GOP Rep.: House 'could probably get the votes' to impeach Obama
August 12th, 2013
04:13 PM ET
9 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. Malory Archer

    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,


    No, it wasn't this bad when the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was in office because online "news" organizations, including CNN shut down their message boards so the dauphin prince wouldn't be subject to negativity, and didn't permit posting until about a year before the 2008 elections. Frankly, I've always wondered if his handlers intimidated Will Farrell into leaving SNL, because his depiction of the dauphin prince on the show just prior to the 2000 election was spot on – not to mention prohphetic.

    August 12, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    GOP is a Cult. Get rid off this cult from political picture,.

    August 12, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Remember what we were talking about the other day? Here are a few of Sniffit's recent quotes:"

    Haha...pull up your big boy pants...your butthurt is showing. All you're doing is admitting I'm under your skin and it bothers you that you can't out-argue my points. Cry more. Altho I do so love the attention. Everyone knows what's lying at the rotted core of the tantrum. EVERYONE. Especiallyk when you have people greeting the POTUS in Orlando today holding up signs that say "Kenyan Go Home" and you have this same guy, Farenthold, instructing his spokesperson to respond to questions later today by NOT DENYING that he's a birther. So, he's a birther. And we know why the birther thing was able to sink roots in these peoples' minds, don't we? Yes...yes we dooooooo......

    August 12, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. JustAO

    Just shut up already GOP/Tea Partiers!

    U lost the election twice over this type of nonsense talk when u shudda provided clear direction on how to improve our economy and increase middle class population. No one cares anymore what you have to say if you aren't talking about topics Americans want solutions for.

    August 12, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Malory Archer


    I do question legitimately since MULTIPLE voters went on TV and to brag about voting for him MULTIPLE times (up to 6 I believe)!!! And those are just the idiots that admited on TV I bet there are hundreds if not thousands more. That being said there is nothing to impeach him on, give it up already!!!


    So why were none of those people who admitted on TV that they committed voter fraud arrested? I mean, if that's true there's video footage so it should be easy to identify them.

    August 12, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Here we go again. The Republican/Tea Party wingnuts are at it again. They only need to look in the mirror to see the reasons why they lost the last two presidential elections and why they will lose again in 2016. The Republican national brand is quickly becoming a not so amusing joke.

    August 12, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    The Real Tom Paine: "No amount of re-branding can replace the terrible taste the GOP has left in the mouth of millions of hard-working people whom they ridicule and fear every day."

    {{ hands clapping in agreement }}

    August 12, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. ROBIN

    Why won't these people just "PLEASSE GO AWAY! "

    August 12, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. OrangeBlue81

    It's no wonder that the Republican Party is dying.

    August 12, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. Carly

    Hey Sniffit-you are an idiot. Through and through. Love the attention man? You need help or maybe a few friends.

    August 12, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. I'm NOT a liberal

    As they should.

    August 12, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Jerry

    It seems the Republicans want to waste everyones time with another pointless endeavour. How about they do some actual work with the Democrats and fix some things in this country.

    August 12, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. shehar39

    Impeach Obama! America can't survive much more

    August 12, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Donkey Party

    @Me – What page of the 'Revisionist's Guide To Revising History' did you pull that insanity from?

    August 12, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Phony

    the man never takes any blame he lies, spends do much we have more debt, where was he when 4 usa persons died? Irs, yes cover up more stuff it will all come up he sucks kick the bum out!
    we have had nothing good the last 5 years and oh Obama care that's a another joke wake up America
    the man lies

    August 12, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. David

    Please tell me it's not true. Is the right starting the Birther thing again. My God, what is wrong with these people. Are they so power hungry that they would allow people like Fanethold to try and reintroduce this horse s... these people are beyond belief. Why are they bringing this up again. It's soooo ridiculous. Do they not have anything to say about the many serious topic facing this country. I give up on the GOP

    August 12, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. rs

    I do question legitimately since MULTIPLE voters went on TV and to brag about voting for him MULTIPLE times (up to 6 I believe)!!! And those are just the idiots that admited on TV I bet there are hundreds if not thousands more. That being said there is nothing to impeach him on, give it up already!!!
    Ah, yes, GOP delusion # 327. Filed right next to #328 "Black Panthers of Philadelphia and voter intimidation", and #329 "Obama phones.

    August 12, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. wwf

    Man duck tape cannot fix the stupidity of a lot of people out there. Yeah tea baggers, I am talking about you.

    August 12, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. rs

    What I love about this story is that it is the PERFECT retort to the "We're not racist" GOP... Really? Just what are Birthers (well aside from freakishly stupid)?

    August 12, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    The wimps in the House don't have the courage.

    August 12, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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