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McConnell Votes in Favor of Ashcroft Nomination

Aired January 30, 2001 - 5:09 p.m. ET

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

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There you see Mitch McConnell, a Republican, who, of course, as all 50 Republicans in the Senate, will vote in favor of Ashcroft. Let's hear what McConnell has to say.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: For example, our former colleague Senator Moynihan stated that John, "will be a superb attorney general." And our current colleague, Senator Torricelli, who knew of John's skill and character from their service together on this committee, stated that, "while I have obvious philosophical differences with John, his ability and integrity simply can't be questioned."

Now, despite John's experience and dedication to duty, I've heard a lot of people say he's unfit to be attorney general because of his strong and abiding faith in God, his firm belief in law and order, and his commitment to the Constitution, even when that commitment is at odds with those unbiased legal scholars on the editorial board of the "New York Times."

Far from disqualifying him from public service, however, these qualities only enforce my belief that he'll ably serve as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. This committee would serve the nation by recommending his confirmation, and I certainly hope that's what it will do.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: Senator McConnell, we appreciate it. Senator Durbin, we turn to you.

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you, Senator Hatch, and Senator Leahy and thank you for the good, fair, and complete hearing; I think both sides had all the witnesses that they asked for...

KARL: And there's Senator Durbin on the Democratic side of the committee. Again, Durbin will be voting against Ashcroft.

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