Republican U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, of Milford, made the comment to supporters in Birmingham, saying he can't move on impeachment because he lacks evidence that Obama committed any crimes. The talk was posted on YouTube.
"Rep. Bentivolio showed that he'd rather wage tired ideological political battles and give us more Washington dysfunction than do anything to create jobs or focus on Michigan's middle class," Lon Johnson, Michigan's Democratic Party chairman, said in a statement. "Bentivolio can try to distract from what he said, but the fact remains that he's been nothing more than a rubber stamp for an extreme agenda that favors the wealthy and well-connected over Michigan's middle-class families."
Bentivolio spokesman Matt Chisholm said the congressman "is focused on helping the middle class, which why is he supports the full repeal and defunding of Obamacare, because it is costing Michiganders fulltime jobs and making it more difficult for families to purchase health insurance."
Bentivolio's comments about Obama's impeachment came in response to a woman's question.
"I feel your pain. I know," Bentivolio said. "I stood 12 feet away from the guy and listened to him. And I couldn't stand being there, but because he is president, I have to respect the office. That's my job, as a congressman. I respect the office."
Lacking evidence of crimes by the president, "you're going to become a laughing stock if you've submitted a bill to impeach the president, because number one, you've got to convince the press," the congressman said. "And there are some people out there, no matter what Obama does, he's still the greatest president they have ever had. That's what you're fighting."
Johnson said Bentivolio's extremism is shown by his support for a budget "that would raise Medicare costs on Michigan seniors in order to cut taxes for millionaires."
"He'll do whatever he can to avoid working together to get things done for his constituents," Johnson said. "This outrageous statement is just another sign he's not fit to serve."