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OPINION: Can Obama split the GOP?
Julian Zelizer says President Obama's immigration move won't fracture the GOP.
June 27th, 2012
12:04 PM ET

OPINION: Can Obama split the GOP?

(CNN) –  Historically, presidents have succeeded in dividing the opposition party. But, as CNN contributor Julian Zelizer says, Obama's move on immigration won't fracture the GOP. Instead, the move will likely be thrown back at him and characterized as a politically expedient action taken in an election year.

"Republican Dwight Eisenhower turned the table on Democrats in 1956 and 1957 when he moved out front on civil rights legislation. In this period, the Democratic Party was deeply divided on what to do about racial inequality." [1:45]

"This decision was made through the executive branch's authority, thereby diminishing the payback that comes from winning a battle on the legislative front, which requires building political support and mobilizing the public behind an idea." [2:18]

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