May 15th, 2013
05:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Watt's grandson steals spotlight at Holder hearing

Washington (CNN) - Democratic Congressmen Mel Watt brought his one-year-old grandson to Attorney General Eric Holder's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Watt was questioning Holder when the child became restless, and the open microphone carried the sound of a small voice throughout the hearing room, over the airwaves, and across the internet during coverage of the hearing.

Holder drew a few laughs from the crowd in response to the baby's appearance saying, "Mr. Watt you are only supposed to do that at your confirmation hearing. That's when you roll out the kids…"

Watt replied, "I am just trying to get my line of questions. I have been in the back listening. Nico says you have done a good job to this point."

The Congressman later clarified, noting the interest from the crowd, "Just for everybody's information, this is my grandson."

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte also acknowledged the baby before moving on saying, "And a very effective line of questioning, and particularly on the part of Nico. We're glad to have you both here"

Watt acknowledged he was trying to multi-task during the Holder hearing.

"I was babysitting," Watt told CNN in a phone call as the hearing continued, saying his wife Eulada and daughter-in-law Daisy were at a luncheon with the First Lady, and his son Brian was "3,000 miles away, they live in California."

"The babysitting fell to me, which was fine, as part of the responsibility parents and grandparents have," he said.

The congressman acknowledged some people thought it was disruptive, saying "I've been getting some ugly calls that I was demeaning the hearing, but I don't think so."

He said he didn't want too much attention paid to the complaints for fear of generating more.

Filed under: House
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Clydie

    Daycare costs are expensive. I've had to bring my pre-school aged son to work a few times myself.

    May 15, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Probably smarter then all gop members of the house and senate and hell work for minimum wage with no benfits,that's what the gop wants!!!!!

    May 15, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    He's got my vote !!!!!

    May 15, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. PJ

    Cute child, but this should be in the 'gut check' section, and Holder telling Issa off should be here.
    I will lift a glass of wine and toast Eric Holder. It's time somebody put Issablithering idiot in his place.

    May 15, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    What a cutie – I can see where he'd steal the show! Are you sure he's only a year old? He looks more like he's two or three.

    May 15, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. just sayin

    doesn't thi sguy know it could be classified as child abuse to expose somebody this young to the lies and deceit of eric holder??? for god's sake man, get a babysitter. aren't we paying you enough?

    May 15, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. rob

    This is sureal...what on earth is this Rep doing with a child on his lap at a hearing of this magnitude ?????? Does he not take this seriously ?? T5he Chairman should have politely asked him to have one of his staff take care of the child untill the hearing was over.

    May 15, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    Not the place for a 1 year old dude....

    May 15, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    It was an improper thing to do, but some people disregard all propriety.

    May 15, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Sound like a good grandad to me .

    May 15, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. Greenspam

    Who's for kid and who's just kidding?

    May 15, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. mitchell jacobs

    Nice to see some much needed human discourse in the harsh polictical climate of the day
    Nico is pretty cool.

    May 15, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Pooty

    This was obviously planned. No one brings their baby to court, so why does this guy, with such serious subject matter, think that it's ok to bring his grandkid to a hearing? Lock this guy up, take away his post, no, lock 'em all up I say.

    May 15, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. DJ Reality

    Boy thank you for a human moment/ They are so far and few between.

    May 15, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. Robert

    I love babies and toddlers. But really, that is a bit unprofessional. I wouldn't dare bring my one year old to my office nor a closed conference room and I am sure my job is not as important as your – Mr. Watts.

    May 15, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  16. hello

    This is
    Seriously front page
    Welcome to TMZ

    May 15, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  17. Justin

    So the man brought his grandson to work, get over it.

    May 15, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  18. Kris

    The people that thought the presence of that child demeaned the hearing ought to worry about the Congress's staggering lack of accomplishment and inability to work with anyone who doesn't share their ideas or ideals.

    May 15, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  19. p

    Distraction 101

    May 15, 2013 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Thank you, Congressman Mel Watt, for bringing your grandson, Nico, to the House Judiciary Committee and giving attention to the future leaders of America. Reasonable minds would understand family considerations totally. Keep up your outstanding work for the citizens of the United States.

    May 15, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  21. Richard Long

    What the heck was a kid doing at a Congressional Hearing?
    If these congressmen can't act professional and respect their appointments, then that just says the whole system is a pathetic joke.
    Next time you have surgery, would you be concerned if your doctor had there kid in their lap playing with a scalpel?

    May 16, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  22. Pete

    I don't think it was a problem with the little one , the problem is the press talking about it

    May 16, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  23. nell ryan

    The first lady couldn't figure out how to get a baby sitter during the luncheon she was hostessing? I thought she was "kid friendly." Really insensitive situation on her part.

    May 16, 2013 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  24. Tonytor53

    Got to give it to CNN! Holder was grilled and came across as a sleezy lyar. Shouting back & forth. All CNM reports is about the 1 yr old! Even NBC reported this. No wonder CNN is loosing audience! This is a prime example of pretending nothing happened at the hearings today . All attention was on the little boy, while Holder came across as an irresponsible sleezy liar! Why not report about Holders ridiculous performance ? CNN is really biaised !

    May 16, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  25. Beefburger

    Normal people would just consider a "bring your kid to work day" not such a big deal. But of course liberals think that Grandpa should have had the child listed as a ward of the state. They constanly disdain the concept of "family" as it is grossly archaic. "The parents should have aborted the child if they can't take care of it!"

    May 16, 2013 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
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