The White House Friday stood behind its assertions that Republicans seriously want to impeach President Obama, even though House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has repeatedly dismissed the possibility.
“Prominent voices in the Republican Party” want to proceed with impeachment against Obama, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, when asked about senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer's claim that impeachment talk should not be ignored.
“Some Republicans, including some Republicans who are running for office, hope they can get into office so that they can impeach the president,” Earnest insisted.
He mentioned former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and added, "I think Sarah Palin considers herself to be a leader."
Republicans counter that there are no serious plans to impeach Obama and say the White House is using such rhetoric as a fundraising ploy.
Earnest, however, said that Boehner made similar declarations about wanting to avoid a government shutdown, which ultimately happened last fall.
When reporters mocked the idea that “prominent” Republicans supported impeachment, White House aides responded with a list of conservatives who supported such action.
“[Texas Rep. Blake] Farenthold, [Pennsylvania Rep. Lou] Barletta, [Michigan Rep. Kerry] Bentivolio, [Utah Rep. Jason] Chaffetz, [Texas Rep. Steve] Stockman, others,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a Twitter exchange.
House Republicans were not amused.
“Everybody knows that’s bull [expletive],” said one senior House GOP leadership aide.
But Earnest seemed to relish bringing up the I-word.
“There's no doubt that there are other prominent voices in the Republican Party that have strongly advocated impeachment,” Earnest said. “And, again, that's part of their agenda.”