Max Rose's position on presidential impeachment has evolved:
"Absolutely not. It's irresponsible to comment on an ongoing investigation and it's irresponsible to say that that investigation should be wrapped up," then-candidate Rose said in a congressional debate with then-Rep. Dan Donovan on NY1 on October 16, 2018.
In early-September, he wrote an op-ed in the Staten Island Advance, imploring fellow Democrats to not get distracted by impeachment calls.
Then came news of a whistleblower complaint and President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine's leader to ask him to investigate the Bidens.
"This is a sad moment in our nation's history. No one wants to do this," Rose, the representative for the 11th Congressional District, which comprises Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn, said in an interview on Mornings On 1 on Thursday.
News of the Staten Island congressman's change of heart made waves Thursday. After months of resistance, the freshman lawmaker announced he would support an impeachment inquiry at a town hall Wednesday night, becoming one of the last Democrats in the House to sign onto the move.
By Thursday morning, Rose was making the rounds to explain his decision.
"If the president has nothing to hide, then prove it," Rose told NY1. "It's plain and simple."
"This is, when it comes down to it, not just a national security issue, but this is a case-and-point of whether the president of the United States used the office to advance his or her own self-interest," Rose said in an interview on MSNBC.
No question it's a risky move for Rose, whose district went for President Donald Trump in 2016 by 10 percentage points.
Experts on Staten Island say it could make Rose more vulnerable in his bid for re-election — depending on the outcome of the inquiry.
"It makes life more complicated because it may mobilize Trump supporters to come out and not only vote for Trump, but to vote against Rose the Democrat," said College of Staten Island Professor Richard Flanagan.
Already, a popular GOP candidate, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, is declared in the race. And Republican leaders are plotting using impeachment as a campaign strategy.
"I think impeachment is a big point of discussion in every one of these races," Staten Island GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said. "Democrats that are willing to derail the entire federal government — to sacrifice the economy, to put the growth in the stock market at risk just for this political charade — I think will be held to task by the voters."
As the campaign trail heats up, Rose will try to focus on issues of importance to the district, such as health care and transportation. We'll see how long he can stay on that message.
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