Reports: Democrats Pushing 'Impeachment Talk' to Stir the Base

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 12:11 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Democrats are doggedly pursuing a narrative that House Republicans are pushing for the president's impeachment in a bid to stir the party base and raise money for its coffers in advance of the election, according to Politico.

Democrats are insisting that House Speaker John Boehner and colleagues are mulling impeachment, after 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin this month called for Obama to be impeached.

But Boehner and other mainstream Republicans, as well as some conservatives such as Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Louie Gohmert of Texas, have been outspoken in their opposition to pursue impeachment proceedings, instead preferring to focus on the planned lawsuit against the president for executive overreach.

"No, no, no, no," National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden told Politico when asked about the possibility of impeachment hearings or proceedings in the House against Obama. "Democrats are the ones talking about it, and they're trying to fundraise off it."

California Rep. Devin Nunes, who is close to Boehner and incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also told Politico that there are "very few" Republicans who want to "move to impeachment."

Only two U.S. presidents, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, were impeached by the House. Both were acquitted in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote is necessary to convict and remove a president from office. The Senate vote on Johnson was one vote short of conviction.
 
A report in The Washington Post earlier this week said that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been claiming the GOP supports impeachment in an effort to boost fundraising.

"Republicans are drastically overreaching with their lawsuit and impeachment talk, and the result has been a massive surge of enthusiasm from our grass-roots supporters," DCCC Chairman Steve Israel told the Post.

According to the Post's report, the strategy has enabled the DCCC to raise $3.7 million from 200,000 online donations since June 25. And Politico reported earlier this month the DCCC was regularly sending out inflammatory emails mentioning GOP-backed impeachment so as to drum up support for the party.

"If you are OUTRAGED by this IMPEACHMENT threat, we NEED you this instant," the DCCC wrote in one blast, according to Politico.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin said at the time, "Today, the contrast for our supporters — and the electorate — couldn't be clearer: While Democrats are fighting to raise the minimum wage, pass equal pay legislation and common-sense immigration reform, more and more Republicans are discussing the specter of impeachment just to rally their base ahead of the midterms."

Meanwhile, conservative radio host Glenn Beck has suggested that the president himself is behind talks of impeachment as part of a "PR battle" against the GOP, Politico reported.

"The birther thing is over, the black thing is over, so now … he needs to be able to call for justice," Beck said during his show on Monday, according to Politico.

"Do you think anyone in Washington in the GOP is serious about impeachment?" Beck continued. "Do you think one person? Have you spoken to one person? Not one. So who wants it? The president does. Because then he'll be able to say, 'I demand justice.'"

On Sunday, Steve Scalise, the incoming House majority whip, would not directly answer  on "Fox News Sunday" whether the House would begin impeachment proceedings if Obama took executive action related to the surge of  illegal child immigrants on the U.S. southern border.

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