporters called out questions to him.
“The president has often used this no-questions strategy when making important or poll-boosting announcements,” Munro wrote.