Former Vice President Joe Biden says he hopes Democrats don’t move forward with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump if they win control of the U.S. House in November’s midterm elections, at least for now.
“I don’t think there’s a basis for doing that right now,” Biden told “CBS This Morning” host Norah O’Donnell in an interview set to air Thursday. He noted that he hoped his party would wait to hear more details about special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe into the last presidential election before taking any action.
“I think we should focus on all the terrible things that are happening now in terms of interest of the middle-class people and working-class people,” Biden continued. “There are so many things to attend to immediately. Let’s see where the investigation takes us.”
Biden, considered a major contender in any Democratic challenge to Trump in the 2020 presidential election, has been laying the groundwork for a possible run. He has been campaigning heavily for midterm candidates in recent weeks alongside former President Barack Obama and has ramped up his attacks on the current White House, saying earlier this month that Trump was “trashing American values.”
The former vice president stepped up those comments to CBS, telling O’Donnell that Trump “seemed to have a love affair with autocrats,” including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“I just don’t know why this administration seems to feel the need to coddle autocrats and dictators from Putin to Kim Jong Un to, you know, Duterte,” Biden said. “I don’t understand it.”
“I don’t want to speculate on my worst fears,” he said. “But, either he doesn’t know what he is doing or he has an absolutely convoluted notion of what allows America to lead the world.”
Democrats have shied away from impeachment talk in recent months, worried such comments could galvanize Republican and swing voters before the Nov. 6 elections. GOP lawmakers, including Trump himself, have been invoking the specter of impeachment far more often.
“This election, you aren’t just voting for a candidate, you’re voting for which party controls Congress,” the president said at a rally in Montana last month. “I don’t even bring it up, because I view it as something that... you know... they like to use the ‘impeach’ word, ‘impeach Trump.’ But I say, how do you impeach somebody that’s doing a great job?”