Susan Collins Defends Her Acquittal Vote By Claiming Trump Learned 'a Pretty Big Lesson' From Impeachment and People Can't Even

CBS Evening News

Maine Senator Susan Collins gained a reputation as a moderate Republican while serving as a junior Senator with well respected true moderate Senator Olympia Snowe.

When Maine's senior Senator retired after issuing a scathing rebuke of the direction the GOP was going, Collins became Maine's senior Senator.

But without Snowe as a buffer, Collins' voting record went from consistently being moderate Snowe's plus one to only voting against the wishes of Republican leadership when her vote makes no difference. Her former reputation and statements of "deep concern" before toeing the party line in crucial votes garnered Collins plenty of attention on the national stage, especially after her vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Collins' latest fumble came in response to the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. While claiming to be deeply concerned and supportive of calling witnesses and seeing new evidence, Collins ultimately announced she'll do as everyone expected.

Collins will vote exactly as instructed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Maine Senator attempted to save face in an appearance on CBS Evening News by using White House and GOP rhetoric claiming impeachment is "overturning an election" as opposed to being the constitutional check and balance for a duly elected President who then commits high crimes and misdemeanors.

Collins said:

"I believe the President has learned from this case."

She added:

"The President has been impeached. That's a pretty big lesson."

Collins appeared stumped though when asked to justify her claims about Trump in light of his continued claims that he did nothing wrong.

Watch the full segment here:

Others quickly noted the glaring flaw in Collins' logic.

Although some wondered if she referred to a different lesson being imparted by a McConnell lead Senate.

Collins is up for reelection in 2020 after previously vowing she would not run again.

There are 35 Senate seats being decided in 2020. 23 of those seats are currently held by the GOP, but three of those incumbent Republican Senators announced decisions to retire instead of seeking reelection.

Democrats need only gain 3-4 seats to take control of the Senate.

Therefore it's critical for the GOP to win every incumbent Senate reelection race, but Collins' flip flopping and "deep concern" is not playing well with Maineiacs who have a history of electing truly moderate Republicans like Snowe, Jock McKernan, Bill Cohen and the legendary Margaret Chase Smith.

The support already in place for whoever her eventual Democratic challenger becomes after Maine's June Senate primaries is something Senator Collins should really be deeply concerned about. The current Democratic frontrunner is Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon who is polling ahead of Collins.

As of Tuesday February 4, the 2020 election is 272 days away.

In addition to Susan Collins, the following Republican Senators will fight to keep their seats in November:

Dan Sullivan (AK), Tom Cotton (AR), Martha McSally (AZ), Cory Gardner (CO), Kelly Loeffler (GA), David Perdue (GA), Joni Ernst (IA), James Risch (ID), Mitch McConnell (KY), Bill Cassidy (LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MI), Steve Daines (MT), Thom Tillis (NC), Ben Sasse (NE), Jim Inhofe (OK), Lindsey Graham (SC), Mike Rounds (SD), John Cornyn (TX) and Shelley Moore Capito (WV).

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