ABC’s Jon Garcia blogs:
Standing by your friend might be hard. Standing by your Attorney General might be harder. But what happens when they are one in the same? President Bush, who has stood by his buddy Alberto Gonzales since he began taking fire weeks ago for his firing of 8 US attorneys, is still standing by him and, for today at least, the AG is safe.
Bush made that clear again today when he told reporters in the Oval Office, "The hearings went forward, it was clear that the Attorney General broke no law, did no wrongdoing. And some senators didn’t like his explanation, but he answered as honestly as he could. This is an honest, honorable man, in whom I have confidence."
But that didn’t stop the barrage of questions hurled at Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino — and defending 60+ "I don’t recalls" is pretty hard too. Bush had told the AG that “he had work to do” up on the Hill to mend fences. Now, after Gonzales’ testimony resulted in Republican stalwarts like Lindsey Graham & Arlen Specter coming down like a ton of bricks on him, Perino insists the President still thinks that the AG “did the work he needed to do.”
Perino seemed to tell us that the Republican backlash might signal something good for the administration: “We have strong, good relationships with our allies on Capitol Hill. And when you have relationships like that, you can have the opportunity to respectfully disagree with them. And I think that what the Attorney General did is answer to the best of his ability.”
And, after repeating for the umpteenth time that the President has “full confidence” in his attorney general, Perino had to defend their personal relationship too. Asked if Bush could look past his personal relationship with the AG to be objective, she jumped on the answer: “Yes, I think that he can. I think that you have to.” So, for now, the AG is safe.