First GOP Senator Goes on Record Calling for Gonzales Resignation
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 04:03:37 PM EDT
Note: Please don't forget to let us know what you think about the MyDD Primary/Caucus Polling Project 2007
Late last night I pointed out that some very close Republican allies of the White House were beginning to try to pin political (and perhaps legal) culpability for the growing prosecutor purge scandal on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the hopes of shielding the rest of the Bush administration from the increasing heat. Now, for the first time, a sitting Republican Senator has openly called for the firing of Gonzales, reports Laurie Kellman for the AP.
Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire on Wednesday became the first Republican in Congress to call for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' dismissal, hours after President Bush expressed confidence in his embattled Cabinet officer.
Gonzales has been fending off Democratic demands for his firing in the wake of disclosures surrounding the ousters of eight U.S. attorneys -- dismissals Democrats have characterized as a politically motivated purge.
Support from many Republicans had been muted, but there was no outright GOP call for his dismissal until now.
"I think the president should replace him," Sununu said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I think the attorney general should be fired."
Over in Breaking Blue, Dean Barker is correct to note that Sununu's intentions in this matter are not so pure. In fact, this is can, in many ways, be seen as an attempt by Sununu to distance himself from his own excessively partisan voting record, which will not and does not play well in New Hampshire.
That said, Sununu's call for the President to fire Gonzales is terrible news for the White House and the Republican Party because it both extends the story another news cycle (well, it probably would have done that on its own, anyway, but still...) and it applies more pressure directly on the White House, which is trying as desperately it can to deflect attention away from itself -- even if that means throwing the Attorney General under the bus.