December 17th, 2008
11:11 AM ET
9 years ago

Becerra says no to Obama

Becerra is staying in the Congress.

Becerra is staying in the Congress.

(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.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. UYI


    December 17, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Larry

    This guy ain't no fool,he plans on being around after 2012–vary smart !!

    December 17, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Tony

    Maybe he just wants to keep voting "Present" and getting paid.

    December 17, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Ajaye

    @ BJ Penn...Trust us all, the only cabinet position you will be offered is the Medicine cabinet...Go take a pill!!

    December 17, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Venia

    To those on this and other blogs criticizing Obama when he hasn't even taken office yet, let's be honest and call a spade a spade – you don't like Obama either because you are a racist or you are a closed minded right wing fanatic with a cave man mentality. Bush has ruined this country to the point where rethuglicans can't even defend him any longer and yet you morons haven't even given Obama a chance and criticize him. RETHUGLICANS have ruined your country and you can think yourselves for that.

    December 17, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. ET from Omaha

    He is not qualified period or he has something in his closet.
    Who is he to say no to such an offer? You make me lough on this blog. Who doesn't like pay increase or being on the national scene?
    Even Jo the Stupid Plumber knows that.

    December 17, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. To Karen

    Grow-up. You libs think it's hilarious when ANY conservative suffers ANY defamation, whether real or simply 'processed', but throw a fit when the tables are turned. Again, Grow up!

    December 17, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. mw

    So what he said "NO". He probably knows he's got crap in his backpack and it will make it out of the bag. Understand this folks, whoever is asked to be in this administration is getting checked out from top to bottom.

    You know why I really think folks are hating on Barack? Here is a good looking, tall, intelligent, “not angry” Black MAN who is charismatic and appealing to a vast majority. He is articulate, has a good looking wife and family. He excels at whatever he does, can adjust and think on his feet. Can strategize, compete, and out think some of the so called best. Oh and shall I say it again, he’s a Black Man. I have no idea why some are so surprised. This type has been around for ages. Music, inventions were not due to the white European race. So many ideas were stolen from Black Americans it’s ridiculous. The history books in our schools really do not tell the whole story. Let’s keep it real. The minority of folks who are not happy with Barack are simply not happy because INSPITE of all the bull and road blocks that were attempted he prevailed and very nicely I might add.

    I say, I am really proud to be an American for the first time in my adult life!

    December 17, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Mike, Syracuse NY

    fefe, Why is it that just because he turned down Obama, he's automatically a racist. The only one playing the race card is YOU.

    December 17, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. RinFL

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. What's the deal with all the Just you wait and see, things will be bad going to go from bad to worse, all you stupid liberals you just don't understand WAAAAAAAAAAAAA and you you kids better get off of my lawn before I call the cops. Do you know who I am rant, rant, rant, adnauseum. You People Kill ME.

    December 17, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. To the time has come:

    Very funny the way you call the poster a fool, yet continually add an e to "wait". Keep talking...your picture is coming in loud and clear.

    December 17, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Tony

    Obama likes to pick people from the Chicago area. The mayor of Chicago is going to be out of a job soon. All Obama has to do is pardon him and then place him in this position. After all the guy does have experience in wheeling and dealing.

    December 17, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Peter

    I think you have to deny him three times...

    December 17, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. s

    It's more to it than him wanting to stay in Congress.

    December 17, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Commandment

    Who dares to say no to Obama, it is like disobedience to God or His commandments. Obama knows better the consequences of disobeying the Ten Commandments, as he is a Christian and a regular churchgoer.

    December 17, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. cheeze

    obama is a scumbag therefore i would so no also

    December 17, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Marta

    What I think is that Obama has ignored Latinos, and therefore they may be a little sore about it. Well, I am Latino myself and I totally understand Becerra's position; Obama owes Latino vote a lot, or may be EVERYTHING. He should have given Latino people better positions in his government.

    It is a matter of choosing the best for the country, and for yourself, too and it has nothing to do with personal ambition or having something to hide.

    December 17, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Carl from MI

    Not everyone gets to be a key player in the Obama Administration. It's his choice if he doesn't want to play a role in it. I'm sure he's not the first person EVER to turn down a position in an administration. Hard to imagine that this guy might even LIKE his job being an elected representative of the people, more than he'd like working at the White House.

    It has nothing to do with, " Someone said no to Obama! Don't you get to go to hell for denying the Messiah." Like my moron friend Andy just said.

    Andy: You're on the wrong website!! You need to go where things are more FAIR & BALANCED over at FIXed NEWS where you'll be welcomed with open arms and closed minds!!

    December 17, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. M

    John, I used to be a liberal and used to have hope. Unfortunately, I do not believe in fairy tales anymore. You see, I fled Africa and its "liberators". They used to tell us there: Democracy, unity, liberation blah-blah-blah! And some unskilled power-hungry maniac would come to power, after he convinced the West and the rest of the people that he brings HOPE. I am not saying Obama is that extreme, I am just saying HOPE is not enough to fix the challenges that we face, we need skill also. But hey, whatever.

    December 17, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Amanda

    This is still a free country and we are still allowed to say "NO". He chose to say "NO" for whatever reason. Trust me, President-Elect Obama won't be in a corner crying because he said "NO". There are just too many more well, and perhaps better qualified people for that position!

    December 17, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Milhouse van Houten

    He somehow thinks trade issues will not be a focus for the new administration.Somehow I can't help but think that the kind of"head in the sand"approach to trade that has taken place for quite some time now and aided the globalists has played the major role in the economic crisis that the world finds itself in.

    December 17, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Olga

    HA,HA.HA........and JA,JA.JA......yeah, that's LOL in english and spanish! ......Becerra just made my day!

    December 17, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. vanessa the stay-at home mom

    It is sad that there are sooooo many people wanting Obama to fail for their own idiotic reasons. These are the same people who supported Pailin after she continously made a fool of her self. If you don't like Obama fine, just shut up !!!!

    December 17, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Ted van Tol

    Andy, you call Barack Obama the Messiah all the time.
    You said it, not somebody else on these blogs.
    You just love the man but you cannot speak it out yet.
    Just say, I love Barack Hussein Obama.
    Better now?
    Happy Christmas and a very happy 4 new years.

    With love from the Netherlands.

    December 17, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Lauren

    Oh my god,

    Someone said no to Time magazines Man of the Year !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Funny, lets name some of Times men of the year
    Hitler, Stalin, Nixon, Carter, Gingirch,
    George Bush,,, not once but THREE times.
    1990,2000 and 2004

    And imagine, he said no to a person in suxh good company.

    December 17, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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