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
Here's the scoop. The President will not allow Gonzo to resign because he doesn't want a new impartial attorney general telling him he's acted illegally and broken numberous international and national laws.
Gonzo won't take the initiative to resign because an impartial attorney general will nullify things like signing statements, torture policy, portions of the Patriot Act and make him look like the rubber stamp he really is. So we're stuck with him. I wish I could see a way around that fact but I can't.