May 15th, 2013
05:39 PM ET
2 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. bcasteel

    Wow-let's take our jobs a little more seriously folks.

    May 16, 2013 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  2. Dave

    Come on, Republicans! Family values, duh!!

    May 16, 2013 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  3. Natch

    Well, I guess we know how seriously some Dems take their job, eh??

    May 16, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  4. johnharry

    I am getting ready to get furloughed, and this overpaid baby sitter gets paid for babysitting.

    May 16, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  5. Smarter than u

    Nico must be a repug, whining at this hearing.

    May 16, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  6. jaron kadek

    I think that was the congressman's way of saying "WHATEVER!".

    May 16, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  7. ts

    who brings their grandson to a meeting anyway? Get a babysitter

    May 16, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  8. disgusting

    This is absolutely ridiculous that a US congressman would bring a child to a house committee meeting. This just proves that they have no respect for ANYTHING in Washington. Keep your child at home and VOTE these idiots out. This idiot could have gotten any number of his staff to babysit. WE pay him more than enough money to hire a baby sitter. Time to get rid of ALL OF THEM.

    May 16, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  9. reddog

    It's only fitting that a child attend since the majority of our elected officials act like children.

    May 16, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  10. JS

    Kids do not belong at any kind of government hearing/meeting. What is the matter with Congressman Watt? Has he not heard of paying someone to babysit? Or is it the governments responsibility to babysit, too?

    May 16, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  11. A True Conservative

    Awwww....how cute and professional....are these people complete morons?

    May 16, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  12. 1968BillsFan

    A cute kid, but he has no place at a hearing as a distraction. There are dead Americans and Holder is using a kid as a stage prop to look like a swell fellow and get laughs.

    "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."

    It turns out that "grandpa" was baby sitting because his daughter was at a luncheon with Michelle Obama. Maybe the kid should have gone to that meeting instead. What disrespect for the dead Americans!!!!!

    "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, ......"

    May 16, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  13. Mr. Bob Dobolina

    Is this the best place for a toddler? While I agree there are sometimes when a little levity is needed, I do not think this was one of them.

    May 16, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  14. longtooth

    Being a good grandparent is not a bad thing.

    May 16, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
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