Election 2020

Progressive Radio Host Warns on Impeachment That Pence Would Be 'More Dangerous'

Vice President Mike Pence applauds as President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the White House on Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON – Progressive talk radio host Bill Press said he hasn’t seen as much “energy, excitement and momentum” among liberal voters since the Vietnam War protests in the late 1960s.

Press predicted that the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony is going to help Democrats more than Republicans in the midterm elections. Press warned Democrats about trying to impeach Trump, arguing that Vice President Mike Pence would be worse.

“It’s fine if people want to protest and raise hell for impeachment, but I think the biggest issue is most protesters are out there today protesting actions taken by this Trump White House, including, and most recently, the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, which I think is a reflecting of the tremendous energy that we see today in American politics, particularly on the left,” Press said during an interview with PJM about his latest book, Trump Must Go: The Top 100 Reasons to Dump Trump (and One to Keep Him).

“I don’t think we’ve seen this much energy and excitement and momentum in American politics since the late ’60s in the protests against the Vietnam War. I mean, look at the people that surrounded the Capitol on the Kavanaugh nomination – 150 women climbing the steps of the Capitol to get arrested. It started with the Women’s March on Washington the day after the inauguration and it really hasn’t slowed down. I think it’s very exciting. I think it’s very healthy and it’s going to be good news for Democrats in the midterm elections,” he added.

Press said women voters are going to lead a “blue wave” in the midterm elections.

“In midterm elections, usually, the turnout is low, and the turnout is mainly white men, conservative white men, which is why Democrats generally don’t do so well in the midterms. If you look at where the energy is today, the energy is on the side of women today, and women are angry, they’re pissed off, even before Brett Kavanaugh, pissed off at Donald Trump and his cavalier treatment of women,” he said.

“Republicans who think that the treatment of Christine Ford and putting an accused sexual predator on the Supreme Court is going to rally women to come out and vote Republican, as Donald Trump says, they’re kidding themselves,” he added. “I think it’s going to be a blue wave generated in large part by a reaction to the Kavanaugh thing, that we’re going to see on Nov. 6.”

Some Republicans have said the fight over Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would help them win in November.

“It’s been a great political gift for us,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said ahead of the confirmation vote.

Press rejected the premise that the way Democrats treated Kavanaugh is going to energize GOP voters in the midterms.

“The fact is, at the end of the day, they won. Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court. If Kavanaugh had been rejected, I think they might have a point. People generally don’t come out and vote to say thank you,” Press said. “They come out and vote when they are pissed off and they are angry and they want change and that’s where the American women are today and most Americans are today, who are disgusted by the whole process and particularly disgusted by the fact that, once again, a woman comes forward with a legitimate, credible claim of sexual abuse and the response from the Republican Party is to deny and to attack.”

Press was asked to explain the reason he would want to keep Trump in office, which he refers to in the title of his new book.

“As a talk show host and TV commentator, I know Donald Trump is good for ratings, so maybe the media would like to keep him around because he’s good for ratings,” Press said. “I think, as a Democratic activist had told me, another reason to keep him around would be because there are more Democrats, particularly women, running for office this year than ever before and again the excitement and the enthusiasm he’s generated in turnout has really worked, so in a sense he’s been really good for the Democratic Party.”

Above all, Press said Pence is the main reason for Democrats not to seek impeachment.

“I think Mike Pence is more dangerous than Donald Trump. He gives the impression of being kind of soft-spoken and reasonable and maybe even not such an extreme conservative Republican, and the fact is he is more of a true believer. He is more farther to the right than Donald Trump and I think he could be more effective because he’s been governor. He’s been a member of the Congress,” Press said.

“He has good relationships with Republicans in the Congress and I think he could get things done. My feeling is if Mike Pence were president today we would already have the money for the wall. Donald Trump hasn’t been able to get it. Mike Pence could have done it. So beware of what you ask for; that’s my warning there. If we get stuck with Mike Pence we could be in even deeper trouble,” he added.

Press told PJM that impeachment “should not be the first priority” for Democrats if they take back the House.

“Let’s assume we take back the House and not the Senate, right? Blocking any bad legislation that would get to the president’s desk and I think most of what would come out of the Senate would be bad and, secondly, using their oversight responsibility and conducting hearings on the president’s policies and the president’s actions, which the Republican Congress has simply refused to take,” he said. “And depending on what Robert Mueller comes up with, they can decide whether or not the charges he files, and I believe he will be, are worthy of impeachment.”