AOC Attacks Tulsi Gabbard for Voting 'Present' on Trump Impeachment
Ocasio-Cortez blasts 2020 Democrat over House vote on impeaching president
Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attacked her 2020 Democrat colleague, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, over her Wednesday night vote on President Donald Trump's impeachment.
2020 Democrat Gabbard chose to break from her caucus in their partisan campaign to impeach their president.
Instead of voting "yes," along with all but two Democrats and zero Republicans, the Hawaii lawmaker voted "present" for both articles of impeachment.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke out to blast Gabbard after she refused to vote for or against the anti-Trump proceedings.
Unlike most of her Democratic colleagues, Gabbard also did not give a 30-second to one-minute speech about her vote.
“Today was very consequential, and to not take a stand one way or another, on a day of such great consequence to this country, I think is quite difficult,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters after the vote Wednesday night, according to the New York Post.
“We are sent here to lead,” she added.
During the second vote on charges of obstruction of Congress, Gabbard was seen standing against the back wall of the House chamber on the side where Republicans sit, according to Fox News.
Gabbard released a statement later Wednesday night explaining why she did not vote to impeach Trump.
A house divided cannot stand. And today we are divided. Fragmentation and polarity are ripping our country apart. Today, I come before you to make a stand for the center, to appeal to all of you to bridge our differences and stand up for the American people. #StandWithTulsi pic.twitter.com/wAvu8PXNoB— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) December 19, 2019
“After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no,” the Hawaii Democrat said.
“I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.
“I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country,” Gabbard added.
Gabbard’s “present” votes were essentially her way of abstaining from taking a position on the issue, while still voting on the measures.
She went on to say in her statement that she would introduce a resolution on the House floor censuring Trump.
Ocasio-Cortez didn’t buy her explanation.
“Whenever we have a vote, we should vote ‘yes’ and we should vote ‘no,'” the New York Democrat said.
“Voting ‘present’ is a very tough position to be in.
"To not take a stand in a moment that is so consequential, I think it’s quite difficult.”
Gabbard wasn’t the only House Democrat to take a position separate from the party line.
Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey both voted “no” on the articles, while Jared Golden of Maine voted “yes” on the abuse of power article but “no” on the obstruction of Congress article.