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“It seemed clear to just about everyone on the committee that the attorney general was deceiving us … and this memo is even more evidence that helps confirm our suspicions,” Mr. Schumer said.

A Gonzales spokesman maintained yesterday that his boss stands by his testimony.

Rebutting Gravel

Al From, chief executive officer of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), yesterday dismissed as “crazy” an accusation from White House hopeful Mike Gravel that his organization “sold out” the Democratic Party.

Mr. From, speaking about politics with reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, was asked about Mr. Gravel’s comment during Monday’s Democratic debate. The former senator from Alaska said: “The Democratic Party used to stand for the ordinary working man. But the Clintons and the DLC sold out the Democratic Party to Wall Street.”

“It probably doesn’t even need a response,” Mr. From said, citing what he called the Clinton administration’s achievements, including creating new jobs and reducing poverty and crime.

DLC President Bruce Reed predicted Democrats will do well in the 2008 elections and gain more congressional seats, brushing aside questions about low approval ratings for Capitol Hill Democrats. Voters understand President Bush sets the agenda and Congress “does its best” to “limit the damage,” he said.

“George Bush is handing us our Hoover moment, but we’ll only build a lasting majority if we put in place and carry out an agenda that works,” Mr. Reed said.

Mr. From, who backed Bill Clinton for president in the 1992 Democratic race, had kind words for current Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as well, reports Christina Bellantoni of The Washington Times.

Without naming names, Mr. From said he’s heard privately from Southern governors who believe the New York Democrat and former first lady would be the strongest candidate who could win a general election in Southern states.

Biden vs. ‘baby’

In Monday’s Democratic presidential debate, one of the questioners who submitted his video question via was Jered Townsend of Clio, Mich., who asked whether the candidates would protect his “baby” — a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

In response, Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. shook his head and said: “I’ll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help. … I don’t know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun.”

“I just laughed when he said that,” Mr. Townsend told David Weigel in an interview on Reason magazine’s Web site ( Mr. Biden “made himself look stupid.”

Mr. Biden “totally did not answer” the question about Second Amendment rights and the now-expired federal ban on certain semi-automatic weapons, Mr. Townsend said. “He took the fastest and easiest way to blow it off that he could find.”

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