Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown blasts Republicans on immigration in Washington

Outside the White House on Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown defended President Barack Obama’s efforts to spare from deportation millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally, as well as his own state’s economic progress.
Outside the White House on Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown defended President Barack Obama’s efforts to spare from deportation millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally, as well as his own state’s economic progress. The Associated Press

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday took to the White House driveway for a round of Republican-bashing over immigration.

One day after California joined a dozen other states in a legal brief supporting the Obama administration’s policies, Brown used a quickly arranged meeting with reporters to deploy some less judicious language.

“I just think some of these Republican governors should be ashamed of themselves,” Brown said, adding that “the Republicans delight in undermining the president, and the presidency, and in dividing the country even more than it is.”

Brown further accused the Republicans of “declaring war on millions of people, not just those who are undocumented, but those who sympathize with them.”

Driving the point home, Brown said the Republican position opposed to immigration reform “at best is troglodyte, and at worst un-Christian.”

Inevitably pressed about the 2016 presidential campaign, Brown said he hoped former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would not be distracted by a serious primary challenge. Primaries, he said, tend to bog down in small details that divide a party.

“I can’t think of anything I’d rather have less were I to be running for president than to have a competitor in the primaries,” Brown said. “When I ran for governor, I didn’t have a primary opponent, my opponent did. I didn’t think it helped her, and it helped me.”

Brown added that “there are some big differences, and they are more with the Republicans, so let’s have (that) debate.”

Brown spent some of his time talking with Obama administration officials about California’s drought as well as the state’s proposed water projects, including the controversial Delta tunnels. Brown noted that “we need a number of federal permits” as well as a lot of “scientific work” to be completed.

“I think we’re getting very close,” Brown said. “I think we see eye to eye with the White House and with the regulatory agencies. I’m more optimistic than I have been in a long time.”

Brown did not meet with President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden, neither of whom were in town.

Reach Michael Doyle at mdoyle@mcclatchydc.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelDoyle10.

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