Attorney General Eric Holder has been too outspoken about the not guilty verdict recently handed down in the George Zimmerman trial, former GOP strategist Karl Rove told Fox News Wednesday.
"He has a responsibility to calm the situation, not pour gasoline on these smoldering fires, which I think is exactly what he's done," Rove told "On The Record" host Greta Van Susteren. "Unfortunate for him -- importantly, unfortunate for the country."
A jury in Florida recently acquitted Zimmerman in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Rove said that Holder has spent too much time recently talking to African-American groups about the controversial verdict.
"Two days ago he went to an African-American sorority that was meeting in Washington and said, 'I share your concerns about the outcome of the case.' This is chief law enforcement officer [sic], the officer of the court, the ultimate court," Rove said. "This looks political, this looks like they're stretching it, this looks like they want to go get this guy after a jury found him not guilty. It does not leave a good impression."
Holder spoke at a NAACP conference in Miami on Tuesday and at a Delta Sigma Theta sorority luncheon in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
"The Justice Department shares your concern -- I share your concern -- and, as we first acknowledged last spring, we have opened an investigation into the matter," Holder said at the luncheon, speaking of his department's plans to investigate potential civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
Rove also criticized Holder, suggesting the Department of Justice was being overzealous in its examination of the Zimmerman case.
"In a normal, ordinary case, the local law enforcement would ask for comments, and it would ask for information from eyewitnesses, tip lines" earlier in the judicial process, Rove said. "It looks like they want to go get this guy after a jury found him not guilty."