Despite running in a state President Donald Trump carried by nine-points in 2016, Rep. Beto O’Rourke hasn’t shied away from discussing impeachment in his quest to oust Sen. Ted Cruz.
O’Rourke first said that he would vote to impeach Trump after the president’s joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.
Now, just weeks before Texans will head to the polls, the El Paso congressman is doubling down on his earlier remarks — even after Cruz used it to attack him in a recent debate.
Watch the video below, via CNN:
Asked by a student at a CNN town hall how we would respond to Republican or independent voters who are concerned that his “main objective” in the Senate would be to impeach the president, O’Rourke stood by his earlier statements.
The congressman answered with a statement on his commitment to representing all Texans, regardless of party affiliation or political beliefs, before CNN’s Dana Bash pressed him to address the topic of impeachment directly.
“I haven’t,” O’Rourke said plainly when asked if he had changed his mind since July.
“Let me put it this way,” he said. “There may be an open question as to whether the president — then the candidate — sought to collude with the Russian government in 2016.”
“But to quote George Will, a very conservative columnist, ‘When we saw him on that stage in Helsinki defending Vladimir Putin, the head of the country that attacked our Democracy in 2016, instead of this country, and its citizens, and its amazing Democracy — that was collusion in action.'”
O’Rourke was referencing a Washington Post column from the conservative Will, who referred to Trump’s meeting with Putin as “ongoing collusion” between Trump and Russia.
The congressman also explained his belief that a tweet from Trump calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the ongoing Russia investigation qualified as obstruction of justice.
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
“I know that this is not politically easy or convenient to talk about,” O’Rourke said of the topic of impeachment. “But 242 years into this experiment — which is the exception, not the rule in world history — there’s nothing that guarantees us a 243rd or a 244th.”
“It’s up to all of us to stand up for that democracy,” he said.