Less than a week before the midterms, two former presidents shared their closing messages. Barack Obama spent his Wednesday evening visiting Arizona, rallying for Democrats and speaking to the fragility of democracy. Meanwhile, Thursday morning, Donald Trump suggested that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should be impeached if he allows the debt ceiling to be raised.
“It’s crazy what’s happening with this debt ceiling. Mitch McConnell keeps allowing it to happen. I mean, they ought to impeach Mitch McConnell if he allows that,” Trump said, responding to a question about Congress potentially eliminating the debt limit. “Frankly, something has to be—they have something on him. How he approves this thing is incredible.”
The comment comes as Democrats seek to eliminate the debt ceiling before Republicans potentially retake congressional majorities. They fear Republicans using the debt limit as an excuse to cut spending on social and economic programs.
The former president, largely taken to be the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, wants his party to hold strong on a debt limit they themselves raised three times throughout Trump’s presidency. Under Trump, U.S. debt increased by $7 trillion.
But Trump suddenly cares so much about the debt ceiling that he’s willing to call for the impeachment of the Republican Party’s Senate leader.
Members of Congress can’t really be impeached. A 1797 impeachment against Senator William Blount of Tennessee established that members of Congress could not be formally impeached; rather they could only be expelled from office by a two-thirds vote by their respective chambers.
This is not the first time Trump has picked a fight with McConnell. Last month, Trump said McConnell had a “death wish” for supporting Democrat-sponsored legislation, and hurled racist comments at Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, calling her McConnell’s “China loving wife, Coco Chow!” Trump has also called McConnell “a piece of shit,” and urged Republicans to replace him.
Numerous sitting and potential Republican senators have expressed hesitancy for McConnell to be party leader.
Even if Republicans do gain power this election after such stellar closing arguments, there will be a clash between two camps: McConnell or Trump. The Republicans are in disarray.