"A good American"

GOP presidential candidates respond -- or don't -- to Bush's decision on Libby.

By Julia Dahl - Tim Grieve

Published July 3, 2007 3:10PM (EDT)

Republican presidential candidates like to position themselves as law-and-order types. The next time one of them does, perhaps it would be handy to have on hand a list of what some of them are saying -- or not saying -- about George W. Bush's decision to commute the prison sentence handed down to Scooter Libby:

Rudy Giuliani: "After evaluating the facts, the president came to a reasonable decision, and I believe the decision was correct."

Mitt Romney: When Romney was asked at a presidential debate in May whether he thought Libby should be pardoned, he said that he didn't think "somebody who is running for president, let alone someone who is president, should make that decision until the judicial process is complete." Although Bush didn't pardon Libby Monday -- there will be time for that later -- he did commute his sentence while the legal process is still very much incomplete. Romney's reaction: "I believe the president's decision is a reasonable one, and I support it."

Fred Thompson: "I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the president's decision. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life."

John McCain: In an interview last month, McCain said he couldn't say what he'd do if the question of a pardon for Libby came to him as president. "If it looked like that he was going to prison," McCain explained, "I would certainly examine the case, but I cannot say that I would do." Asked Monday whether McCain had any comment on Bush's decision to commute Libby's sentence, a McCain spokesman said: "Nope."

Julia Dahl

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Tim Grieve

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

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John Mccain R-ariz. Rudy Giuliani