Thursday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) said given Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) resignation over sexual misconduct accusations, President Donald Trump should also resign over “his history with this issue of harassment.”
Partial transcript as follows:
RICE: Well, it’s a sad day obviously. We are dealing with an issue that has gripped the entire country. And my goal and my involvement in this has always been to be a voice for Congress to do the right thing, not to circle the wagons and take care of our own and show the American people that there are certain rules that apply to them and then certain rules that apply to elected officials. Now, although Democrats came — our leadership came to this issue a little late, they did call on the resignations that have happened and we need the Republicans to do the same thing. We need Paul Ryan to stand up and be the leader of his party. I know it’s difficult for him to do that when the standard bearer of the Republican party for right now is the president of the United States. We know his history with this issue of harassment. But clearly the Republican party is all in with Roy Moore. That’s not what the public needs. We don’t need more people who have shown a disdain for women in the workplace and have harassed them. So my hope and my call is for Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership to get with the program and start forcing people out.
MATTHEWS: Well, for pure consistency here, the president didn’t just harass, he assaulted and said so in his own language. Should he resign in the spirit of what Franken did today? If the president admits publicly as he has done on tape that he assaulted women as a manner of habit because of his celebrity, saying he could get away with doing it and had done so, why shouldn’t he resign today like Franken did, if you’re being consistent? Should he resign?
RICE: I have said before that he should. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think the president has shown himself impervious to the rules that are applying to mere mortal politicians here in the Senate and the House. That should not be the case, but for right now it is. But that’s a separate issue. Look, he’s going to have to be held responsible for his support and endorsement of Roy Moore. So too are the Republicans who are all in with Roy Moore now. All in with financial assistance. No one is condemning him and it’s not enough to say, you know, what if he wins and he gets here, we’ll take care of it then. We don’t need someone like him here, especially given everything that’s going on. The American public deserves to have a government that works for them and is not in the primary business of protecting themselves.
MATTHEWS: Well, I have to stick with you for a second. What do you make of the Republican hall pass on this? I mean Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California after all those accusations. He said he would form a commission once he got elected to look into it. What a joke. This president did it on television. We’ve watched the tape a hundred times. He walks into the White House, gets elected by the electoral college. What do you make of the Republican voter giving a pass on this to the candidate a pass on this to the candidate they put up, and next week in Alabama. They’re giving their people a pass on sexual behavior like this, assault, going after teenagers when you’re in your 30s. What do you make of those people who vote like this, congresswoman?
RICE: Well, there’s an old saying that, you know, voters get the people they deserve. And whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you are willing to overlook allegations like this because it’s your candidate for political reasons, then I think that you get what you deserve. My voice on this has always been to put politics aside. I am speaking out the way that I have because I’m a voter too, I’m a taxpayer too and the constituents that I have heard from all across this country want the rules to apply to people here in Congress. And I hope that this is going to allow for a much broader national discussion which in my opinion is long overdue on this issue of harassment in the workplace.
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