Republican: Holder 'doesn't deserve to be attorney general'

A key House Republican on Friday said that Attorney General Eric Holder "doesn't deserve" to keep his job because of his handling of the failed Times Square bombing attempt.

House Homeland Security Committee ranking Republican Pete King (N.Y.) said that Holder's refusal to say that radical Islam motivated the alleged attacker, Faisal Shahzad, makes him an incapable attorney general.

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"An attorney general who eight and a half years after Sept. 11 does not realize our enemy is radical Islam is either so politically correct or so out of touch that he doesn't deserve to be attorney general," King said on Fox News. "I mean, this is why he wants to have the terror trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Lower Manhattan — he just doesn't get it."

Holder raised the ire of some members during a Judiciary Committee hearing about the attempt on Times Square. When asked if radical Islam inspired the attack, Holder said a "radical version of Islam" could have been one motivation, but that the final determination has to be made at the conclusion of the investigation.

President Barack Obama's attorney general has become a lightning rod of criticism for conservatives for nearly the entire administration. But Republicans have stepped up their criticism of Holder since the failed Christmas Day airline bombing attempt.

On the heels of that incident, Senate GOP conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) suggested that Holder resign.

King said that if Holder doesn't identify radical Islam as the primary threat to the U.S., "he's putting all Americans in danger."

King also harshly criticized Holder earlier this week. He said Sunday the attorney general is a "liberal ideologue" who doesn't want to back off from an intention to try KSM in civilian court.

King further said that he'd lost confidence in Holder, adding when pressed, "It wouldn't bother me if he stepped down."

This story was updated at 9:45 a.m.