"I stand by Al Gonzales"

The president charges Gonzales' critics -- many of them Republicans -- with engaging in "political theater."

Published May 21, 2007 4:58PM (EDT)

With the Senate moving toward a no-confidence vote on Alberto Gonzales -- and with more than a half-dozen Republican senators calling on Gonzales to resign -- the president was asked today whether he plans to keep his attorney general on the job no matter what the Senate does. His answer:

"He has got my confidence. He has done nothing wrong. There's been enormous amount of attention on him, that there has been no wrongdoing on his part. He has testified in front of Congress.

"And I, frankly, view what's taking place in Washington today as pure political theater. And it is this kind of political theater that has caused the American people to lose confidence in how Washington operates.

"I stand by Al Gonzales, and I would hope that people would be more sober in how they address these important issues. And they ought to get the job done of passing legislation, as opposed to figuring how to be actors on the political theater stage."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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