Heck announced Wednesday that he would retire after completing his current term, noting that part of him feels “discouraged” by some of his colleagues’ reactions to the impeachment inquiry.
“If President Trump gets a second term, what do you think the impact’s going to be on Congress?” “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked Heck on NBC.
“That is a nightmare scenario, in my mind,” Heck responded.
“Because of the absence of a commitment to decency or truth on his part that has been amply demonstrated in his three years in public office, because of his refusal to recognize even the most basic precepts of constitutional principle,” he added.
Heck added that one point of discouragement has been the growing number of people who “simply don’t believe in compromise.”
“My soul is weary, Chuck,” he said.
“I will go to my grave not understanding how some of my colleagues could simply turn the other way and overlook the president’s behavior and his misdeeds, who would overlook his unrelenting attack, frankly, on the free press, overlook his kind of vicious character assassinations, sometimes gratuitously, as in the instance of [former U.S.] Ambassador [to Ukraine Marie] Yovanovitch, and just, frankly, ignore the fact that he has such, to put it charitably, a very distant relationship with the truth,” Heck added.
The congressman said, however, that he would still encourage young Americans to get involved with politics.
“Give some advice to a young person who’s getting into politics, who sits there and looks at this and says, ‘Hmm. Why should I risk character assassination of myself to run for office?'” Todd said.
“America’s worth fighting for,” Heck replied.