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Is Gonzales a Diversion?

"GONZALES: Obviously, I think there were mistakes made here. I think that part of the problem is we don't have --

"O'BRIEN: I was asking -- that 'mistakes made,' that's passive. The question is, how did you do your job? Do you feel you did a good job?

"GONZALES: I think that I did make some mistakes and we'll going to take steps to ensure that doesn't happen again. But, ultimately, I work for the American people and I serve at the pleasure of the United States and he'll decide if I continue to serve as attorney general. . . .

"O'BRIEN: Mr. Attorney General, do you feel it's time for you to step down?

"GONZALES: That will be a decision for the president of the United States to make. I think if you look at the record of the department --

"O'BRIEN: But should you offer your resignation? Is it time for you to offer your resignation?

"GONZALES: It's the decision of the president of the United States to make. I'll be focused on identifying what went wrong here and correcting those mistakes, and focused on the good for the American people.

"O'BRIEN: The decision to offer your resignation is yours, is it not?

"GONZALES: I'm focused on doing my job."

NBC's Matt Lauer and CBS's Harry Smith weren't able to move Gonzales off his talking points even that much.

The Coverage

Dan Eggen and Paul Kane write in The Washington Post: "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales took responsibility yesterday for 'mistakes' related to the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year but rejected calls for his resignation from Democrats who accuse him of misleading Congress.

"'I acknowledge that mistakes were made here. I accept that responsibility,' Gonzales said. He said he did not know the details of the plan to fire the prosecutors, but he defended the dismissals: 'I stand by the decision, and I think it was a right decision.' . . .

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