WASHINGTON – Presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo has joined the growing chorus of lawmakers calling for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign — only not for the usual reason.
Unlike others criticizing Gonzales over the recent firing of eight U.S. attorneys, the Colorado Republican said the embattled attorney general should go because of "a series of leadership failures" — chiefly his handling of illegal immigration prosecutions.
"Gonzales' legacy at the (Justice Department) has been one of misplaced priorities, political miscalculation, and a failure to enforce the laws which he has sworn to uphold," Tancredo said in a statement Tuesday. "I think that it is time for him to move on."
Gonzales' job security has been in question in recent days as members of Congress from both parties have demanded to know whether the decision to fire prosecutors was a Bush administration purge to install political cronies in plum jobs.
Tancredo said that he doesn't believe Gonzales' handling of the prosecutors' firings alone warrants his dismissal, but "his total mishandling of the affair is simply the latest in a series of leadership failures at the Justice Department."
Tancredo faulted several Justice Department decisions dealing with border crimes, including the prosecution of two border patrol agents for shooting a Mexican drug smuggler and trying to cover it up.