Glenn Beck on Thursday blasted President Barack Obama’s use of executive authority to make a recess appointment, calling him a dictator who views the American people as children.

On Wednesday, Obama announced he was appointing Richard Cordray the country’s chief consumer watchdog, making a recess appointment while the Senate was technically in session. The same day, he named three members to fill vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board. Explaining his decision before a crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, Obama said he has “an obligation to act on behalf of the American people” when Congress refuses and hurts the economy as a result.

Obama had been at odds with Senate Republicans over Cordray’s appointment as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, part of new bank regulations passed in 2010. Republicans had stalled Cordray’s nomination, arguing the new agency — tasked with overseeing mortgage companies, payday lenders, and other financial companies — is too powerful and unaccountable.

“The arrogance of this man and the way he rewrites all of American history — all of American history — is astounding,” Beck said on his radio program. “Americans, hear what your president is saying: I’ll work within the system. But if they won’t move, then…I will dictate where we’re going.”

Defining a dictator as “someone who dictates what’s going to be done,” Beck said Obama meets the definition and is running the country according to his vision of what it ought to be, with no regard for the Constitution.

“He just looks at people as children,” Beck said of Obama’s aforementioned “obligation.” “The man is a dictator and he is building a dictatorship outside the Constitution of the United States of America.”

GOP candidates hoping to unseat the president in November also reacted to his move, with Iowa caucus winner Mitt Romney calling him a “crony capitalist” and Rick Santorum saying the Senate should sue over Obama over the decision.

“What the president did was wrong — pretty scary stuff,” Santorum said, according to The Hill.

In a statement also reported by The Hill, Ron Paul slammed Obama for his “continuous overstepping of his constitutional boundaries” and said if he “insists on behaving in such a cavalier manner…then action by Congress may become necessary to rein in his flagrant contempt for the rules.”

The Associated Press reported former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Obama showed “a total willingness to violate the law and impose an imperial presidency.”