Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales brushed aside the criticism he has received since getting his job at Texas Tech University in an interview with Texas Lawyer published today. See the video of the interview here.
Texas Tech hired Gonzales last month to teach a political science course and help recruit minority students. Several professors at the university are protesting their new colleague’s one-year, $100,000 contract. They said Gonzales shouldn’t have been hired because of scandals like the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge, which occurred when he was Attorney General from 2005 to 2007.
“I think at the end of the year … they’re going to see that my presence here has been a net plus to the university and a net benefit to the students,” Gonzales told Texas Lawyer.
He added, “I was told that [former Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight] was protested as well. My reaction to that is I’m in damn good company if they’re protesting Bobby Knight and me.”
The former Attorney General also defended the firing of the nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006. He said presidents routinely ask U.S. Attorneys to resign.
“Of course, President Clinton fired them all, all 93 when he became president,” Gonzales told Texas Lawyer. “People say, “Well, that was different.” Well, why was that different? Let me just say that some people say it was wrong to fire them because it might interrupt ongoing important cases. Well, if you fire all 93 U.S. Attorneys at the same time, why isn’t there the same concern that you’re going to interrupt ongoing very important cases?”
Texas Lawyer later asked Gonzales if he is a Bush loyalist.
Gonzales: “When did that become a bad thing?”
Texas Lawyer: “It’s not a bad thing.”
Gonzales: “OK, so what’s your question?”
Gonzales added: “Look, someone like an Attorney General wears two hats. You’re a member of the president’s team; you’re on his Cabinet. You have an obligation to promote the president’s law enforcement policies and priorities.”
Well, if Gonzales wants to get away from those who don’t support his Bush loyalism, there’s always the local Target.
” … I’m out at Target at 9 o’clock getting all kinds of things for an apartment, and a number of people came up to me and introduced themselves and told me how pleased they were that I was coming and welcoming me to the Lubbock community,” he told Texas Lawyer. “It’s very friendly, and it’s very open, and, as I’ve said, it’s a very fair-minded community.”
The former Attorney General also did an interview with The New York Times earlier this month. Read our report on it here.