On Monday, December 23, 2019, former Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie demanded that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard resign from Congress for her “present” vote on President Trump’s impeachment and not being on Capitol Hill due to her presidential campaign.
“I feel very strongly the 2nd District of Hawaii must be fully represented,” Abercrombie declared during a press conference, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.
Abercrombie suggested that Gabbard should resign and set the stage for a special election to fill her seat.
Gabbard has served in the House since 2013.
She has already announced she will not run for reelection in order to focus her energy on the 2020 presidential campaign.
From 2010 to 2014, Abercrombie was Hawaii’s governor.
GovTrack reported that Gabbard missed nearly 86 percent of House votes during the past three months.
Gabbard’s office went on the defensive against Abercrombie, pointing to her “major legislative wins” for the 2nd District such as “opportunities for defense contracting for Native Hawaiian companies” and “better reporting on Red Hill aquifer protection.”
“Hawaiʻi is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s home and her heart,” communications director T. Ilihia Gionson declared in a statement.
“Her pursuit of the highest office in the land has not compromised her and her team’s commitment to serving the people of Hawaiʻi in her fourth term in Congress.”
Gabbard has been the subject of major criticism from her party for her “present” vote on the two articles of impeachment against Trump last week that accused him of abusing power and obstructing Congress for his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate political opponents and roadblock Democrats’ inquiry.
The Hawaii congresswoman defended her “present” vote on the articles of impeachment on the grounds that she was “standing in the center”
Gabbard justified her decision to vote “present” on the articles of impeachment by arguing that she was “standing in the center” and called for a vote on her resolution to censure Trump instead.
“I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing,” Gabbard expressed in a statement last week. “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.”
Fellow Democrats in Congress were irritated by Gabbard’s vote. Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono was among them.
“She apparently can’t decide whether the president has shaken down the president of another country for his own political purposes,” Hirono said in a statement to The Hill last week. “She hasn’t been able to decide whether that’s okay or not.”
Gabbard has uniquely positioned herself as the anti-war candidate in the 2020 Democrat race.
For this, and other reasons, Gabbard has received constant attacks from the political establishment and their media surrogates.