Rumsfeld Says He Will Not Resign

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

( - Despite calls for his resignation and rumors that some are drafting an article of impeachment against him even as he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Friday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had a clear message for his critics: he will not resign.

"I've got my own view about people who want to call for your resignation before you speak, but I'll leave that to myself," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Rumsfeld.

Lindsey asked the defense secretary whether he believes he's able to carry out his duties in a bipartisan manner and also what he would say to those who are calling for his resignation.

"It's a fair question," Rumsfeld said, admitting that it's a question he's given a lot of thought to ever since "this firestorm has been raging."

The defense secretary said tough tasks lie ahead for the U.S. military and "if I felt I could not be effective, I'd resign in a minute." But, he said, "I would not resign simply because people try to make a political issue out of it."

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