Democrat freshman Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA), who represents a battleground district in Iowa, confirmed in an interview with local public radio this week that it is “absolutely” a “disaster” for Democrats politically to back impeachment of President Donald Trump—but she is doing it anyway.
Asked by the host during an interview on Iowa Public Radio if backing an impeachment inquiry into President Trump is a “political disaster for the Democrats,” she replied that “absolutely” it is.
Host Ben Kieffer on Iowa Public Radio asked Axne:
For months, Congresswoman Axne, before this Ukraine scandal broke, your Democratic House Speaker had been hesitant to wade into this full blown impeachment inquiry fearing it could put moderate Democratic lawmakers—perhaps you put yourself in that category—in danger of the 2020 elections. How much of that fear is still there with you? This could be a political disaster for the Democrats could it not?
In response, Axne confirmed that impeachment is “absolutely” a disaster for the Democrats.
“Well, absolutely,” Axne said. “Historically it’s not very beneficial from a political perspective to conduct presidential impeachment.”
Axne represents Iowa’s third congressional district, one of the 31 districts in which President Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton where Democrats currently sit in the House seats. She won her seat in the 2018 midterm elections, but as a freshman from a very pro-Trump distric, she is particularly vulnerable heading into the 2020 congressional elections.
The GOP only needs to retake a net 19 seats to retake the House majority in 2020, making this one of the districts everyone is watching heading into next year—making Axne’s admission that it is “absolutely” a “disaster” for her and other Democrats to back impeachment all the more important.
She continued by arguing that despite the political concerns over a backlash by voters in response to Democrats pursuing an impeachment agenda, she thinks it is “what’s right for this country” to try to remove Trump from office:
But you know, really that [political backlash concerns over impeachment] has to go by the wayside. It’s about doing what’s right for this country. And I completely understand where the Speaker was coming from. Many times she went back to the place where she said ‘this is the American people’s choice.’ That will be seen at the voting box. I know that’s what we’re going to see. We’re going to see people very much voting on this issue.
She also admitted that impeachment will have at least “some impact” on her upcoming effort to get re-elected in 2020.
“Could it affect people like me in purple districts?” Axne said. “I’m one of the eight most crucial races in the nation. I think obviously there will be some impact.”
Axne also made the case that despite pursuing an impeachment agenda—she, like all but two Democrats, voted for the impeachment inquiry last week, siding with radicals like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over the people of her district who support Trump—she can still do legislation on other matters. Axne said:
I can tell you every single day what I’m doing is focusing on the issues that face our district. On the exact same day that an impeachment inquiry was dropped, I put forth an agriculture bill to help keep African swine fever from hitting the shores of this country. That would be one more thing on top of the trade war and the EPA’s issuance of these renewable fuel standard waivers that would really be the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to our agriculture here. So, I believe that if I continue to work very hard on the issues that our district faces, like addressing the trade issues that we’re up against, obviously continuing to work with folks in our flooded district in the Missouri, certainly making sure that we lower the costs of prescription drugs and put more money back in people’s pockets, then I’m not going to worry about what this impeachment might do to me. If I do my job, I know Iowans—they always get behind the people that work for them. We’ve got a lot of folks here that don’t vote just because of the letter behind your name but they want to know that you’re working hard for them. And I’m working hard for Iowans and I hope that those who are more concerned about the impeachment thing put that aside for a little bit and say ‘I’m going to vote for somebody who’s doing the job that I need to get done for my family here in Iowa.’
The problem with this argument is that Democrats have chosen as a party to abandon the campaign promises from 2018 that swept them into the majority, winning districts like the one Axne won on issues like health care, immigration, the economy, and helping American workers and families. But Democrats have not passed a single big-picture piece of legislation designed to become law on any of these matters, and as they pursue their impeachment agenda, they are giving up hope of passing anything on these fronts at all before the next election.
By voting for the impeachment inquiry as she did, Axne sided with these radical, as did all but two of her Democrat colleagues—freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) and longtime Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee—by voting to formally authorize what is now a plainly partisan impeachment inquiry. All Republicans and those two Democrats joined in bipartisan opposition to the Democrats’ partisan impeachment inquiry vote.
Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, told Breitbart News this weekend on Breitbart News Sunday that Democrats have abandoned legislative solutions in order to pursue their impeachment agenda—and that it could cost them dearly at the polls in November 2020.
“I think that net 19 is a tough swing, but I think the Democrats are doing everything in their power to make it possible,” Short said. “I think that by pursuing endless investigations and impeachment that is going nowhere in the Senate, you’re essentially telling the voters that you wanted to do politics and you didn’t want to do legislation that is important.”