Republican Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said that his recent heated exchange with Attorney General Eric Holder exposed Holder as a “partisan and extremely petty” individual and undermined Holder’s ability to defend the Obama administration on the IRS scandal in coming weeks.
“I know what it’s like to be in the heat of a very nasty conversation. I perhaps have been in those kinds of conversations more than our attorney general. And that’s why his comments were so childish and lame,” Gohmert told The Daily Caller in a conference call Tuesday night.
“You don’t want to go there, buddy! You don’t want to go there okay,” Holder snapped at Gohmert at a Judiciary Committee oversight hearing last week after Gohmert mentioned Holder’s 2012 contempt of Congress charge over the Fast and Furious scandal. Holder then spoke last week at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference, telling a black audience, “it had nothing to do with me. Forget that. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
“John Mitchell got treated much much worse than Eric Holder and he deserved it. He was even sent to prison and he still didn’t whine as much as this attorney general did and he didn’t go around calling people ‘buddy,’” said Gohmert.
“They need Eric Holder as attorney general to look completely above the fray, completely objective, for when they need him to go out and say there’s not a smidgeon of corruption in the IRS. [In last week's hearing] he exposed who he is and tried to come after who I am. He is not looking objective. He has shown himself to be quite partisan and extremely petty. They need him to appear credible when he isn’t.”
Gohmert acknowledged Holder’s claim that he wasn’t talking about race in his speech at Sharpton’s conference, but offered a general critique of one of modern liberalism’s favorite tactics.
“What I’ve seen in recent years is, many times, if someone uses the word racism then it is the word of last resort. We no longer have a proper defensible position, we no longer have a moral basis on which to stand so all we can do is yell racism or bigotry or gender-hatred…When you hear those kinds of things your ears better perk up and you should look for facts…[it often means] they have no basis, all they have left is to scream racism and bigotry,” Gohmert said.
Gohmert also dinged Holder’s “Good luck with your asparagus” put-down, which Holder made to Gohmert at last week’s hearing. Holder was referring to Gohmert’s “he’s casting aspersions on my asparagus” line to Holder at a contentious 2012 hearing, which the congressman used to settle tensions in the room but which, nevertheless, earned the lawmaker vicious mockery in the liberal media.
“That’s the best he had after a year? That was the best shot he had? ‘He’s casting aspersions on my asparagus’ was something attributed a number of times to Percy Foreman. Some people said he was one of the greatest trial lawyers of all time…So I used that line when Holder was being so snippy and nasty to me when all I was doing was trying to get documents. I’ve endured for a year the nasty attacks from the left about how incompetent I must be for using the term asparagus.”
Gohmert has been a strong advocate for getting answers on the IRS targeting scandal. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee recently voted to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt, while the Ways and Means committee sent a referral for criminal charges against Lerner to Holder’s Justice Department.