Watt's grandson steals spotlight at Holder hearing

Sara Fischer and Paul Courson, CNN
updated 6:32 PM EDT, Wed May 15, 2013

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic Congressmen Mel Watt brought his one-year-old grandson to Attorney General Eric Holder's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Watt was questioning Holder when the child became restless, and the open microphone carried the sound of a small voice throughout the hearing room, over the airwaves, and across the internet during coverage of the hearing.

Holder drew a few laughs from the crowd in response to the baby's appearance saying, "Mr. Watt you are only supposed to do that at your confirmation hearing. That's when you roll out the kids..."

Watt replied, "I am just trying to get my line of questions. I have been in the back listening. Nico says you have done a good job to this point."

The Congressman later clarified, noting the interest from the crowd, "Just for everybody's information, this is my grandson."

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte also acknowledged the baby before moving on saying, "And a very effective line of questioning, and particularly on the part of Nico. We're glad to have you both here"

Watt acknowledged he was trying to multi-task during the Holder hearing.

"I was babysitting," Watt told CNN in a phone call as the hearing continued, saying his wife Eulada and daughter-in-law Daisy were at a luncheon with the First Lady, and his son Brian was "3,000 miles away, they live in California."

"The babysitting fell to me, which was fine, as part of the responsibility parents and grandparents have," he said.

The congressman acknowledged some people thought it was disruptive, saying "I've been getting some ugly calls that I was demeaning the hearing, but I don't think so."

He said he didn't want too much attention paid to the complaints for fear of generating more.


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