Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez swiped fellow House Dem. Tulsi Gabbard for a “present” vote on both impeachment articles against President Trump.
The New York Democrat said members are elected to make difficult decisions when they matter and “are sent here to lead.”
“Today was very consequential, and to not take a stand one way or another, on a day of such great consequence to this country, I think is quite difficult,” Ocasio-Cortez said about Gabbard’s decision not to back the most partisan impeachment in U.S. history, Fox News reports.
“Whenever we have a vote, we should vote ‘yes’ and we should vote ‘no,’” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “Voting ‘present’ is a very tough position to be in. To not take a stand in a moment that is so consequential, I think it’s quite difficult.”
BizPac Review reports Gabbard was one of three Democrats not to vote “yes” on the impeachment articles.
Ahead of the impeachment process, Ocasio-Cortez suggested the Democratic presidential candidate may face political implications for her vote.
“That’s certainly something that voters will decide. I know a lot of Democrats and just a lot of Americans believe that this president must be held accountable,” she said.
Gabbard addressed her decision in a lengthy statement that she shared Thursday morning to her Twitter.
“Throughout my life, whether through serving in the military or in Congress, I’ve always worked to do what is in the best interests of our country, not what’s best for me politically or what’s best for my political party,” she said.
“I have always put our country first. One may not always agree with my decision, but everyone should know that I will always do what I believe to be right for the country that I love,” Gabbard continued.
Fox News reports:
Gabbard put out a long statement explaining her present votes as wanting to “make a stand for the center.”
She wrote, “After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no.”
Gabbard added: “I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.
“I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country.”
A house divided cannot stand. And today we are divided. Fragmentation and polarity are ripping our country apart. Today, I come before you to make a stand for the center, to appeal to all of you to bridge our differences and stand up for the American people. #StandWithTulsi pic.twitter.com/wAvu8PXNoB
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) December 19, 2019
BizPac Review adds:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
Granted, Gabbard disagrees with the president’s assertion that his controversial call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect” and doesn’t support Republicans’ “blind” willingness to accept this narrative.
But, she cautioned, the imperfection of Trump’s call didn’t warrant such “extreme” rhetoric and actions from her colleagues.
“The president’s opponents insist that if we do not impeach, our country will collapse into dictatorship,” she said. “All but explicitly, they accuse him of treason. Such extreme rhetoric was never conducive to an impartial fact-finding process.”