Attorney General John Ashcroft finds himself at odds with some fellow Republicans troubled by the extent of his anti-terrorism tactics and angered by his unwillingness to compromise, reports the Washington Post.
The rise of opposition within his own party could threaten Ashcroft’s bid to secure even greater powers for the Justice Department’s war on terrorism.
New Harris Poll numbers released this week also show Ashcroft’s overall popularity slipping below 50 percent for the first time this year, while the percentage of those who disapprove of his performance has climbed to nearly 40 percent.
The tumult has made Ashcroft a central issue in the Democratic presidential campaign, where candidates are turning to him and his terrorism policies as a sure-fire way to rally the party faithful. Democrats also hope that focusing on Ashcroft will raise doubts among undecided voters about the Bush administration’s tactics in the national security arena.