Democrats may use President Donald Trump’s alleged “s***hole” comments as an excuse to abandon negotiations over amnesty, immigration reform, and border security, said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).
Smith’s remarks came during a Thursday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with Breitbart News’s Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
Pollak asked Smith if the controversy over the president’s aforementioned remarks would damage the political atmosphere for negotiations. Smith described Democrats’ focus on Trump’s “s***hole” comments as both a”distraction” and an “excuse” to avoid good faith negotiations. Partial transcript:
POLLAK: Do you think that the president’s remarks, or the controversy about the president’s remarks will make that more difficult?
SMITH: No. If the Democrats don’t want to negotiate, they’ll always come up with some excuse, and maybe this is an indication that they were never serious to begin with, but they’ll always come up with some reason not to negotiation, or make an excuse not to make concessions. This is just another distraction, another excuse for the Democrats to do that. I think when things settle down over the next several days we’ll find out whether the Democrats were really serious and want to have an immigration bill, want to try to something for some of the so-called DACA folks. We’ll know that in the next few days. It’ll be an indication of whether they’re negotiating in good faith whether they come back to the table.
Smith’s pending retirement at the end of this year should not be viewed as a harbinger of ill political fortune for the GOP, said Smith. Partial transcript below:
POLLAK: You’ve decided to retire at the end of this year. We have seen here in California a number of retirements in the last couple of days, people from closely contested districts. You’ve been in Congress for three decades. You’ve done a great service to the country. You’ve certainly earned yourself a break, but should we interpret your decision to retire as a bad sign for 2018? Are Republicans looking at a wipe out, here?
SMITH: [LAUGHS] I get asked that a lot. Certainly not, for a couple of reasons. Let me say a the outset that I love my job, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. But I do think, as you pointed out, three decades is enough. I just finished chairing the Science Committee. I chaired the Judiciary Committee before that. On the Republican side, you can only chair a committee for six years. My six years was up and I didn’t want to wander the halls aimlessly in the next Congress. Plus, as I said, three decades is a long time, and I have new grandchildren. But as far as leaving and not running for election, I do think I have a good Republican district. I do not think this is a marginal district that is going to fall in the hands of the opposition, and so I think we will continue to elect someone from my district who believes in enforcing immigration laws and believes in enhancing border security.
On Friday, Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) echoed Smith’s assessment of Democrat posturing.
“President Trump brought everyone to the table this week and listened to both sides. But regrettably, it seems that not everyone is committed to negotiating in good faith,” said Cotton and Perdue, both involved in negotiations over immigration reform.
Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.