Trump blasts Obama’s executive orders, two days after floating his own

Published 3:06 PM EST, Sat December 12, 2015
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Story highlights

Trump vowed that if elected president, he would repeal Obama's executive orders allowing undocumented children and parents to remain in the U.S.

But two days ago, Trump vowed that he would mandate the death penalty in the sentencing of all convicted cop killers

(CNN) —  

Donald Trump slammed President Barack Obama on Saturday over his use of executive orders to accomplish his policy objectives, just two days after proposing his own executive order.

Speaking with South Carolina’s attorney general during a question-and-answer forum, Trump vowed that if elected president, he would repeal Obama’s executive orders allowing undocumented children and parents to remain in the U.S. The state’s attorney general, Alan Wilson, is suing the president over those executive actions along with 25 other states.

“I don’t think he even tries anymore. I think he just signs executive actions,” Trump said of Obama, before pointing to the U.S. government system of checks and balances.

“That’s the way the system is supposed to work. And then all of a sudden, I hear he tried, he can’t do it, and then, boom, and then another one, boom,” Trump said.

But just two nights before, Trump proposed an executive order of his own, vowing that he would mandate the death penalty in the sentencing of all convicted cop killers.

It’s unclear how Trump would mandate the death penalty in all cop-killing cases given that 19 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed capital punishment. The death penalty is legal at the federal level and prosecutors can seek capital punishment in some murder cases, including ones involving the killings of state or local law enforcement officials, but it’s unclear how an executive action could be used to require this.

“One of the first things I do, in terms of executive order if I win, will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country – out to the world – that anybody killing a policeman, policewoman, a police officer – anybody killing a police officer, the death penalty. It’s going to happen, OK?” Trump said Thursday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire where a New England police union representing about 4,000 law enforcement officials endorsed him.

While Trump didn’t mention that executive action on Saturday, he did tout one benefit of executive orders: they can be quickly repealed by the next president.

“I think probably within the first hour, it could be within about two minutes after I take an oath,” Trump said before briefly going on a tangent about the need to get out the vote. “But I would be getting rid of a lot of them very quickly in the first hour. One of them would be immigration.”

While Trump only briefly referred to his plan to ban all Muslim foreigners from entering the United States on Saturday, those brief comments did draw some protests.

Three silent protesters stood up during Trump’s speech with yellow insignias reminiscent of the Holocaust that read “Stop Islamophobia” and “Human.”

They were quickly escorted out amid a howl of the 4,200 supporters gathered shouting “Trump, Trump, Trump.”