At least two Republicans in the U.S. Senate say they’re considering voting against President Bush’s nominee for Attorney General, based on his lack of stated opinions on whether "waterboarding" should be considered torture.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s convinced Michael Mukasey is the right man for the job and would accomplish the goals of running the department the way it needs to be run — independent of politics.
"The new attorney general has satisfied all Democrats that that’s what he can do and will do and been very candid about it and answered almost every question that could be done," Grassley says. Mukasey has refused to specifically say whether he thinks waterboarding is legal, which has pushed Senator John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate and former P-O-W, to say it’s the key issue for him in the nomination vote.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, also says he may oppose Mukasey’s nomination if the former judge says waterboarding is not torture. Grassley says he’s ready to vote on Mukasey right now, without knowing his stance on the issue.Grassley says: "It’s kind of a question of how perfect do you have to be to be a perfect attorney general? Nobody’s perfect. No one Republican appointee could satisfy all 51 Democrat senators on everything or you’d never get anybody approved through the United States Senate for any position what so ever."
Grassley met with Mukasey one-on-one before the Judiciary Committee hearings and says he’s already heard all from Mukasey he needs to hear. Grassley says: "We ought to move forward. I will vote for the nomination and get him in place so that he could do what the Democrats are asking that the attorney general do, what they have traditionally done, do the job and keep the morale of the department high."