MANCHESTER (GOFFSTON), N.H.-- The GOP White House hopefuls debating Tuesday night will provide cover for President Bush if he decides to pardon Lewis "Scooter" Libby, sentenced earlier today to 30 months in prison in the CIA leak case. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine. He is appealing the sentence. All the major Republican presidential contenders were open to a pardon.
the frontrunners said:
John McCain said he wanted to first wait for the appeal to be heard.
Rudy Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, called the sentence "grossly excessive."
Mitt Romney said the prosecutor (he did not use his name--Chicago's Patrick Fitzgerald--abused his power and that he granted many pardons while Massachusetts governor.
Second tier Sam Brownback declared yes.