When the questions don't matter

Alberto Gonzales has all the answers.


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Tim Grieve
June 12, 2007 12:54AM (UTC)

Alberto Gonzales just held a "media availability" in Mobile, Ala. The transcription service we use couldn't pick up the questions reporters put to the attorney general. The funny thing is, Gonzales' answers were so canned that the questions didn't really matter.

From the transcript:

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Question: (Off-mike)

Gonzales: You know, I'm focused on protecting our kids. I just left a conference in Miami earlier today where we were talking about the threat of nuclear terrorism. That is something that really concerns me. I was in Mexico the end of last week meeting with my counterparts from Mexico, Central America and Colombia. We were there to talk about violent crime and gangs and guns. That concerns me. That's what I'm focused on. I think that's what the American people expect [from] the attorney general of the United States, b

Question: (Off-mike)

Gonzales: Again, I'm going to focus on what I think is important for the American people.

Question: (Off-mike)

Gonzales: Pardon me?

Question: (Off-mike)

Gonzales: You know what? I am focused on the next 18 months. And I've talked to the folks at the Department of Justice and I've told them that I'm going to be looking at the next 18 months and spring to the finish line. I don't expect the department to crawl or to walk slowly to the finish line. I expect us to sprint to the finish line. We've got a lot of important issues, like protecting our kids, like working with these good people here. That's what the American people expect. And that's what I'll be focused on for the next 18 months.

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Question: (Off-mike)

Gonzales: Pardon me?

Question: (Off-mike)

Gonzales: I think -- obviously, it's been a distraction. But I've got to remain disciplined and focused on what I think is important for the American people. And when I talk to employees at the Department of Justice, when I talk to our U.S. attorneys, I really encourage them to make sure that they keep their eye on the ball, to talk to their people in the districts, and make sure [they know] that I expect them to do their job and that I don't want any prosecution, any investigation, affected in any way by what's going on in Washington. That's what the American people deserve.


Tim Grieve

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

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