Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) on Thursday acknowledged that Democrats are not the best at having a coherent message—let alone staying on one—to rally the nation around a common cause, which could end up hurting the party as it goes forward with its impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
Slotkin—along with six other key freshman House Members with national security backgrounds like Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Elaine Luria (D-VA)—co-authored a Washington Post op-ed this week backing an impeachment inquiry that most likely was the tipping point in convincing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and many other Democrats on the fence to back the start of the impeachment process.
When asked on CNN on Thursday if she worried that Democrats “might not be able to pull enough Americans along,” on the impeachment question, she acknowledged that Democrats have not always been clear or strategic when it comes to messaging on important issues, which has gotten voters confused because “there’s a lot of different thing happening at the same time.”
“It is the job of the U.S. Congress to be really clear and strategic and efficient with how we handle this process,” Slotkin said.
She said she was “pretty reticent” to jump into anything dealing with impeachment before the revelations about Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Michigan Democrat said the impeachment process is a “huge deal” and a “somber deal” and said Trump “crossed a threshold” that, as a former national security professional, compelled her to back an impeachment inquiry as a prospective measure to protect the integrity of the 2020 election.
Slotkin said she didn’t want Trump to set a precedent that enables a “future Democratic president” to ask China or North Korea for dirt on political opponents and added that she “took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution,” and that is what she feels she is doing.
Earlier this week, Slotkin reportedly expressed her frustrations about the party’s inability to find a coherent and convincing message at a caucus meeting before Pelosi formally announced that she would be supporting an impeachment inquiry.
“If you are asking us to stay on message, give us a goddamn message to stay on,” Slotkin reportedly said. “We came out because this is something different, this meeting did not give me confidence that this will be something different.”
Pelosi speaking. Meanwhile some Dems are not happy about what they heard and are speaking out in the caucus.
“If you are asking us to stay on message, give us a goddamn message to stay on,” Rep. Slotkin said.
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) September 24, 2019
Slotkin is one of the most vulnerable freshman Democrats. According to her hometown Detroit Free Press, she “may have risked political career with” her call for an impeachment inquiry.”
As the Free Press noted, Slotkin won her race in 2018 “by just 13,000 of the 340,000 votes cast” in a district Trump carried by 25,000 votes in 2016.