Sensing that independent voters aren’t in love with the idea of impeaching President Donald Trump, Republicans nationwide are hopping on Democrats in battleground districts who have come out in support of an impeachment inquiry.
In Michigan, that means Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, whose district includes Ingham County, and Rep. Haley Stevens, R-Rochester Hills, are being collared with their support for moving forward on removing Trump from office. The latest drives come after Trump’s apparent attempt to hold up foreign aid to Ukraine until the country agreed to investigate potential wrongdoing in their country by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
In a rare move, the Republican National Committee is working with the Trump reelection campaign to buy $10 million in cable TV and digital buys in 25 to 50 competitive House districts, including Michigan’s 8th and 11th districts. The National Republican Congressional Committee have stepped up its criticism of both. Itsr central theme is that both “caved into D.C. partisan politics” instead of being the “problem solvers” they both ran on.
It also means upped visibility by the Michigan Republican Party and it public criticism of Slotkin and Stevens. On Tuesday, GOP state party chairwoman Laura Cox held press events in front of Slotkin’s Lansing office and Stevens’ Livonia office to voice her displeasure.
Standing with Cox in Lansing was 8th Congressional District Chairman Norm Shinkle, Linda Lee Tarver and a couple of dozen like-minded Trump backers holding up such signs as “Impeach Slotkin,” “4 More Years,” “Slotkin Doesn’t Work 4 Michigan,” and “Democrat Socialists kill countries.”
“She told the 8th District that she would go to D.C. and work for our families, working for our friends. She’s not doing that,” Cox said. “She’s playing political games in D.C. She wants to redo the election of 2016. That’s not right. We’re here to stay, ‘Stop it, Elissa.’”
Cox urged the freshman member of Congress to vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which Republicans fear U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding up for political reasons.
As around 15 to 20 pro-Slotkin counter-protesters heckled Cox she said Slotkin is playing to “The Squad” and the “ultra-left” instead of wanting to vote on prescription drug reform or immigration reform.
As it turns out, Slotkin was hosting a “Costs of Care” roundtable discussion in Rochester on Monday about the costs of healthcare and prescription drug costs. While Slotkin does support an impeachment inquiry, the House Democratic leadership doesn’t have her on the front lines on this issue.
Instead, the congresswoman’s team noted that a bill she’s actively working in Washington would lower out-of-pocket costs for those need prescriptions. It also would allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.
“This morning, Rep. Slotkin met with manufacturing and logistics suppliers in our district to talk about how to leverage Michigan companies’ unique expertise for defense innovation,” said a Slotkin spokeswoman.
“As Rep. Slotkin has done throughout her life of service to our country, she made the decision to support an impeachment inquiry based on her commitment to our national security,” said Hannah Lindow. “Rep. Slotkin has made it clear she is an independent voice for Michigan’s 8th District who has never wavered in her fierce commitment to the issues Michiganders are demanding she work on: lowering the price of healthcare and prescription drugs, ensuring access to clean water, and bringing decency and integrity back to politics.”
Also in Lansing this week, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Delta Township, was at the Ingham County Health Department talking about climate change and the impacts on human health. Like Slotkin, Stabenow was talking about something other than Trump.
Of course, by the time the media got to Michigan’s senior U.S. senator, the subject of the Trump’s conduct in office came up.
Stabenow supports the impeachment inquiry. Any time a president takes a foreign country hostage by withholding aid until that country “digs up dirt” on a potential future political opponent, that’s a problem, Stabenow said.
Defending Trump’s shenanigans has turned into a political gut-check for Republicans. Stabenow said her Republican friends have no interest in looking into the evidence of abuse of power and that's unfortunate.
“We’re seeing very dangerous actions come from this president. They are very erratic and they have very long-term implications for our country.
“This is a president who has abused his power,” she said. “We have a president who relishes division and controversy on every topic. The President’s view is that he somehow benefits from division and partisanship. I think it’s wrong.”
On Slotkin and Stevens, Stabenow said she was “proud of” both of them for doing what’s right for the country.
“When you look at someone like Elissa Slotkin, who served in the role of CIA adviser … this goes way beyond party. This is about standing up for our Constitution, our country, for our national security, keeping us safe. I’m proud she had the courage to do that.”
(Kyle Melinn of the Capitol news service is at mlinnky@gmail.)