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After Acquittal, Trump Unleashes Fury At Impeachment

 February 6, 2020 at 10:16 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 He was only the third president in the history of the United States to be impeached and like the two before him, president Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday by the Senate. So now what the taint of impeachment will always be with the president and so will his acquittal joining us to talk more about impeachment and its political aftermath is Mesa college political science professor Carl Luna. Carl, welcome. Thank you for having me. Okay, so the vote yesterday went pretty much as everyone expected, even though you know we the, we won't be voting for another 10 months. What effect could this impeachment process and the acquittal have on the president's reelection campaign? Speaker 2: 00:35 Well, I think the presence of that comes out of this impeachment personally stronger than he went coming in, look at his approval ratings, his basis so solidly behind him that there is no room for, for daylight between you and the president, you saw that with the one Republican to vote with the impeachment in favor of article one Mitt Romney who is being absolutely pilloried on am talk radio on media. He's a rhino Republican in name only. It'll be interesting to see if he can even stay in the party. I guess one of his relatives, a niece dropped the Romney from her hyphenated name and she's high up in the Republican party. So the president comes out with his base fully unified. He did a victory lap this morning. Castigating his enemies Democrats are going to try to continue our investigation, but after this they look like the boy cried Wolf and I think, uh, throw on top of the Iowa caucus debacle, it gets them off to a very weak start going again to the 2020 presidential race. Speaker 1: 01:28 Well, what about politics here in San Diego County and the down ballot races? You know, do you think this will energize the Republicans and the democratic campaigns? Speaker 2: 01:37 Well, the advantage the Democrats have is the blueing of San Diego. It's a blue state to begin with, but you're seeing a in Republican primary races, particularly the 50th district with Carl de Mio and mr Eissa. That is basically who is the Trumpist of the trumps and you're accusing the other person of being disloyal to the president. That's where the Republican base is. That's where their election goes. It's an advantage. You got one issue, you support Donald Trump. You can mobilize your voters. Democrats don't know if they're going for the Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, a democratic socialist, or the more moderate kind of Biden booted Chegg. And until they sort that out, a divided house doesn't stand as well. Speaker 1: 02:16 So now, unlike president Clinton, who actually apologized for his behavior after he was acquitted, this president is not admitting to any wrongdoing, even though many members of his own party said that he did do the wrong thing, it was not worthy of impeachment. Do you think that this will make it more difficult for Republican candidates to take a more nuanced approach and support of the presidents where they have to be all on us? Speaker 2: 02:37 Not at all. It's an all or nothing thing because the presence denying that he looks at the result, it's binary. I one therefore I'm totally acquitted. If you look at what senators were saying, a majority of senators, uh, agreed that what he did was probably not right and maybe wrong and even impeachable. But even those Republicans who thought that like Lamar Alexander said, yeah, but you were close to the election, you don't want to divide nation up as much, which is kind of like worrying that the Titanic may be delayed between reach in New York when it hit the iceberg as opposed to the fact it's sinking. So the Republicans are not going to be dried down with their own base. And this is going to be one of the most polarized elections going for independence. Moderates in the middle is going to be hard to find on this one. Speaker 2: 03:18 People are picking sides. So do you think it's important to watch how Mitt Romney uh, survives or not this, uh, the incoming weeks in a sense that what happens to him will be a warning to any other Republican that does not turn the line? Well, that's what the president, his supporters are trying to do. Though. Mitt Romney has the advantage of being a Senator who's until 2024 and if lamp Romney's playing the long game, he's opening that. If the president doesn't lead the Republicans where they need to be, he can help to redefine it. Bring the Republicans in from the wilderness. I think it's very interesting to see how it'll affect the congressional races here in San Diego. We've seen in the 50th congressional race, for example, that Darryl Eissa who is running for the 50th a photograph of him grasping the president's hand was one of the reasons he stepped out of the race for the 49th last time round, and yet there it is right at the top of his ad for this year and that the, the, that defines the districts. Speaker 2: 04:09 If it breaks to purple to blue, you can't be pro Trump or even touching Trump. It was like Chris Christie back in 2016 should have been a strong Republican candidate as Republican governor of democratic New Jersey. There was the photo of him shaking hands with Barack Obama. That was it. And the Republican party. If you're in a Republican district, you double down on the president. And this presumably makes things more challenging for Democrat campaign, a jar Amar campaigner jr who's running for the 50th also, and when asked whether he would have voted to impeach, the president was not willing to come up with an answer because he's running in a Republican district and he was caught between a rock and a hard place. Because if you say in that district, I would vote to impeach the president. You've kissed away any chance of getting maybe some of the wafflers who'd say, look, the Republicans had been too corrupt with Dunkin Hunter, we'll move over. Speaker 2: 04:55 But then on his progressive left, you have people saying you're not pure enough. And there's a tendency, particularly on Democrats on the left to say, I'd rather lose on principle. Then when for getting that, if you don't win, you can't put any of your principles into place. So this whole thing complicated more for Democrats running in red districts. You're going to see that in the Senate in Alabama, possibly in Arizona. This could cost them seats. Uh, by 2022, 2024, they can make a comeback, but it's going to be a rough 2020, unless they get a top of the ticket that everybody can rally around. And one of the other important races here in San Diego, the supervisor's race, Kristin gas bar supervisor hoping to hold onto her seat, she may not be able to play such a nuance game in terms of her relationship with the president. Speaker 2: 05:41 And she, she before I think played it down, she may now be planting it yet while Republicans in the board of supervisor, but then having this problem for a while, the a, their areas are increasingly bluing out and you could reach to the middle, but anymore, and again, the pro, the purity test on the right. If you from the president, you lose that support. So, um, demographics as they shift will determine this in the long run. In the short run, it all comes down to turnout. If Republicans turn out in mass to vote for their president, it could save a lot of Republicans down. Yeah. Speaker 1: 06:11 And finally, you are a professor at Mesa college. What are your students saying? Are they reacting to this impeachment process? Does it matter to them? Uh, I hear that Speaker 2: 06:18 more discussion about politics in the background. My classes before I take over and start the lecture and all, then I've, I've heard for a while students are concerned, but I think they've really only woken up to it since you've had the end of the impeachment process and the acquittal vote. Now they're looking from either side of the spectrum at what brought us to this and where they're going to go into 2020. I do see them engaged. I don't know if they are seeing a pathway to really realize their ambitions. They're looking for Ron Democrats who their standard bearer will be, and there's so many people they've been divided amongst. Speaker 1: 06:50 I've been speaking with Mesa college, political science professor Carl Luna. Carl, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you.

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President Donald Trump is exulting in his impeachment acquittal, taking a scorched earth victory lap. First, at the national prayer breakfast, he shattered the usual veneer of bipartisanship, unleashing his fury against those who tried to remove him from office.
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