On Fox News Sunday this morning, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) refused to defend Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against accusations that he may have perjured himself before Congress. “It’s very damaging…we badly need an attorney general who is above any question,” said Gingrich. He continued:
Both the president and country are better served if the attorney general is a figure of competence. Sadly, the current attorney general is not seen as any of those things. I think it’s a liability for the president. More importantly, it’s a liability for the United States of America.
Later in the show, host Chris Wallace revealed that no conservative would willingly defend Gonzales on Fox. “By the way, we invited White House officials and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend Attorney General Gonzales,” said Wallace. “We had no takers.” Watch it:
The efforts of right-wingers to distance themselves from Gonzales have reached a fever pitch in the wake of his disastrous Senate testimony last week.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), appearing on ABC’s This Week, said “of course” Gonzales has a credibility problem. On MSNBC’s Hardball on Friday, Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), the ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, squirmed when asked by host Chris Matthews if he thought Gonzales “is a good attorney general?” Cannon refused to answer the question, offering instead, “He’s a good guy.”
National Review Online’s Jonah Goldberg, a reliable partisan defender of the Bush administration, admitted on Thursday that the evidence against Gonzales is compelling. “I think Gonzales has long, long, long outserved whatever usefulness he might once have had,” wrote Goldberg. “And — hey — maybe he actually did perjure himself.”