As pressure continues to mount on Attorney General Eric Holder for his role in a plot to arm Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel to support the 90-percent lie, Republican presidential contenders are finally being asked about their position on the scandal.
Michele Bachmann told reporters after a town hall meeting Monday morning that if the facts are as they seem, the attorney general must step down:
“This is an extremely serious set of facts that we’re looking at,” Bachmann said when The Daily Caller asked if Holder should resign.
“There needs to be a full investigation. And surely he should resign … if the facts prove to be what they appear to be.”
Bachmann became the first Republican presidential hopeful to call for Holder to potentially step down. GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, also campaigning Monday, was asked whether he would call upon Holder to resign over the gun-walking scandal. He dodged the “yes-or-no” question for a painful 35 seconds:
“Governor, should Eric Holder resign over ‘Fast and Furious’? That’s a yes-or-no question, governor.”
After Romney initially ignored the question, The Daily Caller asked it a second time.
Romney wheeled around, took a break from shaking hands, signing autographs and answering voters’ questions, and took 35 seconds to explain why he wouldn’t answer the yes-or-no question.
“I do press [availabilities] and then I answer questions, that are important questions, in the length that I want to do,” Romney said. “But what I don’t do is in a group like this is stop and rattle off questions to people just as we walk along.”
“So that way,” he continued, “you don’t get the chance to hear the full answer that I’d like to give. So those are important questions. I’ll be happy to address them in a press avail or at the town meeting. But in these events, at events like this I don’t take press questions, because it doesn’t give you or me the chance to have a full discussion of the topic, when particularly it’s an important one like that.”
Romney and Bachmann, along with the other GOP hopefuls, will participate in the 90-minute Washington Post/Bloomberg debate tonight in New Hampshire. The furor over Operation and Fast and Furious and other alleged gunwalking operations has escalated significantly since the last Republican debate, and tonight may offer the first chance to see the candidates forced to answer questions about the plot, the administration’s attempts to stonewall the investigation, and whether or not Attorney General Holder should resign.
Herman Cain, the long-shot turned first-tier candidate, seems to have the most to gain or lose with his opinion on the scandal. Cain’s position on gun rights has been described as “soft” and a weak point in the conservative businessman’s base appeal. Texas Governor Rick Perry, another top tier candidate, would be expected to take a strong stance, and should be good for a soundbite should the question come about during the debate.