(CNN) - Rep. Xavier Becerra, President-elect Barack Obama's choice for U.S. trade representative, pulled himself out of the running Tuesday.
In a statement released by his office, the California Democrat said he's more interested in working alongside Obama from his seat in the Congress.
"I am grateful for that privilege and now see a rare opportunity to push across the goal line much of the unfinished business of America: investing in our infrastructure and our workers, universal healthcare, comprehensive immigration reform, and scrubbing a tax code that’s out of shape and behind the times," he said in the statement.
“Working for and with incoming President Barack Obama would be an opportunity of a lifetime. I will get to experience that thrill… by working by his side in the People’s House just down the street from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Democratic sources told CNN earlier this week that Obama had formally offered Becerra the position.
But Becerra told La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper, that he felt trade would not be a major focus in the Obama administration.
"I came to the conclusion that it would not be priority No. 1, and perhaps, not even priority No. 2 or 3," he told the paper Tuesday.
Becerra, whose district includes much of Los Angeles, is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He was also recently elected vice-chair of the House Democratic caucus.
If Bacerra turned the offer down, he should just shut up & continue his life in congress. He does not look like someone should be offered top priority job anyway. Who is Bacerra anyway. Overestimation of his own importance shines through. I am sure Bacerra would like to be THE secretart if energy or VP. LOL.
Obama needs to choose someone who understands the need to renegotiate trsde agreements to specify that imports to the US meet our health & safety standards and rthat imports pay the cost of adequate US inspection.
oh my god. a dumocrat not wanting to do as high and mighty dumcrat wants. he should be keel huled.
"Do as your President says he needs you to do and ask questions later."
That's how Bush handled things, it's not what we need now.
And Mesa Mick....his name is Richardson, but he is still Latino. He was talking to his folks. No harm there.
lol. So he's too good for the job??
P.S. Any economist knows that trade is, always has been, and always will be an important factor in any administration. Becerra's just angry the position doesn't have as much camera time. Boo hoo.
I'm glad he said no......I wouldn't what to be a part of Obama's administration either. You think Bush's was bad, just wait and see how the next four years play out. I guess Obama is not as well liked as he thought!!
( To the reviewer – not a duplicate comment).
B F D
I guess he's trying ot make a name for himself for political purposes obviously. I can hear him saying it now, "I'm the only representative who refused a position in the administration."
The only bad choice Obama has made so far.
why would "trade" be number 1??
wouldnt it be the Economy, Energy Policy and National Security?
All these items are heavily dependent on trade!
But why would Obama offer the position if he didnt KNOW FOR SURE the guy would take it?? obviously the guy changed his mind!
don't worry B J Penn......you won't get the call
thats right cnn block my comments. see if i talked the type of rhetoric and crap night after night like sean hannity, neal [nazi] boortz or rushsheeda limpbraugh the secret service and the F.B.I. would be knocking down my door. block my comments out you haters. WHATS THE MATTER ; THE TRUTH HURTS?
All i got to say is that latinos are racist people too, and those people don't even like AA's anyway.
Someone dared to refuse Obama...
This is news? Ya gotta do better than this, CNN!
Saying "no" is one thing. Saying no because you don't think you'll get enough glory from it? Lame!
""I came to the conclusion that it would not be priority No. 1, and perhaps, not even priority No. 2 or 3,"
Right. So managing trade is not more important than preventing terrorism, heading off wars, or repairing the economy. That makes it only...INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!
Thank God we won't have this loser taking care of it; Barack, please find an adult for this job.
What does he have to hide?
Good for him!
This headline using the word "reject" makes it sounds like he is against Obama in some way. After reading the article, in no way does this person "reject" Obama, but he wants to keep his seat in Congress. Why do you use the nasty headline-grabbing words to lure people in, only to then print a perfectly innocuous story about this man who appears to like Obama very much, but simply chooses to keep his current job, which he likes very much also. But "saying NO to Obama" just gets you more interest, doesn't it??
CK in Virginia – You wish!!!
I don't know this Becerra guy's reputation, credentials or what actually motivaes him, but he is making the right choice. It will be a long time before the US has need of a trade representative. All nations of the world, including China are pulling back on trade, not expanding it in times of economic collapse. And we all know the situation is only going to worsen into a depression. So let Becerra do as he proposes and give the job to someone else.
M, you have a distorted view of us liberals. Many of us do not in our right minds take the problems of this country lightly. There is a world of a difference between between overconfidence and hopefulness.
Maybe he should pick Caroline, rumor is she wants to be involved all of a sudden.