Republican strategist Karl Rove gestures while at a luncheon at the California Republican Party convention, in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, March 2, 2013.
Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Karl Rove blames impeachment talk on Democrats

Despite dozens of calls for impeachment from conservatives over the last six years, Karl Rove says it’s actually the White House that’s pushing the impeachment frenzy.  

The former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush condemned Democrats for their “impeachment ploy” in an op-ed in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.

“Mr. Obama and his party are now claiming in every conceivable setting that Republicans will impeach him if the GOP wins this fall,” Rove writes, listing off a series of events where Democrats have discussed impeachment in recent weeks.

“All this is complete and utter nonsense,” Rove writes. “No sane person believes that even after the midterms there will be the necessary 67 votes in the Senate to remove Mr. Obama, even if the House voted to impeach him.”

Indeed, the votes aren’t currently there and House Speaker John Boehner has downplayed impeachment efforts, similarly blaming Democrats and saying it was a fundraising “scam.”

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Democrats may be profiting from it, but both Rove and Boehner seem to have forgotten that conservatives have been pushing an impeachment agenda since the president was elected. The Washington Post’s comprehensive run-down of impeachment calls lists a dozen hints at impeachment by elected Republicans over the last six years.

In July, the current round of impeachment fever was kicked off when the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential nominee and tea party darling Sarah Palin began fervently calling for impeachment over the president’s handling of the border crisis. The party’s majority whip left impeachment on the table in a Fox News interview shortly after, too, stoking the coals.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest rattled off a list off Republicans who have recently spoken favorably of impeachment at Tuesday’s briefing, listing Reps. Steve King of Iowa, Ted Yoho of Florida, Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, “the distinguished” Steve Stockman and Blake Farenthold both of Texas, and Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan.

“That’s an indication that if this is the case, then maybe the speaker should direct that attention and that message to members of his own conference,” Earnest said about Boehner’s retorts. 

Rove argues that Democrats are using impeachment talk to motivate a “lethargic Democratic base, worn-out and embarrassed by Mr. Obama’s incompetence and lack of leadership” and distract voters from “everything else.” 

Impeachment and Karl Rove

Karl Rove blames impeachment talk on Democrats