By Justin Sink - 08/13/14 04:12 PM EDT
President Obama "absolutely wants to be impeached" because it would benefit Democrats electorally, Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) said in a radio interview last week.
The South Carolina lawmaker warned his fellow Republicans to "not fall into a trap."
“Oh, they’re desperate for impeachment," he continued. "They would love to be able to talk about impeachment and immigration between now and the November elections. Instead of talking about jobs, and the economy and healthcare.
“They are desperate to change the dialogue, which is exactly why you heard the president starting to talk about his amnesty cause he’s begging to be impeached,” Mulvaney said.
Before leaving for August recess, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called talk of impeaching Obama a "scam started by Democrats" and said flatly he did not intend to bring impeachment proceedings against the president.
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Boehner said.
Democrats point out that impeachment was floated by former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and various other GOP lawmakers have publicly entertained the idea.
White House officials and Democrats have seized on any mention of impeachment by Republicans to rally their base and raise money ahead of November’s midterms.
Responding to Boehner, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, "there may be members of the Republican conference that didn’t receive the memo."
"We’ve seen comments in recent months from Congressman Steve King from Iowa, Congressman Ted Yoho from Florida, Congressman Lou Barletta from Pennsylvania, the distinguished Congressman Steve Stockman from Texas; his fellow Texan, Blake Farenthold, has raised this prospect," Earnest continued. "We’ve even seen Kerry Bentivolio from Michigan call this a “dream come true.” I think that was about nine or 10 months ago.
“So it’s an indication that, if this is the case, then maybe the Speaker should direct that attention and that message to members of his own conference," he added.
Both first lady Michelle Obama and President Obama have denounced the idea of impeachment in recent speeches.
"If we lose these midterm elections, it’s going to be a whole lot harder to finish what we started because we’ll just see more of the same out in Washington — more obstruction, more lawsuits and talk about impeachment, more votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act or even shut down the government — behavior that just wastes time and taxpayer dollars," the first lady said at a fundraiser in Chicago last month.