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WASHINGTON – Republicans on Capitol Hill have mixed feelings about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment comments, with many telling The Daily Caller News Foundation they believe it is a ploy for 2020 and that she will switch course eventually.
As many Democrats have pushed for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, Pelosi has been a steady force on the opposite side, saying she does not believe it should be a focus for the party and that impeachment is “just not worth it.” This comes as Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green broke with Pelosi, vowing to force a vote to impeach Trump on Tuesday.
When asked about Pelosi’s comments Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn told TheDCNF “I’m sure at the convenient time she will reserve the right to change her mind.”
Early Wednesday Trump praised Pelosi, saying he “greatly” appreciated the California Democrat’s comments about not impeaching him.
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“I’m not for impeachment.” Pelosi said in a Monday interview with The Washington Post. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” she continued.
Many Republicans, however, are not buying Pelosi’s comments. “I think it’s ludicrous to think about impeaching the president. I think it’s always been a partisan witch hunt and I’m glad that maybe the Democrats are recognizing that now,” Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul told TheDCNF.
Other Republicans, such as South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott said they thought it was a good move politically, but that it is more like “political theater,” calling out Democrats for a false narrative against the president.
“It’s unfortunate that she is that wise and prudent. I mean I think it is a good play on her side to say they’re farfetched,” Scott said to TheDCNF.
Pelosi’s efforts strive to maintain the image of the Democratic party, attempting to curtail claims that the party is tainted by polarization and hatred for the president. Without concrete evidence implicating the president, Republican senators worry that advancing impeachment motions plays on progressive aspirations.
“I think it paints them as more extreme,” South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune told TheDCNF. “They’re already having to defend a lot of these crazy ideas that are coming out of their far-left.”
Meanwhile, Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said she believes Pelosi “was doing what the vast majority of Americans feel is the right thing to do,” as the House previously has overwhelmingly rejected two bills to impeach Trump.
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Paul Ingrassia, Wyatt Dobrovich & Connor Moldo contributed to this report.