Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana on Thursday defended calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “dumb,” saying she is lowering the bar for future partisan impeachment investigations of other presidents.
“I don’t think any fair-minded person can disagree with the proposition that this is so far, and I think will continue to be, a partisan impeachment, 13 months before the American people get to vote on a presidency,” Mr. Kennedy told reporters. “The speaker would annul the votes of 63 million Americans. And I think that takes American politics to a new low.”
During President Trump’s campaign rally Wednesday night in Monroe, Louisiana, Mr. Kennedy stood next to the president on the stage and criticized Mrs. Pelosi for moving ahead with the impeachment investigation.
“I don’t mean any disrespect, but it must suck to be that dumb,” he said of the speaker.
Some pundits reacted with disgust Thursday to his comment.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said of Mr. Kennedy, “He actually does mean disrespect and he has degraded himself.”
“By the way, senator, guess what?” Mr. Scarborough said on his “Morning Joe” show. “No matter what you do for the rest of your life, that’s your moment when you die. Your bio 30, 40 years from now, whenever it has that’s your moment. Congratulations, you did it for a man who committed crimes.”
A reporter at the Capitol asked Mr. Kennedy Thursday if his comments were disrespectful “about the probably most powerful woman in the history of the U.S.?”
“I didn’t mean them as disrespectful,” Mr. Kennedy replied. “If people think they’re disrespectful, this is America. You’re entitled to your opinion.”
He said Mrs. Pelosi “is going to elevate partisan impeachment to the new normal, so that henceforth when we have a new president, and we will have a Democratic president someday, many Republicans are going to feel obligated to impeach the Democratic president because they don’t agree with his or her politics.”
“And I don’t think that’s right,” he said.
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