In the wake of Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer's ad campaign calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment, which many grassroots Democrats support, top Democratic Party officials have distanced themselves from the idea.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez was asked on Sunday if he'd like to see Democrats pursue impeachment.
"I'm not talking about impeachment, because I'm talking about good jobs for folks. I'm talking about health care for all. I'm talking about making sure that we're fighting for the issues that matter," Perez said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been even more direct in speaking out against the idea of impeachment. She told Steyer personally after his ad campaign launched that the ad was a "distraction," according to a report from Politico. The minority leader has publicly said impeachment is "not some place I think we should go."
Former Obama White House adviser David Axelrod criticized Steyer's ad campaign on Twitter as being a "vanity project" and "unhelpful."
Steyer impeachment ads seem to me more of a vanity project than a call to action. It is-at least this point-an unhelpful message. If impeachment becomes a political tool, it will be as damaging to our democracy as the degradations @realDonaldTrump has inflicted on it.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 11, 2017
Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said he's reluctant to pursue impeachment because it is "something that really has an impact on the country."
Democrats "shouldn't give any ammunition to the idea that we are racing to embrace this before all the facts are in," Schiff added.
Ultra-liberal former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) said in October he wasn't sold on there being a sufficient case to warrant impeachment.
"There is tremendous animosity toward the president, and I understand it," Kucinich said. "But I don’t know if there is a sufficient case to warrant a process as vigorous as impeachment."
Rep. Dan Kildee (D., Mich.) said Democrats have to be careful about impeachment talk and said lawmakers "really should be focusing on actually trying to get things done."
Steyer is a California investor and multi-billionaire who donated more than $91 million to Democratic campaigns during the 2016 cycle. He issued a letter to Democrats early in October demanding a pledge to push for Trump's impeachment, the New York Times reported. Soon after, Steyer launched a $10 million-plus national television ad campaign calling for Trump's impeachment.