GOP Rep.: House 'could probably get the votes' to impeach Obama
August 12th, 2013
04:13 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP Rep.: House 'could probably get the votes' to impeach Obama

(CNN) – A Republican member of the House of Representatives said he thinks there are likely enough votes to bring articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama but did not specify on what charges.

Rep. Blake Farenthold said the House could impeach the president while responding to a 'birther' question from a constituent in his home Texas district that includes Corpus Christi. Farenthold said that while the House likely has the votes, the Senate trial would end in an acquittal for Obama.

In a YouTube video shot at a constituent town hall in Lulling, Texas dated Aug. 10, Farenthold takes a question from an unidentified woman who asks him to support members of the so-called birther movement who question Obama's legitimacy as president. The video was first reported by Buzzfeed.

Birthers argue that Obama was not born in the United States and doubt the short and long-form birth certificates he has produced proving he was born in Hawaii. In April 2011, Obama released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii to quell speculation that he was not a U.S. citizen and may be constitutionally ineligible to serve as president. He had previously released a certification of live birth during the 2008 campaign. Both documents show that he was born in a Hawaii hospital on August 4, 1961. Contemporaneously published newspaper announcements also noted the birth in the Aloha State.

After that release, a May 2011 poll by Gallup found that 13% of Americans still thought Obama was probably or definitely born in another country.

"This issue hits to the belly of the beast," the woman tells Farenthold, anger apparent in her voice.

For his part, Farenthold responded that "the horse is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth certificate issue," he said.

"The original Congress, when his [Obama's] eligibility came up should have looked into this and they didn't. I'm not sure how we fix it."

The birther movement: immune to facts?

In the video, Farenthold said that impeaching Obama is a question he frequently hears from his constituents.

Presidential impeachment is a two-part process, first requiring the House of Representatives to vote to bring articles of impeachment. If the House does so, the matter then moves to the Senate for trial where a vote would determine guilt or innocence for the President.

According to Farenthold, there are probably enough votes in the House for a successful impeachment but not enough in the Senate for a conviction. He didn't cite any charges that would have to be brought.

Farenthold cited the failed effort at impeaching President Bill Clinton, arguing that in its failure, the impeachment was harmful to the country.

"What message do we send to America if we impeach Obama and he gets away with what he's impeached for and he's found innocent? What do we say he did is ok," Farenthold said.

"Aside from the fact it wouldn't be effective, I think there's a potential damage to society that would be done with a failed attempt at impeachment."

Just two Presidents have ever been impeached by the House of Representatives, Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. Both men were acquitted in their Senate trials.

Farenthold's communications director, Meaghan Cronin, told CNN that the representative's comments were simply in reaction to a concerned constituent and amounted to little more than an "I'll look into it" response that all constituents get. Farenthold has been taking a variety of questions at town halls, Cronin said.

"People's unhappiness with the president was brought up in several different ways," Cronin said.

Farenthold was first elected to the House in 2010 on the wave of tea party conservatives. One of the wealthiest members of that class, according to his website he is the founder of a computer consulting and web design firm and has worked as an attorney and conservative radio commentator.

Filed under: President Obama • Texas
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. rs

    Another freak ruining the little credibility remaining in the GOP. That they could get the votes? No doubt with the crazies in the House. Evidence- well, they'll have to stop playing in their little alternative reality first.
    Who needs Al Queda? We've got the GOP!

    August 12, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. California Gary

    Charges? We don't need to have "charges".......haven't you noticed the man is black? That's reason enough for the GOP House members. In Texas, the POTUS would have already been run out of town.

    August 12, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Bill

    Can anyone take these GOP clowns seriously? More "rebranding effort",no doubt. Keep talking folks, you will ensure another 8 year term by a democrat in the White House.

    August 12, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Steveo

    Impeachment is not going ANYWHERE! Move on!

    August 12, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Sniffin

    Can you really impeach a President for being a lying incompetent? We already knew that when we re-elected him in 2012.

    August 12, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. nintex

    Sorry, America. Another stupid Texan blasting his mouth off against President Obama. You have to believe that not all Texans are like this jerk, or Ted Cruz, or Rick Perry, or . . . any of the rest of them running the state into the ground in Austin. Texas Democrats will definitely be working hard come 2014 to turn things around and get these idiots out of power. Unfortunately there are many people like the woman in the story who asked about impeaching President Obama, but there are also those of us who are behind the President and the forward-looking policies he has for the good of this country.

    August 12, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. wmontanye

    Here we go again. Was it this bad when Bush was in office? Or is it just the party of hate that talk of impeachment,

    August 12, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Bessy

    Do they ever stop ?? What idiots !
    If the American people continue to put up with the nonsense that these Republicans continue to spew then there is just no hope for this country. Once again we are back to the birther issue !!!! Please, this crap gives me a headache.

    August 12, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    With all the problems we face as a nation, THIS is what a Congressman is talking about? What astounds me is the fact that there are actually people who agree with this man and will vote for him!

    August 12, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    There will be a race war if Obama is impeached. The country will burn. That is why Holder wants to let all the criminals out of jail. We are going to need all the men we can get.

    August 12, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    He looks like Chubbsie Ubbsie from the Our Gang Comedies!

    August 12, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Tom

    Go for it. I dare you. Impeach Obama on some phony charge and see how the voters respond. The article didn't mention you have to get a 2/3 majority in the Senate for an impeachment attempt to succeed. Even if the Republicans do well in 2014 Senate races (not a given by any stretch) there still aren't enough votes for an impeachment to succeed. This is another potentially disastrous Tea Party fantasy that will further divide the Republican party and make voters even more angry.

    August 12, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Peppy

    How about treason ??? that's impeachable.

    August 12, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Pete

    Now who is that Limbaugh looking fat piece of republican crap named Farenthold come from..Has he been tested for any drugs lately because just in opening his mouth he deems himself either on something or mentally incompetent maybe both if he's from Texas home of that nitwit Perry and republicans idols in the Bushs!!He wants impeachment for Pres.Obama when his idol in Bush ,Cheney have indictments against them from over a 150 countrys but ours for human rights violations and creating wars with lies by the ICC in the Netherlands and nothing was done ,what a joke!!Go back to your district fat ass of Corpus Christi because all you've done is wake up your stupid people across America to something that'll never get done anyway nitwit!!Hey Farenthold hasn't your state of Texas started proceedings on secession yet from our United States because Mexico won't wait forever and neither can we !!!

    August 12, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. chill

    Looney tunes!!

    August 12, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "What message do we send to America if we impeach Obama and he gets away with what he's impeached for and he's found innocent? What do we say he did is ok," Farenthold said."

    Translated: We don't have the votes. We ain't going to get the votes. The President has done nothing to deserve such nonsensical "talk".

    Oh, but it DOES make for a really nice talking point from a man who apparently expects and demands a whole lot of
    attention ... yes, Mr. Farenthold? Cause it's you I'm talking about here, Sweet Tea.

    Once we understand the message behind the non-message, then and only then can we get to why CNN is still carrying this water bucket for the Brothers Koch?

    August 12, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Country Girl

    Just another small minded person who can't get over the fact that MORE AMERICANS voted for Barack Obama than for right wing republicans...TWICE!! Get over it. He was born in America, he won the election (legitimately, no hanging chad) twice. History will judge his work in the Oval office.

    August 12, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Laverne

    Geez, the man is not even running again and the hate is spewing out more than ever! The "white house" of representatives are about to go bonkers over this black man being president! They just need to simmer down, this is nothing short than a modern day lynching!

    August 12, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. lew todd

    Where do these morons come from...You can't write this stuff...

    August 12, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Delos

    Stop getting upset about this piece this is TEXASS did you expect any thing different from these morons.

    August 12, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Delos

    And looking at this guy, he reminds me of boss hog.

    August 12, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. freedom

    Absolutely there is enough evidence to impeach – on many counts. Don't know what the hold-up is – except that he's probably being protected by all the corrupt agencies and czars he's put into place. It won't last forever though.

    August 12, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. MixBee

    Apparently, this will be SOP for Republicans every time they lose the White House. Lots of distractions and no substance on their part. @Sniffin – if it WERE possible to impeach for lying and incompetence – how long do you think Bushie-Boy would have stayed in office? Open your eyes – things for most Americans are way better than they were in 2008.

    August 12, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. G-Simms

    When will these fools learn? GOP is headed for self destination, with themselves. I knew one of these repos, were going to bring up impeachment. They need to impeach themsleves and have the TNT ready. As A afro-american, this is not a shocker. This was planned out, since the 2010 midterms. They're whole plan was to obstruct prez. Obama. Folks, Im going to tell you this now, vote these m-fers out. We need your support, and so does the president.

    August 12, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Brass Tacks: As far as the GOP/Teatrolls are concerned, it's an impeachable offense for anyone but them to win the election, let alone if that someone else is a minority. They've proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they intend to witchhunt, throw a massive tantrum, fabricate all sorts of "theories" as to why the POTUS isn't "legitimate" and then attempt to manufacture impeachment charges EVERY SINGLE TIME A DEM IS ELECTED. PERIOD. "If we can't have it, nobody can."

    August 12, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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