Ari Fleischer: Impeachment Will Go Down As One Of The Greatest Political Mistakes Pelosi Has Ever Made | Video | RealClearPolitics

Ari Fleischer: Impeachment Will Go Down As One Of The Greatest Political Mistakes Pelosi Has Ever Made

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Media consultant and former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer criticized Pelosi for politicizing impeachment by holding on to the articles of impeachment in the House. Fleischer said Friday if Pelosi really believed that Trump is an urgent threat to the country she would get it to the Senate as soon as possible.

"This will go down as one of the greatest political mistakes the speaker has ever made," Fleischer declared. "When you have the momentum of impeachment because your party earnestly believes in it and thinks it's the right thing to do, and it's urgent that they remove the president from power because the peril he presents, and then you sit on it, all you're doing is showing that this was a hollow exercise all along."

"Democrats, since they took the House, are going to been known for one thing, and that was wasting the nation's time with an impeachment," he said.

Fleischer, a FOX News contributor, said If you think it is urgent to get Trump out you are just showing this was a hollow exercise from the beginning. He added, they don't want to move it to the Senate because they want to hold it as leverage.

"So, what we know now is that impeachment began without a formal vote to authorize impeachment, and it's ending now with a thud," he said. "They don't even want to move it over to the Senate because they want to use it for some type of leverage. And there is no leverage to be had on this because it was a waste of time when it began. Now it's even more of a waste of time."

Fleischer said that if Pelosi is going to keep the articles in the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) should hold the impeachment trial during the Democratic presidential primary

"Look, if I'm Mitch McConnell, if you want to match what Nancy Pelosi does, if she's going to delay, he should delay," he said. "And he should schedule the trial to begin ten days before the Iowa caucus and run right through the New Hampshire primary."

JASON CHAFFETZ, 'HANNITY' GUEST HOST: Joining us now with more is Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer and American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp. Thank you, gentlemen, both for joining us tonight. Ari, I want to start with you, because it seemed like Andrew Yang had a really good point and I haven't heard very many Democrats make it, but it seems to resonate even with a guy like me.

ARI FLEISCHER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Isn't it amazing if you make a point that says we need to focus on the American people and on working people and people who are trying to pick their way out of poverty and then make their way into the middle class, that's what the American people are focused on. And you sort of stand out on Democratic debate stage because you're different. What a night. I did fall asleep halfway through the debate, so I didn't watch it all.

CHAFFETZ: Fair enough. Now, Matt, you heard what Andrew Yang said, but also what Tulsi Gabbard says. I mean, there are, I think, a lot of Democrats scratching their heads. The Democrats made the point that they had to rush, hurry up. They can't stand Donald Trump, but now they're not going to even transmit it. How do you read what's going on here?

MATT SCHLAPP: Look, I think the Democrats are in real trouble here. Republicans have made similar mistakes in the past. So, parties have been guilty of this. But the Democrats are way over their skis. They got so hyped up with their wins in 2018 that they forgot to listen to the voters. One of the reasons why the Democrats did so well in the House, not the Senate, but in the House, is because they were talking about practical problems like preexisting conditions. You know, we have really heard anything from the major from the majority in the House on practical solutions to problems that we've heard is is Trump hatred. And what they hate Trump for is something involving foreign aid. You know what, Jason? You know this -- you ran for Congress a lot of times -- the American people, they're not that high on foreign aid to begin with. So, it's the whole issue is kind of silly. And then if you look at USMCA, this renegotiation of NAFTA and the China trade deal, it reiterates that what a lot of independents, Democrats, and Republicans want to do is get back to this idea of focusing on the Chinese threat and making sure that the American worker is put first. And this is not really a Republican talking point, I can't believe the Democrats are just ceding the ground to President Trump, but I'm glad they are.

CHAFFETZ: Ari, you're a communications expert, you're a spokesperson for the president. To the Democrats, is Nancy Pelosi making any sense to anyone by holding back the transmission of the articles to the Senate?

FLEISCHER: This will go down as one of the greatest political mistakes the speaker has ever made. When you have the momentum of impeachment because your party earnestly believes in it and thinks it's the right thing to do, and it's urgent that they remove the president from power because the peril he presents, and then you sit on it, all you're doing is showing that this was a hollow exercise all along. So, what we know now is that impeachment began without a formal vote to authorize impeachment, and it's ending now with a thud. They don't even want to move it over to the Senate because they want to use it for some type of leverage. And there is no leverage to be had on this because it was a waste of time when it began. Now it's even more of a waste of time. Look, if I'm Mitch McConnell, if you want to match what Nancy Pelosi does, if she's going to delay, he should delay. And he should schedule the trial to begin ten days before the Iowa caucus and run right through the New Hampshire primary.

SCHLAPP: I agree, Jason.

FLEISCHER: If you want to play politics, play politics.

SCHLAPP: I agree, Ari, with what you're saying, which is this whole impeachment thing has boomeranged on the Democrats so much that actually it's different from what we thought. Talking about it throughout 2020 will actually accrued to the president's benefit. Crimeless impeachment is now being matched with trial-less impeachment. And it just seems all so absurd.

CHAFFETZ: No. Look, and I don't think they have a message. Real quickly, I've only got about 20 seconds for each of you. But is it a coincidence -- do we just think it's a coincidence that the USMCA came up for a vote immediately after this impeachment? Or did she just hold that in her pocket to cover the mess and this albatross that is over their neck in terms of impeachment?

FLEISCHER: Yes, she's getting the pressure from the moderate -- so-called moderate -- members to get something done, and so she held it in her pocket. And it's something that President Trump is going to be running -- can run on and point to success. But it's not big enough to cover up the blemish of impeachment. And that's the problem the Democrats are going to have. Despite moving USMCA, this -- the Democrats, since they took the House, are going to been known for one thing, and that was wasting the nation's time with an impeachment.



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