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Dewhurst Lands In National Headlines With Call To Impeach Obama

Updated: Tuesday, October 15 2013, 11:47 AM CDT

Lt. Gov.  David Dewhurst landed in national headlines late Monday night after reports began surfacing of his call to impeach President Obama.

Speaking at a candidates forum hosted by the Northeast Tarrant County Tea Party, Dewhurst opened up his remarks accusing the twice-elected president of "trampling on our liberties," according to a report in the progressive-leaning Texas Observer.

He went on to declare that "what [President Obama] did in Benghazi was a crime," a reference to the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on a U.S. consulate building in Libya that left three people dead including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Accusations of a possible White House cover up of the events in Benghazi have long provided fuel to tea party activists' grassroots fire. Even Republican Mitt Romney tried to use the controversy as a cudgel during his unsuccessful challenge to President Obama's reelection last year.

While the issue has never gained much traction among most voters, Dewhurst's deployment of it before stalwart conservatives has little risk of backfiring during a Texas primary campaign. Indeed, after Sen. Ted Cruz sunk Dewhurst's hopes for career advancement during the 2012 primary largely by painting him as a moderate creature of the Republican establishment, the Lieutenant Governor could benefit from doubling down on the more provocative elements of tea party rhetoric.

But for now, rhetoric is all it is. Only the U.S. House of Representatives can impeach the president and, for now, that Republican-led body is tied up in the ongoing government shutdown and debt ceiling fight with the White House. Even if GOP lawmakers did find time to pass highly contentious impeachment proceedings, the necessary two-thirds majority to remove President Obama would almost certainly never materialize in the Democratically-controlled Senate.

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst is in a four-man battle royale for the Republican nomination for his seat. He faces Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, State Sen. Dan Patrick, and Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples.

Dewhurst Lands In National Headlines With Call To Impeach Obama

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