— -- Attorney General Eric Holder is challenging Republicans who are calling for his and President Obama's impeachment, and denouncing what he calls a "gridlocked Washington" stalled by what he says is a Republican Party bent on blocking any of the administration's efforts.
“For whatever reason, [some] Republicans decided early on that this was a president they were just simply not going to cooperate with,” Holder said in a rare interview with ABC News' Pierre Thomas. "And over the past five-and-a-half years, we have seen demonstrations of that, where the president has reached out his hand, offered compromises that have simply not been met [in the way] they have been in the past by a Republican Party willing to do the appropriate things."
Administration efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, for example, have failed. Asked about calls by Sarah Palin to impeach Obama over the administration’s immigration policies, Holder said: “She wasn't a particularly good vice presidential candidate. She's an even worse judge of who ought to be impeached and why.”
Holder similarly dismissed calls for himself to be impeached for declining to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS scandal. Holder insisted that a special prosecutor isn’t necessary, with “career people” and FBI agents “doing a good, professional job” investigating the matter.
As for House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against the administration over the Affordable Care Act, Holder said he doesn’t think “that lawsuit's going to have legs.”
“It's a more, I think, a political gesture than a truly legal one,” he said. “Filing a lawsuit against the president that has no basis is not going to improve the quality of life for the American people.”
In the wide-ranging interview for “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Holder spoke at length about race and discrimination in America, saying the country is in “a fundamentally better place than we were 50 years ago.”
“We've made lots of progress,” he said. “I sit here as the first African-American attorney general, serving the first African-American President of the United States. And that has to show that we have made a great deal of progress.