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Special Event

Women's Groups Stand Up for Ashcroft Appointment

Aired January 11, 2001 - 11:03 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go to Washington, D.C. This is where a group of women's groups are speaking in support of John Ashcroft as the next attorney general of the United States.

Let's listen in.

BEVERLY LAHAYE, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: It is his dedication to justice that has that brought him under vicious attack. Senator John Ashcroft has a bull's-eye drawn on him by liberal political groups whose heat-seeking missiles not only directed at him but at others who hold beliefs different than their own.

After eight years of enduring an attorney general who overlooks laws against obscenity, campaign finance abuses and national security violations, yet prosecutes White House travel office employees to free up jobs for friends of the president, we've learned how politicized this position can be.

Pro-life ladies who offer help to women considering abortion have been prosecuted by the full force of the Department of Justice for simply handing out pamphlets. Conservative groups have been investigated by the FBI and put on an enemies' list for not supporting abortion.

The office of attorney general has been driven by politics of the worst kind, used as a tool to punish people for their moral beliefs or lack of enthusiastic support for the previous administration.

Two points of contention that John Ashcroft is pro-life, and he believes a judge who sided with a murder and ignored the innocent victims should not be promoted to a higher office. These views are consistent in both cases. Ashcroft is on the side of protecting innocent life. In the case of the judge, it highlights how the worst threat of our system of law comes from within.

In 1991, Jimmy Johnson went on a killing spree in Missouri. In addition to three law enforcement officers, he murdered Pam Jones, the wife of Sheriff Kenny Jones. While this young mother of four held a Christian Women's Fellowship meeting at her own home with her little 8-year-old daughter sitting beside her, Johnson crept up to her window and shot her five times. He confessed to this killing and was convicted on four counts of murder, but later he appealed on the Missouri Supreme Court on the basis of a technicality and a miscarriage of justice. All but one of the justices found his plea absurd: Judge Ronnie White.

KAGAN: We've been listening -- this is Beverly Lahaye. She's with a group called Concerned Women for America, one of a number of women's groups speaking out this morning in support of the nomination of former Senator John Ashcroft as the next attorney general of the United States. We have been reporting in recent days a number of women's groups against the nomination, so once again showing you all women do not think alike.

And we'll be hearing from people who are against the nomination a little bit later in the newscast.

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