Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. attorney for New York, Rudy Giuliani said that he thinks Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should get the “benefit of the doubt” pertaining to his role in the daily growing U.S. attorney scandal. “The president has addressed it,” Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, said. “The attorney general’s an honorable man. He’s a decent man. He should be given a chance to explain and everybody should sort of give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him to explain.” However Republicans and Democrats alike appear to be in no mood to hear what Gonzales has to say. Members of both political parties have called for his resignation over the past week.

Giuliani wouldn’t say if he thought that anyone acted improperly. “That’s what these inquires are going to be about, right, to determine that.” This is a very good point. There is no need to be proclaiming anyone guilty or innocent at this stage. The important thing is that both congressional committees have access to all the witnesses and information that they need to carry out their investigations. Giuliani has regularly held a double digit lead over fellow challengers John McCain and Mitt Romney. However saying that Gonzales should get the benefit of the doubt may play well to the party base, but this might strike a sour note with conservative Democrats and Independents.

Interestingly, Giuliani seems to have the same type of problem in the Republican Party that Hillary Clinton is having with the Democrats. Rudy needs to prove to the bread and butter social conservative base that he is a mainstream Republican, and a person who they could fill comfortable voting for. Hillary Clinton needs to prove to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party that she is one of them too. To me, remarks like the one he made supporting Gonzales is just an attempt to gain a sort of street credibility with the party base. Supporting Gonzales probably won’t hurt Rudy that much, but this should serve as a warning sign to those who would cross over and vote for him next year, that Rudy isn’t much different from the typical pro-Bush Republicans that are in power right now.

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse  

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