Monday, August 27, 2007

Candidate Reactions to Alberto Gonzales' Resignation

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 511

Here are reactions from the Democratic presidential candidates following this morning's resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Joe Biden: "As I've said before, Attorney General Gonzales has lost the confidence of the vast majority of the American people and the Congress. His resignation is long overdue.

"When I voted against Attorney General Gonzales' confirmation, I voiced concern about his ability to go from being the President's lawyer to the people's lawyer. I expressed doubts then about his judgment in light of his track record, and role as an architect of policies attempting to place the President above the law.

"My skepticism was confirmed by his conduct, and his failure to put protecting the American people over protecting the President. The next Attorney General should not make the same mistake."

Hillary Clinton: "This resignation is long overdue, and so is the appointment of an Attorney General who will put the rule of law and our Constitution above partisan politics.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took an oath to uphold our Constitution and respect the rule of law, but time and time again, he demonstrated that his loyalties lie with the President and his political agenda, not the American people or the evenhanded and impartial enforcement of our laws. In his actions and inaction, from warantless wiretaps to the firing of U.S. Attorneys, his loyalty was to the President, not the American people.

The Department’s hardworking lawyers, law enforcement officers, and staff are trusted to defend our Constitution, not one Administration or political party. That trust is central to the sanctity of the rule of law and the vitality of our democracy. Because he betrayed his obligations and the trust of the American people, I welcome today’s announcement that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned his post as Attorney General of the United States.

My hope is that the President will select a new Attorney General who will respect the rule of law and abandon partisanship, who will serve the American people and not the President’s political ideology, and who will answer to the Constitution and not political operatives. It is past time to clean up this mess and restore non-partisan accountability and competence to the Department of Justice.

The second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is one more reminder that the President must appoint someone to lead the Department of Justice with the leadership and competence necessary to defend the Constitution."

Chris Dodd: "Mr. Gonzales' Justice Department became a political wing of the Bush Administration and his resignation is long overdue. I will only vote to confirm a nominee for Attorney General who is truly independent and who will guarantee reforms that restore and uphold the Constitution."

John Edwards: "Better late than never."

Barack Obama: "I have long believed that Alberto Gonzales subverted justice to promote a political agenda, and so I am pleased that he has finally resigned today. The President needs to nominate an Attorney General who will be the people's lawyer, not the President's lawyer, and in an Obama Administration that person will first and foremost defend and promote the rights and liberties enshrined in our Constitution."

Bill Richardson: "The resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is long overdue. The President must nominate an Attorney General who is a lawyer for the American people not a political arm of the White House."

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