PHILADELPHIA, July 26 — Guests of President Bush aboard Air Force One generally know that he expects them to behave in a certain way: No showboating or mingling with the on-board press corps and, certainly, no criticizing the commander in chief or his team.
Senator Arlen Specter violated both points of decorum on Thursday. He visited with reporters aboard the presidential airplane before it lifted off for Philadelphia and lambasted the attorney general....
According to a pool report of the encounter, Mr. Specter expressed anew his criticism of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales but said he saw no signs that Mr. Gonzales would be forced to resign. Mr. Specter attributed Mr. Gonzales’s job security to Mr. Bush’s “personal loyalty” to him.
Mr. Specter spoke derisively of Mr. Gonzales’s appearance Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee ... “Our hearing two days ago was devastating,” Mr. Specter said. “But so was the hearing before that, and so was the hearing before that.”
Mr. Specter also waded into another uncomfortable subject, the Congressional demands for testimony from Karl Rove, the presidential adviser, and Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, among others.
He said that while he hoped “to reach an accommodation” with the White House, “I don’t see it now.” ...
White House officials seemed none too pleased with Mr. Specter’s remarks, but had no comment, either.
Friday, July 27, 2007
New York Times: By JIM RUTENBERG