U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond of New Orleans, the only Democrat representing Louisiana in Congress, may be an outlier among home state colleagues, but that doesn’t mean he makes a habit of getting out in front of his own caucus. Which is why his comments on two major subjects in a “Face the Nation” interview over the weekend got my attention.
Richmond recently joined the formal Democratic leadership as assistant to the majority whip, and that leadership is notably wary of instigating impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump for serious concerns described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. But Richmond, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told host Margaret Brennan that he thinks it should be considered.
“I think it's the best way to get all of the facts out,” Richmond said. “I also believe that at some point we have to hear from this president whether he's lying to us or not. We need to hear from him under oath.”
“Look, it's Chairman (Jerrold) Nadler's decision how far we go with impeachment. I would just tell you I'm comfortable going either way,” he said.
Not that impeachment is Richmond’s ultimate goal. The end of the Trump presidency is, and to that end, he’s taken a leap and formally backed a member of the crowded presidential primary field. His choice? Joe Biden.
Pressed by Brennan as to whether the 76-year-old former vice president can unify the party when many are calling for generational change and diversity on the ticket, Richmond said the most important question is who can make Trump a one-termer.
“Well, one, I look at his entire body of work,” Richmond said. “Two, if you look at the video that he released and you can see the passion, you can see the reason why he's running and that's because we live in a country that we don't recognize…We're fighting for the soul of the country. And one thing I learned in politics very early: You can't govern if you can't win. And I believe Joe Biden, one, is the best person to represent the Democratic Party, but I think he's the best person to win.”