October 30th, 2007
10:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama to oppose Mukasey confirmation

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said Tuesday he will vote against confirming Judge Michael Mukasey as the next attorney general.

In a statement released by the presidential candidate's Senate office, Obama strongly criticized Mukasey's performance during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"His testimony before the Senate was stunning," Obama said in the statement. “While his legal credentials are strong, his views on two critical and related matters are, in my view, disqualifying.

"We don't need another attorney general who believes that the president enjoys an unwritten right to secretly ignore any law or abridge our constitutional freedoms simply by invoking national security," Obama continued. "And we don't need another attorney general who looks the other way on issues as profound as torture."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Daniel, NY

    One way to quiet the netroots discontent with Obama that started this week-end over Social Security and McClurkin. Let's see if Obama manages to quiet the McClurkin affair as it is now threatening his campaign... Many in the base are all over this, Atrios even calling this the audacity of homophobia."

    October 30, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. charles,wichita,ks

    some positive stuff about obama, cnn!

    October 30, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. TR in Wallingford, CT

    Thank God Obama has the guts to take a stand against those who permit torture. I love my country and I want to say to anyone in the world, "My country doesn't torture." Right now, I cannot say that truthfully.

    Obama 08!

    October 30, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    I agree...waterboarding (simulated drowning) is torture, plain and simple. Even John McCain agrees that it is torture and we all know his history in Vietnam. Furthermore, the president isn't above the law in any way national security or not. I'm no expert in constitutional law and presidential powers but I'm slightly bothered by Mukasey's testimony regarding presidential powers. It is one thing to issue an excutive order to bypass congress when time is of importance. But only if that order does not run counter to a law already in the books, this includes FISA.
    Yes it is extremely important to have national security. However, to openly subvert a law that already prohibits phone tapping without a warrant is called breaking a law.

    October 30, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Rose Hillrose, Chicago, IL

    Here goes Mr "Audacity of Homophobia" again. He simply disagrees with people for the sake of being seen to stand differently and alone. This guy's ticked me off. I am 110% black but will rather vote for Hillary.

    October 30, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. Harvey, Tampa, FL

    If you oppose, how about suggesting an alternative? It's one thing to oppose (and it's easy), it's another to have solutions (much more difficult).

    October 30, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Jared


    Youre obviously uneducated and were going to vote for Hilary anyhow, so why act like he lost your vote? Youre from Chicago anyhow and we all know Illinois will be a landslide Obama state. So really... your vote is irrelevant anyhow.

    October 30, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Terry Tacoma, Wa

    Wow – rather interesting Obama you heard it "that" way. I seemed to recall Judge Mukasey as saying he DOESN'T support torture. I recall Judge Mukasey as saying he would RESIGN if the President asked him to approve, condone, or "look the other way" regarding any issue if unConstitutional.

    I guess, Barack, for an Attorney General to meet your definition of "acceptable" – the person would have to already filed for articles of impeachment and the only intent was to adopt YOUR view of all the issues??

    You're too naive for the big leagues, Barack. You're better off sitting on the bench watching the others compete.

    October 30, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Chuol Reat Edmoton, Alberta, Canada

    Yes Mr. Black, but your Voting for Hillary is your own choice, it has nothing to do with wether Barack support something that is not right for the people of United State Of America.

    I am not an American but I follow every move.

    And I hope some people will learn their greedy one day

    October 30, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Ron, TX

    Great to see Obama on the correct side, as always. I wonder when Clinton will make her decision? She was probably waiting for Obama to decide, and see how people reacted. That's just how she does business unfortunately. She'll play games with torture, play games with social security...

    Clinton says that Social Security is in jeopardy. But pressed in a recent debate on how to shore up the system's shaky finances, Clinton refused to offer any remedy. "I don't think I should be negotiating about what I would do as president," she said. "You know, I want to see what other people come to the table with."- LA Times Article, early October 2007

    Great job Barack!

    October 30, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. Ron, TX

    Terry from Tacoma, learn the issues better. Mukasey had to be asked the question twice before he got it right. The first time, he waivered and hinted that torture was ok...

    October 30, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Maeve

    Sorry Terry of Tacoma, but you need to do a little more reading on this topic. Both Republicans and Democrats have been asking Mukasey to clarify his position on water-boarding, as he vacilated on this during his nomination hearing. (He also seemed to endorse the idea that a president is allowed to act outside the bounds of the law in some instances related to national security. Supposedly, now some republicans are rethinking this idea, as the reality of a Democrat someday sitting in the Oval Office hits home.)

    October 30, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. jeff c

    It's not just about torture, Obama goes to the heart of the matter when he says "We don't need another attorney general who believes that the president enjoys an unwritten right to secretly ignore any law", as Mukasey maintained during confirmation hearings.

    I really have to wonder if all those who are now in favor of giving the president unlimited power above the law will be so happy with it in 2009 when the president is a Democrat.

    October 30, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Dim Sum, SF, CA

    Right on, Obama! It's about time the Dems got some backbone Maybe Mukasey should volunteer to be waterboarded and then see what he says about it. Enough of this goofball 'Heck of a job, Brownie!' administration.

    October 30, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Bob, Seattle, WA

    Mr. Obama is NOT an expert on torture. He is an expert on PANDERING. Very smooth.

    October 30, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    Nice. This guy really does want to gift wrap the nomination for Clinton.

    This guy just isn't ready for prime time.

    October 30, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    Horray for Sen Obama! No one should vote for this guy to be attorney general. He is a crony, just like Gonazales, who by the way, should be prosecuted along with Karl Rove for illegal firings of prosecuters and politicizing the Justice Corps. Rove outed Valerie Plame and should be in prison already.

    October 30, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. David, Dallas Tx

    "We don't need another attorney general who believes that the president enjoys an unwritten right to secretly ignore any law or abridge our constitutional freedoms simply by invoking national security," Obama continued. "And we don't need another attorney general who looks the other way on issues as profound as torture."

    Amen! Obama '08!!

    October 30, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. PollM, Dallas Tx

    Angered by Mukasey's Senate testimony last week in which the former federal judge and prosecutor floated a legal "theory" that the President of the United States could, indeed, stand above constitutional statutes, Dodd declared on Monday:"That is about as basic as it gets," Dodd said. "You must obey the law. Everyone must."

    Mukasey is worse than Gonzales.

    Vote him out:

    October 30, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. jason smith, oneonta, ny

    Obama is the ONLY truly independent candidate not beholden to special interests, and who has the cajones to speak the truth about what every "ordinary" American already knows, which is that we are not being represented. Bush, in his latest lame-duck move, continues to try to distort our democracy and turn it into an autocracy...or even dictatorship...and people in power don't even blink, congress apparently doesn't have enough votes from die-hard republicans, and hillary and rudy just fall in line....with ready-made excuses for later on....Rudy is already an embarrasment before even getting the nomination...Hillary is so ambitious, she could care less about anybody, and just wait until she gets the nomination all the attacks regarding her constant flip-flopping will be unending...

    Thank God at least one candidate refuses to turn away from the truth....AND can speak intelligently and with conviction about all subjects, foreign and domestic, no matter the right-wing mudslinging and fear-mongering....

    OBAMA 'O8!!!!!

    October 30, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Bob, NY, NY

    Another supporter who will cause problems soon for Obama is Charles Barron who is a member of the city council in NYC. He is a former Black Panther who has hosted leaders of countries where the civil rights violations have been the highest in the world according to the UN and who is known in many moderate circles in NY as a racist. Obama should denounce Barron's support for him and not participate in any rallies that Barron organizes.

    October 30, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I'm suprised there are so few comments on this story. This one is a big one.

    October 30, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Oscar, Rio Vista, CA 94571

    I hope the democrats stick together on this one and does not confirm Mukasay who is just another Bush brown-noser. I just couldn't believe the way he side-stepped all the important questions. He is no better than Gonzo. And all you people that would rather support the republican party than the country... beware. You are giving the president far too much power and one day big brother will really be watching you.

    October 30, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Dan, TX

    But Clinton can't be supporting Mukasey either, can she???????

    October 30, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Lance in Monrovia, CA.

    Obama is the only candidate that is speaking clearly and not talking out the corners of his mouth like Clinton and the Repubs. Obama is probably the best hope this country has. He singlehandedly brought ethics reform to the Senate, passed more bipartisan bills than Edwards and Hilary combined, and went from being a community organizer to what will be the first community organizer president.

    Obama 08!

    October 30, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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