Pelosi: Republicans Are Going After Holder As ‘Part of a Nationwide Scheme to Suppress the Vote’

Edwin Mora | June 22, 2012 | 6:16am EDT
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

( - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Thursday that Republicans plan to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress because they want to “suppress the vote.”

“What we have seen is the shameful display of abusive power by the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Instead of bringing job-creating legislation to the floor, the transportation bill, they are holding the attorney general of the United States in contempt of Congress for doing his job,” she said.

“It’s really important to note how this is connected with some of their other decisions. It is not an accident. It is no coincidence that the attorney general of the United States is the person responsible for making sure that voter suppression does not happen in our country…These very same people who are holding into contempt [the attorney general] are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote,” Pelosi said. “They’re closely allied with those who are suffocating the system, unlimited special interest secret money and they are poisoning the debate.”

“They’re going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states,” she later added.

Holder says requiring voters to present identification at the polling place suppresses the minority vote, and he is suing Texas and South Carolina over their voter ID laws.

Pelosi, defending the Obama administration, said she knows it “made every attempt to make every document available” to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The committee has voted to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas related to Operation Fast and Furious, an administration initiative that allowed two thousand guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and may have led to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.

Pelosi called it frivolous to invoke contempt of Congress. “To frivolously use that really important vehicle to undermine the person who is assigned to stop the voter suppression in our country -- I’m telling you this is connected. It is no accident. It is a decision and it is as clear as can be. Not only to monopolize his time. It’s to undermine his name. Undermine his name as he goes forward to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States.”

‘Offensive and wrong,’ ‘Planet Stupider’

Responding to Pelosi's remarks, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) aid, "The American people deserve the truth on what happened in Fast and Furious."

A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) chairman of the oversight committee, criticized Pelosi for her comments. "For minority leader Pelosi to dismiss this tragedy and say the investigation is really about voter suppression is offensive and wrong," said the spokesman, Frederick R. Hill.

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh said he “never dreamed” that Democrats would come up with such a stupid explanation for President Obama invoking executive privilege to deny Congress the documents it wants Holder to turn over:

“We need a new planet. We need a new planet called Stupider, and I need to put Nancy Pelosi on it as the mayor of the whole planet, as the governor, as the evil emperor, whatever,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “I knew yesterday that it would take a while for these people to come up with an explanation, ‘Well, it's common. Well, every president does it (invokes executive privilege). Well, this is just a witch hunt.’ 

“But I never dreamed, because I can't think this stupidly, I never dreamed that the official Democrat Party response would be that the Republicans intend to cheat in the election and Holder was gonna stop 'em, and so Holder has to be stopped because he was gonna stop the cheating.  That's what the mayor of the new planet Stupider, Nancy Pelosi, said this morning in Washington, D.C.  The very same people holding Holder in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote.”

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