The inability to enact new gun safety laws after the
"The gun lobby simply won, you know?" Holder said in an interview with
Holder has called his visit to the site of the December 2012 massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators the worst day he had in office. In the aftermath of the shooting, President
The shooting spurred an effort in the Senate to enact new, stricter gun laws, particularly a broader requirement for background checks for gun purchases proposed by Democratic Sen.
In part because of opposition from the
A group of Democrats led by Sen.
In the interview, Holder was asked if the United States was "a nation of cowards" when it comes to guns, a reference to a statement he made in 2009 that the U.S. was a nation of cowards when it came to discussing race relations.
"I don't think we are a nation of cowards. But I think that members of
In the interview, Holder downplayed what has been a largely hostile relationship with Republicans, calling his dealings with Congress "interesting" and claiming they had accomplished some things.
The nation has made "remarkable progress" on racial equality, he said, but he added that it was "extremely worrisome" that new restrictions on voting have been adopted 50 years after the Voting Rights Act.
"There have certainly been hits that the civil rights movement has taken, but nothing that I think can't ultimately be overcome," he said.
Holder will step down as attorney general upon confirmation of his successor. After a well-reviewed appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Obama's nominee to replace him, Loretta Lynch, appears on track to be approved by March.