Dem Strategist: You Don't Try to Impeach Someone Because 'They're Black in the White House'

Melanie Arter | February 10, 2014 | 11:58am EST
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Democratic strategist Angela Rye

( – Democratic strategist Angela Rye in an appearance on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” on Friday accused Republicans of trying to impeach President Barack Obama, because he’s “black in the White House.”

“You don't just fight to get the person out of office because you don't like how they comb their hair, the color of their skin or the fact that they're black in the White House. That's not what you do,” said Rye, former executive director and general counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus.

Rye’s comments were made during a segment of the show on former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), who is running for Congress again and was one of the leaders instrumental in impeaching President Bill Clinton.

Barr said he wants to impeach President Barack Obama. Barr said he recently showed people the House resolution he introduced on Nov. 5, 1997, the first official inquiry of impeachment filed against Clinton. Barr said he took that document, added language to it, “and darned if it doesn’t sound pretty good with Barack Obama’s name in there,” he said.

“Angela, let me be real clear so we all understand. Bob Barr’s first resolution mentioning impeachment came before the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. It accused President Clinton of trying to ‘obstruct, undermine and compromise the legitimate and proper functions and processes of the executive branch,’” “PoliticsNation” host Al Sharpton.

“Now last year, House Republicans used similar language in a resolution aimed at President Obama. ‘President Obama … frequently overstepped the limits place on executive branch power by the Constitution.’ It’s the same language.

Republicans love strong presidents except when it’s a Democrat,” Sharpton added.

“That's exactly right, Rev. You also have to look at our recent history with what they did with Attorney General Eric Holder. They tried to hold him in contempt of Congress based on a 'scandal' that really began happening under the George W. Bush years,” Rye said.

“So again, to your point, they love for presidents to go rogue and to be maverick candidates like John McCain, but the minute they are Democrats, the minute they take a stand, the minute they try to use an executive order - because we also they've been telling that lie about the number of executive orders issued by this president - they go berserk,” she said.

“And part of it is somebody needs to tell them impeachment is not a word that you can just throw around when you don't like the policies. That's not what you do. You actually engage. You lean into making policies that fit your constituency, so if you don't like something, you work to compromise on it,” Rye added.

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