During a discussion on Monday’s broadcast of Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough and NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd both lamented over recent comments from the #3 Republican in the House. On Sunday, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was recently moved up to Majority Whip, appeared on Fox News Sunday. During the interview, host Chris Wallace asked him repeatedly if President Obama should be impeached. Instead of giving a simple yes or no answer, Scalise skirted around the question, giving credence to the idea that House Republicans are using Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit as their first step towards impeachment.
Scarborough and Todd discussed Scalise’s interview and pointed out that fanning the flames of impeachment will spell doom for the Republican Party. Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC.
Scarborough started it off by mocking Scalise’s non-answer, saying that there was an easy way to answer the question. Joe wished that Scalise would have just simply said “no” and moved on to another question rather than give a long, drawn out response that ultimately answered nothing. Scalise basically endorsed the idea that impeachment is on the table during his Fox News interview. Scarborough was downright angry over this as Scalise is not a fringe member of the House or a far-right pundit, but a leader of the Republican Party who helps set the agenda for the party.
Todd jumped in and said that the White House is praying for impeachment to move forward as it believes that it would seriously damage the GOP ahead of the midterm elections and the 2016 Presidential election. He also stated that Boehner’s lawsuit gambit is backfiring on him. In Todd’s opinion, Boehner just brought up the lawsuit in order to satisfy the most extreme members of his caucus, hoping that would satiate their thirst for impeachment. However, all it has done is open the door for Republicans to seriously talk about impeaching the President. While removing President Obama from the White House is popular with the conservative base of the party, it will completely turn off the rest of the country.
Both Todd and Scarborough know this and are trying to instruct Republican leaders to nip this in the bud before it causes irreversible damage to the GOP. Serious movement on the impeachment front will destroy any hopes the GOP has of taking over the Senate and will likely cost them the majority in the House. It will also cause severe damage to the 2016 GOP Presidential candidate. They both know that impeachment will turn around President Obama’s poll numbers as voters who don’t approve of him currently will feel more sympathetic towards the President because he does not deserve to be impeached. Overall, traveling down this road will be a complete disaster for the GOP.
Of course, it might be too late to correct their course. Beohner opened up Pandora’s Box with his baseless lawsuit. The Tea Party now feels completely emboldened and will continue to push on Boehner and House Republican leadership to move forward with impeachment. Despite Republican mouthpieces like Todd and Scarborough telling them to stop due to the damage they are causing, House Republicans are going to allow the extreme wing of their party to set the agenda and eventually move forward with it.