Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) broke from their fellow Democratic primary candidates on the question of impeachment during Tuesday night’s debate by urging party leaders to prioritize a unifying and orderly process over expediency.
After moderators asked the candidates their opinions on impeachment proceedings, a number of frontrunners took swipes at Trump.
“Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences,” Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) declared. “This is about Donald Trump. But understand it’s about the next president and the next president and the next president and the future of this country.”
“The idea that we have a president of the United States who is prepared to hold back national security money to one of our allies in order to get dirt on a presidential candidate is beyond comprehension,” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said. “So I look forward, not only to a speedy and expeditious impeachment process, but Mitch McConnell has got to do the right thing and allow a free and fair trial in the Senate.”
But Booker took a more middling stance, and stated that the process must be “fair,” arguing that “this nation needs a moral moment and not a political one.” Gabbard chimed in and stated while she supported the initial inquiry, “Trump won his election, and as unhappy as that may make us as Democrats, he won that election in 2016,” and that impeachment “will only further divide an already terribly divided country.”
Later in the debate, Booker challenged the moderators for asking former Vice President Joe Biden on his son’s dealings in Ukraine for “literally using Donald Trump’s lies.”
“The only person sitting at home that was enjoying that was Donald Trump, seeing we are distracting from his malfeasance and selling out of his office,” Booker said.