When Pressed During Debate, Bryce Tries to Back Away From Impeachment Talk | NTK Network When Pressed During Debate, Bryce Tries to Back Away From Impeachment Talk

When Pressed During Debate, Bryce Tries to Back Away From Impeachment Talk

The Wisconsin Democrat repeatedly campaigned on impeaching the president. But Bryce appeared to back away from his divisive rhetoric during Monday’s debate.

By NTK Staff | 10.30.2018 @1:00pm

Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce used to make no bones about the fact that he wanted to impeach President Trump. Bryce first jumped into the race when it was expected that House Speaker Paul Ryan would run for reelection. When Ryan declined to run and Republican Bryan Steil jumped in, Bryce’s support for impeaching the president never wavered.

But on a debate stage Monday evening, when the moderator pressed Bryce to name an impeachable offense committed by Trump, Bryce appeared to have a change of heart.

“What we need to do right now is let Robert Mueller’s investigation continue. We can’t let that stop,” Bryce said. “We’ve seen multiple people from the Donald Trump campaign already plead guilty, several indictments have come about. We wouldn’t need to talk about impeachment if we had a Congress that was doing their job and bringing forward checks and balances that are in place under our Constitution.”

“You wouldn’t have anybody talking about any kind of impeachment had that been taking place, had the government working the way that it was designed,” he added.

Bryce’s approach to the impeachment question during the debate is a stark contrast from his blunt, straightforward rhetoric on the campaign trail and on social media in the months leading up to Election Day.

Just one year ago, when asked about liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s impeachment campaign, Bryce told the New Republic that he wished “every Democrat” would call for impeachment:

But campaigning on impeachment is not without pitfalls. While energizing the Democratic base, it might be seen as premature or impractical by more moderate voters, especially independents whom Democratic candidates will need in order to win in swing or conservative-leaning districts. That doesn’t worry Randy Bryce, the Wisconsin union ironworker running to unseat Speaker Paul Ryan. “I think it’s great,” he said of Steyer’s position. “It’s time for Democrats to be Democrats.’ Asked about party leaders who’ve shied away from impeachment talk, he said, ‘I’d love to see every Democrat call for it.”

That same month, October 2017, he tweeted a fundraising plea based on his efforts to impeach Trump:

And as recently as April, Bryce tweeted his commitment to impeaching the president:

After Bryce’s initial response during Monday night’s debate, the moderators pressed Bryce one more time to name an impeachable offense committed by the president.

“The Emoluments Clause,” Bryce said, before launching into a series of open-ended questions about money that Trump could be making while president. “There’s a lot going on. That is exactly the reason why we need to allow Robert Mueller to finish his investigation.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called impeachment talk “a gift” to Republicans, and strongly discouraged Democrats from bringing the topic up during campaign season. It’s quite possible Bryce heard that message loud and clear.

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