By CNN’s Dan Merica
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Dan Pfeiffer, a longtime aide and senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told reporters Friday that recent talk of impeaching the President should not be considered a long shot.
“I would not discount that possibility,” Pfeiffer said, pointing out that a CNN/ORC International poll released Friday indicated that a third of Americans think Obama should be impeached.
Pfeiffer, who spoke to reporters at The Monitor Breakfast, pointed at recent attempts by House Republicans to sue the President as evidence that they would consider impeachment in the future.
“Speaker Boehner, by going down the path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future,” Pfeiffer said. “I think that if the President enacted immigration reform that would certainly up the likelihood that they would contemplate impeachment.”
Although one-third of Americans endorsed impeaching Obama, according to the CNN poll, a sizable 65% said they wouldn’t take that step. There were also, expectedly, partisan divisions on the question with 57% of Republicans but only 35% of independents and 13% of Democrats backing a move to impeach Obama.
Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, earlier this month called for Obama to be impeached over the growing number of undocumented children from Central American coming across the southern border.
In an opinion editorial for the conservative website Brietbart, Palin wrote that “(Obama’s) unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas.'”
“It’s time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment,” she continued.
Talk of Obama’s impeachment has long been a hallmark of the far right, but has experienced a recent uptick of late.
After President Bill Clinton in 1998 became only the second president to be impeached, his public approval hit 73%, the highest rating of his administration, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.
Pfeiffer, however, rejected the idea that impeachment would be a good thing for Obama and his lagging poll numbers.
“We take it very seriously and I don’t think it would be a good thing,” he said. “But I think it would be foolish to discount the possibility that Republicans would at least consider going down that path.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
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