Despite being harshly criticized by members of his own party after he called for aging, ailing Senator Dianne Feinstein to resign because she could “no longer fulfill her duties,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) doubled down in his efforts to shove the octogenarian Democrat out the door.
On Thursday, Khanna appeared on Thursday’s edition of “America Reports” on Fox News where he was asked about his calling for DiFi to hang it up, a sentiment held by others within the left-wing caucus even if they are afraid to go on record like the brash young lawmaker, a rising star in some circles whose congressional district includes parts of Silicon Valley and is one of the wealthiest districts in the United States.
(Video: Fox News)
“There are growing calls for her to resign amid concerns about her medical absence,” anchor Sandra Smith asked Khanna. “You were one of those voices. I do believe you have called for her to resign in this moment. Why do you believe it’s necessary?”
“I was the first member of Congress to do that and I took some heat from my own party,” the congressman replied. “But here’s the reality. I mean, I have a lot of respect for Senator Feinstein. She’s unable to fulfill her duties. And I guess I don’t know any other job where, if you’re unable to fulfill your duties, you can continue to have the position. So, I think she should do the dignified thing. I respect her years of public service and she should know when it’s time to step aside.”
Smith asked him whether he was just playing politics, and he has expressed his support for Rep. Barbara Lee who is one of the House Democrats vying to replace the nearly 90-year-old Feinstein if she doesn’t make it through the end of her current Senate term.
“Well, as you know, I’m not running for the United States Senate,” Khanna said. “I’m happy in the House of Representatives. I don’t see any political advantage to it.”
The Fox News anchor then brought up former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that sexism is playing a part in the call for DiFi’s ouster.
“This has nothing to do with gender,” he said. “This is simply about whether someone can do their job.”
Rep. Khanna whacked a hornet’s nest with his urging Feinstein, a San Francisco icon, to step down from a job that she is no longer capable of doing, drawing the ire of Pelosi.
“Senator Feinstein has been a champion for California for 20 years,” the former speaker told reporters. “She deserves that respect to get well and be back on duty.”
“It’s interesting to me. I don’t know what political agendas are at work that are going after Senator Feinstein in that way. I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way,” she added, an apparent reference to Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) who has been on hiatus for the last two months due to being treated for clinical depression.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, who will pick Feinstein’s replacement if she steps down before the end of her term automatically disqualified anyone other than a black woman to replace her, following the lead of President Joe Biden who did likewise with the vice presidency only to have his racially exclusionary criteria come back to haunt him with the choice of the inexperienced and unqualified Kamala Harris who has been the butt of jokes since she took office.
BREAKING: @GavinNewsom promises to engage in race and sex discrimination in replacing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (an elderly white woman who leftists are trying to force to resign from Senate). Newsom promises he will only choose black woman as replacement. Females who are Asian,…
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) April 14, 2023
“We have multiple names in mind and the answer is yes,” Newsom told MSNBC’s Joy Reid during an interview last month when asked if he would tab a black woman as Feinstein’s successor.
In other news related to octogenarian lawmakers being put out to pasture, there are rumblings that 81-year-old Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may soon be calling it a career with the Kentucky Republican being sidelined since he was hospitalized last month after taking a fall at a Washington D.C. hotel during a private event.
BREAKING: Republican Senators are actively preparing for the retirement of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) April 13, 2023
McConnell however appeared to quash such rumblings, taking to Twitter to announce that he will be returning to active duty on Monday, the same day as Fetterman.
I am looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday. We've got important business to tackle and big fights to win for Kentuckians and the American people.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) April 13, 2023
“I am looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday. We’ve got important business to tackle and big fights to win for Kentuckians and the American people,” McConnell wrote, seeming to suggest that rumors of his impending retirement have been greatly exaggerated.
“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of the March work period. Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis,” Feinstein told Fox News Digital in a statement.“I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it’s safe for me to travel. In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco.”
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