Gonzales vowed Friday to stay at his post until the end of Bush's term.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales vowed Friday to remain in his post through the end of President Bush's second term, in a "sprint to the finish line."
In his most definitive statement on the issue to date, Gonzales made clear to his critics during a speech on crime that he would continue to reject their calls for his resignation.
"I know that I only have 18 months left in my term as attorney general, and that really does not feel like a lot of time to accomplish all of the goals that are important to me. So often Washington seems to run at a marathon pace, but I intend to spend the next year and a half in a sprint to the finish line," Gonzales said.
The attorney general volunteered the comments near the end of a speech announcing anti-crime initiatives at the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Washington. ATF employees, whose agency is part of the Justice Department, gave their boss a strong round of applause when he was introduced and when he completed his speech.
News reporters were carefully kept away from the attorney general so he could not be questioned.
– CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden