There aren’t very many pro-life Democrats left in Congress or any major elected office. Most pro-life Democrats have either become Republicans as the Democrat Party has become monolithicly pro-abortion or they have been defeated by pro-abortion candidates with the backing of activist groups like Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List.
But Congressman Collin Peterson of Minnesota is one of the few pro-life Democrats remaining in the nation’s capitol. And on Wednesday, he joined every Republican in the House of Representatives in voting agonist impeaching President Donald trump, who enjoys the support of pro-life groups and has built a pro-life record as president.
That put Peterson in a category of only three Democrats to not vote for impeachment — along with Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), who plans to become a Republican, and iconoclastic Democrat presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. And he says he voted no “in good conscience.”
Peterson said he possesses the “guiding belief that only through bipartisan action can we address the country’s most pressing challenges.”
“After the Russia investigation, Mueller report, and official impeachment investigation by the House Intelligence and House Judiciary Committees, we became more polarized and had less consensus,” the longtime congressman wrote.
Peterson, whose district overwhelmingly voted in favor of Trump in 2016, said the voters in his district don’t support impeaching and removing Trump.
“I disagreed with how the Russia probe and Mueller report were handled and think it set the stage for the failed impeachment inquiry,” Peterson explained. “The inquiry and hearing have been partisan and have failed in convincing the country while further placating some people who have wanted the president impeached since he was elected.”
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Peterson, who was elected in 1990, suggested that historians won’t view the Democrats’ current push to impeach in a favorable light.
“This process has been a mistake and I will not be whipped in line by my party,” he said. “I may stand alone but I stand in good conscience. History will show this to be a mistake and the Senate will make short work of an acquittal.”
Peterson’s vote makes it so there was bipartisan opposition to impeaching President Trump but not bipartisan support for it — unlike decades ago when some Democrats crossed party lines to support impeaching President Bill Clinton after he perjured himself.
Peterson says he’s not interested in joining the Republican Party at this late stage in his career.