Whitmer, other Midwest Dem governors understated on impeachment
Madison, Wis. – Democratic governors in Midwestern states that are central to President Donald Trump’s reelection strategy are reacting cautiously to impeachment proceedings beginning in Congress.
House Democrats’ impeachment probe focuses on Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s president. A rough transcript released Wednesday shows Trump repeatedly urged the Ukrainian leader to “look into” Democratic rival Joe Biden.
While some Democratic House members in the upper Midwest states were outspoken in calling for Trump’s impeachment, governors were more cautious.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supports opening an impeachment inquiry, saying in a written statement that Congress should use its “full investigatory powers” to find out what happened between Trump and Ukraine.
But Whitmer tried to distance herself from what’s happening in the nation’s capital. “The mere fact we are even at this point is a sad commentary on the state of politics in Washington, D.C.,” she said.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a former congressman, called details of Trump’s phone call “deeply troubling,” but said impeachment may not be the way to go.
“It may not be politically good to do because I think at this point I, like many Minnesotans, am so sick and tired of the dysfunction in D.C.,” Walz told reporters.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he hadn’t decided on whether he supports Democrats’ opening of the impeachment inquiry, but he looked forward to seeing what comes out of the investigation.
“We ought to know, we voters, we citizens of the United States ought to know,” he said in an interview. “I look forward to the process.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers did not respond to questions about the impeachment probe Wednesday. But on Tuesday, before Democrats launched it, Evers tried to distance himself from the political turmoil in the nation’s capital.
“I don’t make any decisions on that,” Evers said of impeachment. “I’m focused on Wisconsin. Clearly, I follow it in the news, but that’s for the people that are in Washington, D.C., and their constituents here in Wisconsin to figure out.”
Trump narrowly won Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in 2016, three states that could determine whether he wins reelection in 2020. Trump lost in Minnesota but has it as a target to flip in 2020.
Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis, Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa., and David Eggert in Lansing, Mich., contributed to this report.