Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he disagrees with many of President Obama’s policies, notably Obamacare, but it’s not time to talk about kicking the president out of the White House through the impeachment process.
“I reject that kind of talk. The reality is I didn’t like it when the left spent eight years trying to delegitimize President Bush, call into question his election,” the Republican governor told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t think we should be doing that for President Obama. The reality is, one of the great things about this country is we do have a peaceful transfer of power.”
Mr. Jindal was responding to long-shot talk of drawing up impeachment charges against Mr. Obama, an idea that has surfaced among conservative lawmakers and with constituents at town hall meetings involving the likes of Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican.
At a meeting Wednesday in Muskogee, Mr. Coburn called Mr. Obama “a personal friend,” but he warned that the scandals dogging the White House have put the president “perilously close” to impeachment.
“I think those are serious things, but we’re in serious times,” Mr. Coburn said. “I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ but I think you’re getting perilously close.”
David Axelrod, a former top adviser to Mr. Obama, responded by saying that Mr. Coburn was “way out of bounds.”
“It’s plainly absurd, but it’s worse than absurd,” Mr. Axelrod said Friday on MSNBC. “On this, I think he was way out of bounds.”
Mr. Axelrod said the impeachment talk was part of an ongoing effort to delegitimize the Obama presidency — a tactic he acknowledges Democrats tried to use against President George W. Bush.
Republicans, though, have taken the strategy to a new level, Mr. Axelrod said.
“Not just debate them, not just disagree with them, but render them illegitimate. And that is dangerous for this country,” he said.
Much of the speculation over impeachment has centered on the administration’s handling of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups.
Bob Barr, a former congressman from Georgia who helped managed the articles of impeachment against President Clinton, told The New York Times that the administration’s “improper use of the Patriot Act” and unilateral actions on immigration also raise questions.
Mr. Jindal dismissed the topic Sunday, saying the party should focus on topics such as school choice and repealing the Affordable Care Act.
The health care law is considered Mr. Obama’s signature domestic achievement, but Republican critics say it is already killing jobs and causing premiums to soar in certain states.
Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration say they are committed to the reforms, which they insist are showing signs of promise.