Friday, November 10, 2006

GOP furious over Rumsfeld's resignation timing

Donald Rumsfeld's abrupt resignation from the Pentagon the day after Republicans lost both chambers of Congress has infuriated some GOP officials on and off Capitol Hill. Members and staff still reeling from Tuesday's rout are furious about the administration's decision to dump the controversial defense secretary one day after their historic loss, they said in a series of interviews about the election results.
President Bush announced Rumsfeld's resignation on Wednesday and named Bob Gates, a former CIA chief and president of Texas A&M University, as his replacement. "The White House said keeping the majority was a priority, but they failed to do the one thing that could have made a difference," one House GOP leadership aide said Thursday. "For them to toss Rumsfeld one day after the election was a slap in the face to everyone who worked hard to protect the majority."
Exit polling suggested that an overwhelming majority of voters disapproved of the administration's handling of the war in Iraq, and members and aides were frustrated with the timing of the announcement because an earlier resignation could have given them a boost on the campaign trail, they believe. "They did this to protect themselves, but they couldn't protect us?" another Republican aide said yesterday.

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