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Boehner splits with Palin on call for Obama impeachment


Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) talks with reporters after the weekly House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

For much of his presidency, Barack Obama has been a unifying force for the fractious GOP. The one thing Republicans could always agree on was how much they disagree with the president. But even that glue is not holding anymore.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin are going different ways on the increasingly prominent suggestion among some Republicans that Obama should be impeached.

She is for impeachment, and he is against.

Palin on Tuesday joined the growing GOP chorus calling for the impeachment of Obama, writing in an op-ed that the influx of young illegal immigrants over the southern border “is the last straw.”

The opinion piece written for Breitbart.com asserts: “There is no end in sight as our president prioritizes parties over doing the job he was hired by voters to do.”

Palin not only called for Obama’s impeachment, but also attacked lawmakers who may disagree.

“It’s time to impeach,” she wrote, “and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment.”

Boehner’s response Wednesday: “I disagree.” When a reporter pointed out that some House Republicans also are calling for impeachment, Boehner repeated: “I disagree.”

Boehner’s comments came after Palin said Tuesday night on Fox News that the speaker’s planned lawsuit against Obama over the president’s use of executive power is a weak maneuver. “You don’t bring a lawsuit to a gunfight,” she said.

Palin is not the first Republican politician to raise the issue of impeachment. In recent months, others have included Sens. James M. Inhofe (Okla.), Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Tim Scott (S.C.), as well as Reps. Blake Farenthold (Tex.), Kerry Bentivolio (Mich.), Michael C. Burgess (Tex.) and Jason Chaffetz (Utah). They are joined by former congressmen Tom Tancredo (Colo.) and Allen B. West (Fla.) and the South Dakota Republican Party. Not every one of those has explicitly called for impeachment, but has at least suggested that it be considered.

Closer to the Boehner line Wednesday was Joni Ernst, the party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate in Iowa, who once described the president as a dictator. In response to the Palin op-ed, she issued a statement to Yahoo News: “To be clear, I have not seen any evidence that the President should be impeached.”

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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