Gonzales on 'FOX & Friends'

The following is a transcript from FOX & Friends with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who urged support for Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers on Wednesday.

"FOX & Friends" Anchor E.D. HILL: Debate on both the left and right raging over the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has worked with the nominee for years and joins us now from Washington, D.C.

Good morning and thanks for being with us.

GONZALES: Good morning, E.D.

HILL: Tell us a bit more about Harriet Miers, because she is a person who's, sort of, come on the scene without any baggage, really, but also not the benefits that you sometimes see with other nominees where you can look at records. Is this a strength or a weakness in your eyes?

GONZALES: Well, I think we are about to enter into the confirmation process. And the American people and the Senate Judiciary Committee will have an opportunity to evaluate the qualifications of Harriet Miers.

I have known her for many years. She currently occupies my old position as counsel for the president. I know that in that position, you have to deal with complicated constitutional issues every day regarding the power of the presidency, the power of the Congress. And so I think she's uniquely qualified.

There's no question in my mind about the qualifications of this remarkable woman. And I think that after we have the opportunity for her to present her qualifications and answer questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the American public will reach the same conclusion that the president did in terms of deciding that she is the best choice for this vacancy at this time.

HILL: But if you haven't been sitting on the judicial bench or you haven't been arguing cases before the Supreme Court, there is a certain amount of get-you-up-to-speed work that has to be done. Is she sharp enough?

GONZALES: Well, there's no question in my mind that she's sharp enough. She's very intelligent. She's extremely hard working. She's extremely dedicated, a woman of very strong convictions. She will ensure that she is very well qualified to do the job as a Supreme Court justice.

HILL: The people on the wings of both parties are furious about this nomination and it seems because they don't know exactly where to pigeon-hole her. The right is concerned, the left is concerned. And the biggest criticism you hear is that she got the nomination because she's a close friend of the president's and that's it. Is that fair?

GONZALES: I don't think it's fair. And I don't think you should be disqualified from being considered for an important position simply because you have a relationship with the person making the decision about who to nominate.

You have to look first at a person's qualifications. And if you do that, you look at Harriet's record as a lawyer in Texas. She's been a trail-blazer for women. She has a remarkable record here in Washington, D.C. People that know her believe that she's a woman of strong convictions, a woman of discipline, a woman of integrity and character.

I also believe, most importantly, she understands what the proper role of a judge is in our system of government. She understands, she believes in judicial restraint. She will respect precedent as a judge.

And so for all these reasons, I think she is uniquely qualified to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

HILL: Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, of course, is probably the person who most famously came out in support of Harriet Miers, and that has caused a lot of concern for people in the president's own party. Should that automatically raise red flags?

GONZALES: I don't believe so. We obviously — we want to get as much support as we can in the Senate for every judicial nominee, and the objective, of course, is to get our nominees confirmed.

I've always found that it's dangerous to reach a conclusion or to make decisions based on imperfect information and for many of the critics and for those who are concerned about the nomination, that's where they're at right now. They don't have enough information to make an informed judgment. And that's what we're asking people to do is to wait, let the Senate Judiciary Committee do its job, give Ms. Miers an opportunity to present her qualifications to the American people.

HILL: Do you know where she stands on Roe v. Wade?

GONZALES: I don't know where she stands. First of all, we don't apply litmus tests. We don't ask for a person's personal views on abortion. And we don't ask how they're going to decide a particular case if that matter comes before them as a judge. It would be inappropriate.

I think the American public do not want their judges to come to a particular case having already decided the outcome. They want the judges to listen carefully to the arguments, to read the briefs, to discuss the case with their colleagues, to study the precedents. And taking all that information in their mind, to make an informed decision about what is a right outcome if a particular case.

So to answer your question, no, we don't ask that question.

HILL: A lot of people thought you might be the nominee. Are you disappointed?

GONZALES: I'm disappointed in the treatment that Ms. Miers is receiving is what I'm disappointed in. Because she is a remarkable woman. She's a good friend of mind. And I think that she deserves better treatment.

I think all of our nominees deserve better treatment. We ought to have a dignified process. And so that's what I'm disappointed about.

HILL: Well, that was a very graceful way not to answer the question, but I understand.

Thank you very much for joining us, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

GONZALES (search): Thanks, E.D.