Historian Apologizes for Comments on Obama

Historian Apologizes for Comments on Obama

President Barack Obama speaks during a World AIDS Day event, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama speaks during a World AIDS Day event, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

NEW YORK (AP) — A Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer is apologizing for saying on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln did not attempt to “rebuild” the country through executive orders, which President Obama advocated this week as an alternative to getting legislation enacted.

Jon Meacham wrote in an email Thursday to The Associated Press that he was at best “imprecise” and at worst “just plain wrong.” Many commentators noted that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order and that Roosevelt advanced numerous New Deal initiatives through executive orders.

Meacham appeared Thursday on “Morning Joe.” He told the AP that he had meant to say that presidents cannot lead only through executive orders, but must also get laws passed and influence public opinion.

Meacham has written books about Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson.

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