Billionaire activist Tom Steyer criticized Democratic representative Jacky Rosen (Nev.) for being too afraid of Republican voters to back his campaign to impeach President Donald Trump.
Steyer has already contributed the maximum allowed $5,400 contribution to Rosen's Senate campaign and pledged to spend an additional $2 million in support of the effort. Rosen, however, was not in attendance for Steyer's Wednesday night town hall in Reno, where the billionaire was asked whether Rosen has committed to impeaching Trump.
Steyer said Rosen still hasn't committed to joining the impeachment fight and indicated it was because she was afraid it would hurt her chances to win in November.
"I think there is a concern amongst elected officials that talking about impeachment, what we're doing today, is going to enrage Republicans and drive them to the ballot box in November," Steyer replied.
Rosen's congressional office did not respond to a request for comment on Steyer's accusation.
Steyer, in an exchange that can be heard in full below, went on to criticize Rosen and other Democrats for being too afraid to discuss impeachment on the campaign trail.
"We cannot allow ourselves to be censored by what we think Republican voters want," Steyer said. "We have got to tell the truth and live with it and let the chips fall where they may."
"If we're going to do only the things Republican voters permit us to do then we're not going to talk about gun safety, we're not going to talk about racism, we're not going to talk about the need to deliver health care to every American because they don't like it," he said.
Democratic leadership has been critical of Steyer's push for impeachment, arguing that it will have a negative impact on their chances to win congressional races in November. Steyer has responded by saying House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was "normalizing" Trump's presidency and comparing her and other Democrats to people "who told civil rights activists to be patient."
"If you look at the civil rights movement, the pushback was not, ‘You're not telling the truth,' the pushback was, ‘We're dealing with it in time. Stand down so we can deal with it in time,'" Steyer told Politico last month.
In a move that many are viewing as an olive branch, Steyer announced on Thursday that he was launching a "Blue Wave" program to help engage Democratic voters across the country.
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