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Obama impeachment: Where do the GOP's 2016 hopefuls stand?

Potential 2016 Republicans’ feelings on impeaching Obama have varied, with some giving a full-fledged endorsement and others calling it a “ridiculous gambit.”
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee delivers remarks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., March 7, 2014.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee delivers remarks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., March 7, 2014.

Add former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to the growing list of Republicans who believe President Obama deserves to be kicked out of office.

Huckabee, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, told Iowa conservative radio host Steve Deace earlier this week that Obama is “absolutely” worthy of impeachment and accused the president of “ignoring the law.” Huckabee did acknowledge, however, that the chances of success were non-existent due to the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Huckabee joins a chorus of conservatives, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who want to remove Obama from the Oval Office. Meanwhile, several House and Senate GOP leaders have said they're opposed to impeachment but want to sue the president for what they see as his abuse of executive power. Last week, the House approved legislation to launch the lawsuit.

But among those who may be mulling a 2016 presidential bid, Huckabee is something of an outlier. One possible candidate is calling impeachment talk a "ridiculous gambit”—on the part of the White House.

Here’s a closer look at where the potential Republican presidential candidates stand on the impeachment issue.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: The tea party favorite did not say yes to impeachment, but he didn’t say no either. When asked recently byNational Review whether he agreed with Palin’s call, Cruz emphasized the “lawlessness” of the president but said it was a “decision for the House of Representatives.” Cruz is seemingly keeping his options open.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann: The Republican has long been a supporter of impeaching Obama. In October, she called the president a “dictator” and said he'd committed impeachable offenses. Earlier this week, Bachmann said if House Speaker John Boehner won’t allow the lower chamber of Congress to begin impeachment proceedings, the party should start a movement to impeach Obama’s cabinet instead, beginning with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: Last fall, when talk of impeaching Obama was also ripe, Jindal said on "Meet the Press" that he rejects “that kind of talk.” “The reality is I didn’t like it when the left spent eight years trying to delegitimize President Bush, calling to question his election. I don’t think we should be doing that to President Obama …The reality is one of the great things out this country is we do have a peaceful transfer of power.” Jindal has not weighed in on the latest calls to impeach Obama.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: The Sunshine State lawmaker has also rejected the calls for impeachment. “I’m not at this point calling for impeachment," he told CNN in June. The president has two years left in his term. We hope they pass quickly … that we can somehow have a majority here in the Senate so we can limit the amount of damage he’s doing to our economy and our national security.”

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan: The failed vice presidential nominee wants to sue the president over his executive actions, but he doesn’t want to impeach him. “This does not rise to the high crimes and misdemeanor level,” he said in July at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “I see this as sort of a ridiculous gambit by the president and his political team to try and change the narrative, raise money, and turn out their base for an upcoming election that they feel is not going to go their way.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: The libertarian, while in Iowa this week, flatly said, “I do not support it,” according to Yahoo News.

Other potential candidates, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have yet to weigh in on the latest calls to impeach the president.