By Ed Pilkington
Eric Holder, the US attorney general, has accused some of the Obama administration’s conservative opponents of being motivated by “racial animus”, suggesting that both he and President Obama are treated differently because they are black.
In unusually candid terms, Holder said that visceral criticism – including calls for impeachment of both the president and Holder, and Tea Party warnings about the direction of the country – were in part racially motivated. “There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president. You know, people talking about taking their country back.”
He added: “There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”
Holder made his comments in a wide-ranging interview with ABC News. Though he did not name any particular individual or group for such racially motivated hostility, he did talk about Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008 and a Tea Party favourite, who has called for Obama to be impeached. “She wasn’t a particularly good vice-presidential candidate. She’s an even worse judge of who ought to be impeached and why,” he said.