James targets 'the swamp' in Trump rally speech

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Battle Creek — Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James slammed Democrats' push to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday, tying the day's events to the "swamp" at a Trump rally.

But Democrats argued the candidate's statements were evidence he would be "a rubber stamp for Republican leaders in Washington."

James, who is expected to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township in 2020, issued a statement on Wednesday, arguing that the impeachment vote against the president was not about the rule of law but about "revenge."

Senate candidate John James gives a thumbs up to President Donald Trump's supporters as he arrives at a rally for Trump at Kellogg Arena, in Battle Creek, Wednesday evening.

The statement came the same day the U.S. House is expected to vote on two articles of impeachment against the president, alleging "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress."

"In the Senate, I would demand Congress stop working against each other and start working for the people on issues like trade, health care and immigration," James said in the statement. "This is a sad day in American history."

Hours later, James, a businessman from Farmington Hills, took the stage at Trump's campaign rally in Battle Creek. James again mentioned that Wednesday was a "sad day."

“No one in the swamp is going to save us,” he added.

To which, the crowd chanted Trump's campaign slogan, "Drain the swamp."

James responded, "You have a chance to do that November 2020."

James last year lost to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, by a smaller-than-expected margin of 6.5 percentage points. 

James is confirming that his support for Trump is "more important than getting the facts," said Alex Japko, spokesman for the Michigan Democratic Party.

"After ducking questions about the president’s conduct for months, James has finally admitted he agrees with Mitch McConnell’s intent to cover up for President Trump instead of having a fair trial," Japko said in a statement. "It's more proof that James would be a rubber stamp for Republican leaders in Washington, not an independent voice for the people of Michigan standing up for the rule of law."