August 27th, 2007
01:19 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton: Next attorney general must care about the law

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton said Monday that the next attorney general should "care about the rule of law more than he cares about protecting the president."

"The next attorney general," she continued, "when he takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, actually means it."

Clinton made the comments regarding the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during an appearance at Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Presidential Cancer Forum in Cedar Rapids.

Her remarks came when asked by moderator Chris Matthews whether, as a senator, she would use this as an opportunity to help set standards for selecting the next attorney general.

Clinton continued, "When it comes to issues like torture, surveillance, military commissions, [and] the firing of U.S. Attorneys because they wouldn't pursue a political agenda, we need to be especially vigilant and strong in making sure that whoever the president appoints will work with the Congress to bring us back from this precipice that this administration has put us on."

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Related: Edwards happy Gonzales gone
Related: Gonzales resigns: Dodd reaction
Related: Gonzales resigns: Richardson reaction
Related: Gonzales resigns: Obama reaction

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Mike Vititoe, Dana Point, CA

    I think it's in his best interest, as well as the President's. Such venomous personal attacks by the Democrat's will certainly backfire. This evil hatred of theirs is only further distancing themselves from the electorate. Nothing constructive or beneficial is being accomplished whatsoever for this country! Why do the Democrat's want to be so immoral and wicked?

    August 27, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Steve, Magnolia, TX

    We should also make sure that when we elect a president, that telling a lie is telling a lie. Even if it is technically correct, but still misleads. Does this sound familiar Hillary?

    August 27, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. John, Princeton, NJ

    Yeah, like Janet Reno cared about the law!

    August 27, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Sally

    We should have ALWAYS had an attorney general that has wanted to uphold the Constitution.

    Now that he's gone, how long will it take to re-establish the fact that the Constitution is the law of the land?

    August 27, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Robert Schools, Melbourne, Florida

    This is impudent, blatant hypocrisy. While president, Mrs Clinton's husband fired innumerable U.S. Attorneys. This, of course, was his right, yet no one complained when he did it. Yet now, when President Bush does it, it is somehow wrong..?!? The bottom line is that our government is both out of control, and out of touch, and we have both Democrats and Republicans to blame. Land of the Free... give me a break... A retired military officer.

    August 27, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. VanReuter NY NY

    The irony is that it will take a Clinton to restore integrity to the Presidency...


    August 27, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Dave Borkoski, Las Cruces, NM

    Senator Clinton hit the nail on the head, the next AG shouldn't have a political agenda. S/he should only care about the law and not what special interests want.

    August 27, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Darryl Encinitas, CA

    Sen. Hillary Clinton said Monday that the next attorney general should "care about the rule of law more than he cares about protecting the president."

    WHAT A HYPOCRITE! DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO. Hillary's and Billy Bob Boy's motto

    August 27, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Obama for Attorney General!

    August 27, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. tarra, austin, tx

    Now wait a minute. Hillary Clinton is saying this,; wasn't Sandy Berger of the Bill Clinton White House found with top secret government documents hidden in his clothes? That doesn't sound like upholding the law to moi.

    August 27, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    When the new Attorney General is sworn in and swears to uphold the Constitution, maybe we should insist that he/she OBEYS the Constitution as well. Silly Me!

    August 27, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Dr. James Luchte, United Kingdom

    It is quite disturbing that he had not resigned earlier. The challenge that the USA faces is the same with the Roman Republic and the Weimar Republic: the subversion of law. This led in the latter cases to the Roman Empire (with its deification of the Caesar) and Nazi Germany, respectively. Do we really want a fascist or Nazi America? Or, do we already have one?

    August 27, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Bill Montgomery Waynesville Missouri

    There was no way that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could survive. No matter what he did he could not survive the constant barrage of the media, the left and the politicians in his own party seeking re election. He was used, abused and stepped on for political traction by his detractors. Being used for political target practice to hide the actions and incompetence of politicians in both party's is a no win situation.

    August 27, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Jake, League City, Tx

    Senator Clinton doesn't realize that all of the appointee's which were fired were appointed by President Bush?? If anyone should be fired, it should be Clinton, Kennedy, Reid, Shumer, Dodd, and many other Democratic Senator's. This will come back to haunt the Democratic Congress in the 2008 election.

    August 27, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Dr. James Luchte

    The greatest challenge and threat facing the United States republic is the subversion of law. Such subversion led to such monuments to human bondage and suffering as Nazi Germany. Do we really want a Nazi America? Or do we already have one?

    August 27, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Glenn, Boston MA

    Have you noticed CLINTON has a saying on everything and it is always to denigrate the present adminstration. This is from a person that "stood by her man" when he lied to US, yes the people and to her. And in reality he should be in PRISON for that lying to the people. GET REAL HILLARY AND MAKE SURE SHE DOES NOT STINK UP THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY AS SHE IS IN NY AS A SENATOR. I am embarassed to say I am from Arkansas.

    August 27, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Tom W, Dedham, Mass

    So Shrillary, when your hubby fired all the US attorneys because they didn't believe is his political agenda, that was ok?

    Torture like sleep deprivation, barking dogs, loud music and waterboarding on a few cretins to get information that YES, may save a few Americans all the while enjoying 3 squares, prayer time, clothing etc, etc, I like many Americans who are not limited to the MSM and their biases are all for it. Yep, I am for it.

    The MSM missed the stories where the torture rooms were uncovered that were still open for business in Iraq even after Saddam was gone and they were complete with manuals on how to TORTURE US SOLDIERS with knives, saws, fire and other methods.

    Slight torture to save all US lives as opposed to brutal real torture against our soldiers.

    Surveillance being used is only too thwart plots in and out of this country by YES listening in on certain phone conversations, not Bill and Monica discussing their next dalliance, but a certain, select pattern of calls from bad guys to bad guys.

    You can't always get an immediate ok from a judge and that would impede on getting stuff done if the conversation is a CURRENTLY going on.

    Now if it is an ongoing lengthy operation then all sign offs SHOULD BE DONE, but the latitude needed here is all they want and IF IT IS EVER USED for ANY other purpose than intended, PROSECUTE TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW.

    I also am not thrilled to have a situation in my country like over in England and others where CAMERAS are EVERYWHERE we are, talk about an intrusion, but a necessary one to save LIVES. Cameras ae going up daily.

    Safeguards and methods SHOULD BE changed and modified from pre-9-11 thought processes with as many civil measures STILL in place, and again if the added measures are abused for any means other than intended let's all meet out in "town square" and stone the bastards.

    Just one persons thoughts, feel free to hammer me or agree with me, no problem.

    I admit hat I despise the Clinton's for a few reasons, but mainly because as co-President her and Bill did nothing after the USS Cole bombing and many fine Navy brothers died with no recourse and he treated it like a criminal act and not the terrorist act that it was.

    He treated many such acts in that manner and thus I believe EMBOLDENDED them for future acts.

    For the record I am no fan of Bush or Gonzales either.

    August 27, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. jp. Fort Worth, Texas

    Hilary isn't qualified to be a dog catcher, much less Presidentt of the United States

    August 27, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. jwp fort Worth texas

    Hillary Clinton is not qualified to speak about anyone enforcing the laws. She is one of the most proficient at breaking laws than most of the senators in Washington. The bad part is that the Democrat party is full of liars, thiefs and other miscreants.

    August 27, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Spare me Hillary. You are just as porous as he is. Stop ridiculing people and focus on the skeletons in your own closet. Make sure they don't fall out.

    August 27, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Jim, St. Louis

    Maybe Janet Reno would be available – she was sooooo great!!!

    August 27, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. VanReuter NY NY

    When was the Cole bombed? November of 1999? Did his successor do any follow-up? That's a pretty lame hook to hold up your accusations on.

    You were probably one of those who accused President Clinton of playing, "wag the dog", when He initiated operation, "Desert Fox", which we now know probably destroyed the remaining remnants of Hussein's armaments, and when he retaliated for the embassy bombings.
    To be misguided is one thing, but to be playing fast-and-loose with the facts, when you should know better, is just plain wrong.
    Read "Against all Enemies" by Richard Clarke, or Fiasco, By Thomas Ricks, or, The looming Tower, or, Cobra II, or "Hubris".
    Read a book, then get back to me, unless you're, "no fan", of those things either.


    August 27, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Paul, Fresno, CA

    Hillary Clinton is a nasty person. I truly hope that she does not win the nomination. She says truly mean things constantly, as well as irresponsible things like her comment regarding the current leadership in Iraq. Leading is difficult. Transforming a nation is a nearly impossible task.

    Hillary needs to think before she speaks, and she needs to understand that even though she is just a Senator, her remarks are heard around the world.

    She is proving to the world that America just doesn't get it – we are not in charge of the world, we did not take over Iraq, and she needs to stop acting like she is President of the world.

    August 27, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Yaw, Atlanta. Georgia

    All politicians are the same. Listen to what she is saying now. If she becomes the next president, she will do the same. She will expect her AG to protect her just the same way Gonzales did for Bush. We don't know who to trust anymore. Except God

    August 27, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Jim Backus

    Thank you Mrs. Clinton.

    For all their (RNC/NeoCon) posturing – they are not concerned with the people of this great nation. There is no "hate" from the Democrats towards Republicans – there is just a very clear divide that benefits the right – keep us feuding, while they (Bush Administration) breaks every law, national and international – for their selfish purposes. No educated American can believe what the Fox/Murdock propogandist say and/or believe that there is some conspiracy from the Democrats against "poor ole' GW". This goverment is dark and mean. They will leave our country in a mess when they are out. Unfortunately, how do we change the mess that they created? We will be equally in disaray as the Iraqi people. Debt, recession and war. This my Republican breathern is what you have bore. I feel for the next President – there is too much to repair. How do we get our "laws" back? You cannot – not with out holding those for breaking them responsible first. Impeachment is the only way. 6 years of changing the laws and hiding behind executive priveledge? Only the President has that priveledge. All others should be held accountable. Fox News will call this "politics as usual by the Democrats", but we all know the liars and where they come from and live. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as told to you by Murdoch's Fox and Skynettworks, Washington Times, NY Post and soon, the Wall Street Journal. Propoganda is a very, very powerful tool.

    August 27, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
1 2 3