Freshman Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) is trying to parlay an exchange with Attorney General Eric Holder at a recent congressional hearing into wider conservative fame.
Human Events, one of the tribunes of the conservative movement, wrote an admiring profile of Labrador this week that looked at his confrontation with Holder over the Fast and Furious gun-walking investigation at a Feb. 2 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Labrador boasted that he “clearly got under [Holder’s] skin” and “annoyed” him.
At the hearing, the Tea Party-endorsed back bencher addressed Holder in the manner of a prosecutor making a closing statement at a trial. Showing exhibits on a screen, Labrador launched into a long discussion of what he said showed a pattern of dishonesty by Holder.
But when Labrador tried to link then-Deputy Attorney General Holder’s role a decade ago in endorsing Bill Clinton’s pardon for fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich to the Fast and Furious-related death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, the soft-spoken Holder came as close to “exploding” as ever seen in public.
“Maybe this is how you do things in Idaho or wherever you’re from,” Holder said, dressing down Labrador for being disrespectful both of himself and the office of Attorney General.
The Human Events profiler suggested that Holder’s “wherever you’re from” comment had a racial overtone. Labrador is originally from Puerto Rico.
Labrador took the high road. “I’m going to let the American people judge his response,” he told the publication, while emphasizing that he thinks Holder should resign. “I didn’t think he was fit to be attorney general of the United States,” Labrador said.
Labrador is also calling for the Republican presidential candidates to address the Fast and Furious gun-walking investigation during a televised debate tomorrow. He marveled that a question about it had been asked in only one of 18 debates, blaming what he called a pro-Obama news media.
“If this were a Republican administration, this would be on the top of the news every single night until there were answers or until … heads rolled,” the lawmaker told the magazine.