Donald Trump’s Republican Primary Challengers Debate Impeachment

Gov. Bill Weld, Gov. Mark Sanford and Rep. Joe Walsh speak onstage during the 2019 Politicon
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In a Saturday morning panel discussion at the 2019 Politicon conference, three of President Donald Trump‘s Republican primary challengers debated impeachment, reports The Washington Examiner.

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and former Representative Joe Walsh all agreed about the underlying issues of the Trump presidency, but strongly disagreed when it comes to impeachment.

Sanford argued that the best way forward is to avoid impeachment altogether, because the GOP-controlled Senate is not likely to convict and remove Trump. Instead, according to Sanford, the president should be censured.

The former South Carolina governor opined that a censure would be equally as effective when it comes to persuading Trump’s voters that the Republican Party needs to abandon him.

“I don’t give a damn how impeachment plays politically,” Walsh said in response to Sanford’s remarks, arguing that Congress needs to “do what’s right.”

“Donald Trump is a traitor,” Walsh said, opining that Democrats who claim Trump is involved with Vladimir Putin are right.

“All roads to lead to Putin, let’s be clear. Putin’s got something on him,” he said.

Weld agreed with Walsh that impeachment is necessary, describing Trump as a “horrible human being.”

The former Massachusetts governor argued that Trump must be impeached because Republicans and Democrats need to “get back to where we’re divided on the issues,” adding that GOP lawmakers in Congress are reluctant to abandon Trump because they are “afraid” of electoral backlash, and fear the president’s base.

All three long-shot candidates agreed that the president needs to be charged by the Department of Justice.

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Although Trump’s primary challengers have seemingly generated a considerable amount of media enthusiasm, their chances of beating the president remain low. The president has an exceptionally high approval rating among Republicans — it has never dropped below 80 percent.

The Republican Party is not taking any risks, it seems, and it has already cancelled primaries in some states, including Kansas, South Carolina, Alaska, and Nevada, shielding Trump from potential damage.

The president’s primary challengers and other critics objected to the decisions, but to no avail. According to analysts, the cancellation makes sense, given that primary opponents tend to damage the incumbent, exposing weaknesses before the general election. In fact, no modern president has managed to get re-elected after being forced to fight a strong primary opponent.

In the general election, Trump will face either former Vice President Joe Biden, or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, polls suggest; according to the RealClearPolitics average of polling data, the Democratic primary has become a three-way race.