Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert told The Daily Caller he thinks President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder both owe Mexican President Felipe Calderón a phone call apologizing for Operation Fast and Furious.
“Absolutely, he [Obama] should apologize to Mexico,” Gohmert said in a phone interview Monday. “But in this case it’s not only the president, but Attorney General Holder should [also] be apologizing.”
“This was on his watch, it was his responsibility,” Gohmert added, “and even though he continues to refuse to take responsibility, Attorney General Holder, obviously he’s not going to do an honorable thing like President Bush’s attorney general — [Alberto] Gonzales — did when he tendered his resignation, and apparently is just going to try to stick it out until the end.”
“So, if he’s going to stick it out until the end and not do the honorable thing, to resign, then the least he can do is apologize to the families of those that his negligence as the Attorney General — the person in charge of Justice — has allowed to happen to their loved ones.”
Neither Obama nor Holder has apologized to the Mexican government, or to the Mexican people, for the deaths of roughly 300 Mexican nationals murdered with weapons the Justice Department sent across the border as part of Operation Fast and Furious. When TheDC asked White House spokesman Eric Schultz why Obama hasn’t made an apology phone call to Calderón, he did not answer.
Similarly, a spokesperson for Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did not answer whether she thinks Obama should apologize to Calderón. (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)
Last week, Gohmert gave a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives criticizing the president for certain apologies he has made and others he has failed to make. “I thought maybe it would be helpful to track exactly what deserves apology and what doesn’t,” Gohmert said during the floor speech.
Gohmert, one of the 120 House members who have demanded Holder’s ouster over Fast and Furious, said it would not be difficult for Obama to pick up the phone and apologize to Calderón.
“Well, of course not,” Gohmert told TheDC. “If he’s got time to call somebody about their birth control, you would think that he would find time to call somebody about a couple hundred … of their citizens being killed because we sent guns to the drug cartels.”
The identities of the hundreds of Mexican citizens killed with Fast and Furious-linked weapons remain unknown. While Gohmert said it’s not possible for Obama and Holder to track down the victims’ families and apologize, he insisted that the president and the attorney general owe Calderón an apology.
“He [Obama] at least owes a call to the leader of Mexico to let them know how terribly sorry he is,” Gohmert said. “There are so many people who have been killed with Fast and Furious guns, from what we’ve seen reported, that I don’t know if he’ll have time to call the family of everyone who has been killed as a result of this Department of Justice program.”
“But he can certainly call the leader of the country, for sure, and apologize.”
Operation Fast and Furious, which was organized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and overseen by the Department of Justice, sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via “straw purchasers” who legally bought guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else. This tactic is known as “gunwalking.”
In addition to hundreds of Mexican nationals, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered with a gun sent to Mexico as part of the ill-fated program. Allegations have also surfaced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata was also murdered with Fast and Furious weapons.