In an effort to shore up their border security cred before tonight’s debate, Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman called today for the resignation of Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder over his handling of the disastrous Operation Fast & Furious scandal.
Writing in an op-ed for the Washington Times today, Perry accused Holder of lacking “candor” in his Congressional testimony regarding the Fast & Furious program, which allowed more than 2,000 guns to walk across the border into the hands of Mexico’s brutal drug cartels. The guns have since been found at violent crime scenes on both sides of the border, including the site of the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
Perry adds that if Holder doesn’t resign, Obama should fire him. From the op-ed:
“Either he is guilty of extraordinary bureaucratic incompetence or he is guilty of a cover-up meant to shield him from the consequences of an operation that has left at least one federal agent dead and continues to imperil many more…Under the attorney general’s leadership, our nation’s top law enforcement agency proactively armed some of the most dangerous criminal organisations in North America, and at least one American is dead as a direct result. The damage done to Mr. Holder’s credibility is irreparable.”
The op-ed is an indication of how Perry plans on handling questions about the Southern border tonight. After coming under fire for his relatively moderate immigration policies, Perry is clearly trying turn the conversation about border issues to national security, rather than illegal immigration.
Huntsman’s critique of Holder was slightly more measured, and focused on the effect that the Fast & Furious scandal has had on U.S.-Mexico relations. The former Utah Governor told the Daily Caller that we should “reserve judgment” on Holder until the investigations are over, but that the “trust deficit may be irreparable” without Holder’s resignation.
Huntsman and Perry join 52 members of Congress, including presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, in calling for Holder’s resignation.
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