Democratic governors in swing states cautious on impeachment

Associated Press

September 26, 2019

   
             

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2019 file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a news conference in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer has signed changes to Michigan's reporting requirements for people who will have to meet work-related requirements to qualify for Medicaid coverage. But she's criticizing the Republican-led Legislature for not allocating $10 million to implement the rules. Whitmer on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, signed a law exempting some enrollees in the state's Medicaid expansion program from meeting monthly reporting rules if the state can verify their compliance with work requirements through other data.

MADISON Democratic governors in states that President Donald Trump hopes to win in 2020 are reacting cautiously to impeachment proceedings beginning in Congress.

House Democrats' impeachment probe focuses on Trump's phone call to Ukraine's president. A rough transcript released Wednesday shows Trump repeatedly urged the Ukrainian leader to "look into" Democratic rival Joe Biden.

While some Democratic House members were outspoken in calling for Trump's impeachment, governors were more cautious. The governors' understated responses underscore the risks those in key 2020 swing states face as they try to walk the line between appeasing Democrats clamoring for impeachment and alienating more moderate voters.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a former congressman, called details of Trump's phone call "deeply troubling," but said impeachment may not be the way to go.

"It may not be politically good to do because I think at this point I, like many Minnesotans, am so sick and tired of the dysfunction in D.C.," Walz told reporters.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he supports opening an impeachment inquiry but doesn't have all the evidence yet to judge. Still, he looks forward to seeing what comes out of the investigation.

"We ought to know, we voters, we citizens of the United States ought to know," he said in an interview. "I look forward to the process."

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers did not respond to questions about the impeachment probe Wednesday. But on Tuesday, before Democrats launched it, Evers tried to distance himself from the political turmoil in the nation's capital.

"I don't make any decisions on that," Evers said of impeachment. "I'm focused on Wisconsin. Clearly, I follow it in the news, but that's for the people that are in Washington, D.C., and their constituents here in Wisconsin to figure out."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supports opening an impeachment inquiry, saying in a written statement that Congress should use its "full investigatory powers" to find out what happened between Trump and Ukraine.

But Whitmer, like Evers and Walz, tried to distance herself from what's happening in the nation's capital.

"The mere fact we are even at this point is a sad commentary on the state of politics in Washington, D.C.," she said.

In 2016, Trump narrowly won Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, three states that could determine whether he wins reelection in 2020. Trump lost in Minnesota but has it as a target to flip in 2020.

The Democratic governor of Nevada, another swing state Trump is targeting in 2020, also kept his distance from Democrats in Washington. Steve Sisolak, who was elected last year, wouldn't say Wednesday whether he supports the impeachment inquiry. Instead, Sisolak's office said in a statement that "he remains committed to focusing on the issues impacting Nevada families right here at home like health care, education, and jobs."

The statement also said Sisolak "recognizes the critical need for strong, steady leadership at the state level" as news develops in Washington that highlights "the divisive state of politics in our nation's capital."

In New Mexico, another Democratic-leaning state Trump hopes is in play in 2020, the state's Democratic governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, said in a statement that she found the rough transcript to be "extremely troubling" and "absolutely worthy of Congressional investigation."


Wisconsin's Democratic Rep. Kind supports Trump probe

MADISON Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind says he supports investigating a whistleblower's complaint about a phone call President Donald Trump made that has resulted in a formal impeachment inquiry.

Kind stopped short of saying he supports impeachment. Wisconsin's two other Democratic members of Congress, Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan, have long backed impeachment.

None of Wisconsin's four congressional Republicans have said they support impeachment over the president's call to the president of Ukraine and the discussion of investigating former Vice President Biden and his son.

Kind says in a statement Wednesday that reports of Trump's call are "extremely concerning."

Kind says Congress must investigate claims made in the whistleblower's report. He says "no one is above the law not even the president."

Kind is from La Crosse and represents a western Wisconsin district that Trump won in 2016 by 4 points.

 

 

 

 

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