January 31st, 2009
02:04 PM ET
10 months ago

Official: Gregg top candidate for Commerce

 Gregg confirmed Friday he was under consideration to be the next Commerce Secretary.
Gregg confirmed Friday he was under consideration to be the next Commerce Secretary.

WASHINGTON (CNN) –Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire is the leading candidate to become commerce secretary and a decision could come as soon as Monday, an Obama administration official told CNN Saturday.

Gregg said in a statement Friday that he was among those being considered for the post, but White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that "a final decision had not been made."

"I know that's something that he [President Obama] hopes to make a decision on and announce shortly. But until the President tells me to make a personnel announcement from this podium, I'll refrain from getting into individual names on that," Gibbs said at Friday's press briefing.

The administration official Saturday spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss administration deliberations.

The nomination of Gregg to be commerce secretary could result in a victory for Democrats in the Senate. If New Hampshire's governor, a Democrat, were to appoint a Democrat to replace Gregg in the Senate, that could give Senate Democrats the 60-seat majority needed to overcome Republican attempts to use filibusters to block legislation.

However, two New Hampshire Republican Party sources have suggested to CNN that Gov. John Lynch is careful to appeal to Republicans and might be open to appointing a Republican to "follow the will of the people," according to one of the sources.

President Barack Obama first nominated New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be commerce secretary. But earlier this month Richardson withdrew, citing the distraction of a federal investigation into ties to a company that has done business with his state.

Richardson told reporters he underestimated how long the investigation would take, calling it an "untenable delay" likely to hinder the confirmation process.

Gregg, a third-term senator known for being fiscally conservative, is up for re-election in 2010.

(Updated Saturday afternoon with additional information)


Filed under: Judd Gregg • Obama administration • Popular Posts
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. independent

    Full disclosure called for. Where do Rush and Hannity make their real money?

    January 31, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Knox

    Talk about being bi-partisan!

    January 31, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Franky

    "Should Congress cap compensation for employees of any company that accepts federal bailout money?"

    Whoa...did you see the numbers? Thank God I ain't over there, LOL!!

    January 31, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Xavier

    Bush would never even have thought to appoint a democrat to this position. Its a new day GOP, and you old relics will have a hard time living in it. The appointment of STeel is so blantantly fake that its pathetic. The GOP is always a day late and a dollar short. You cant fake being inclusive, you either are or it comes across as a con.

    January 31, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Donna

    I'M CONFUSED

    I'm confused ...perhaps you have the answer. How can two million blacks get into Washington DC in sub zero temps in one day when 200,000 couldn't get out of New Orleans in 85 degrees with four day's notice.. !!!???

    January 31, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Meka

    Good Pick!

    January 31, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. JERRY TANNER

    THE ONLY REASON THAT THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO DOLE OUT THE MONEY FOR FIXES OTHER THAN RELIEF ON TAXES IS SO THEY CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON ABOUT 50% OF IT AND THAT PART WILL NEVER GET TO THE PEOPLE. THATS ALWAYS BEEN THE WAY SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. LOTS OF MONEY THAT CAN'T BE TRACED BACK .

    THANKS

    JERRY

    January 31, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Emma from Texas

    This is why I love Obama. He got 3 republican secretaries in his democratic administration that no other president did. God bless President Obama and his family.

    January 31, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. GM from MN

    With him out a Democrat will likely replace him giving the Dems the 60 seat majority once MN's race is finalized and Franken declared the winner.

    January 31, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Sam

    Obama's brilliance never ceases to amaze me! Picking a Republican senator from a state which is run by a Democratic governor will almost surely result in another Democratic senator. Don't forget that the governor chooses who he/she wants to become the senator from his/her state, and since John Lynch (gov. of NH) is a democrat, he'll pick a dem to represent NH in the senate!

    60 Democratic senators here we come!!

    January 31, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Lisbon

    I will support him if he promises to shut down all of the people and radio stations that are spreading Republican lies. They should not be allowed to defy Obama.

    January 31, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Proud American

    60 seats for the democrats in the senate, great choice Mr. Obama

    January 31, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. imobro

    Again Pres. Obama is interested in getting the BEST MAN for a specific position. This shows if the person is the best suited for the position he'll ask him to serve our country. He puts politics aside because he wants the BEST in order to get OUR COUNTRY turned around. Our PRES. is a great man, not about himself. He is sincere when it comes to getting this country back on TRACK, here and in the world. May GOD keep Pres. Obama and his family safe.

    January 31, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. SueB

    Great. Gov Lynch will appoint a Dem to replace him in the Senate and Obama will get his filibuster proof Senate. Then Obama will fire Gregg and replace him with a freespending socialist leaning Commerce Secretary. He'll kill 2 birds with one stone.

    January 31, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. mark bryant iii

    Not a bad move. The new prez is going as bipartisan and even more than past administrations. 3rd Republican in cabinet

    January 31, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. yuri

    Whether or not it is an act of finesse by the Gems, remains to be seen. Nonetheless, a filibuster-proof majority aimed, possibly, by the Dems seems quite mouth-watering. Obviously, the GOP is not salivating. Onecan palpate and feel the dudgeon among the GOP.
    Let the games begin.

    January 31, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Ryan

    Brilliant! Obama is sticking it to the GOP like it's his job...! They're freaking out now..it's awesome.

    January 31, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. david

    wonder if this man has paid his taxes? obama doesn't seem to be able to select candidates very well. obama may be a good lawyer but as a manager, a leader, he seems to be lacking so far, to date.

    January 31, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Joyce Becker

    I don't have any opinion on Judd Gregg as Commerce Secretary, one thing is that his replacement would be a Democrat.

    January 31, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Dylan

    This is genius.

    New Hampshire has a democratic governor which means the Dems will add another senator.

    January 31, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Neicey in Ohio

    Welcome Mr Gregg!!!

    January 31, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Bill P

    Don't believe the bi-partisan crap. He'll be replaced by a democrat senator in order to create a filibuster proof Senate.

    January 31, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. cnnnewser

    Very wise choice. He'll do a great job!

    January 31, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. WIlly Brown

    Gregg stay away from the nitiwts

    January 31, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. SAGG

    "However, two New Hampshire Republican Party sources have suggested to CNN that Gov. John Lynch is careful to appeal to Republicans and might be open to appointing a Republican to "follow the will of the people," according to one of the sources."
    ---

    Since when should a Dem governor try to appeal to Repubs to get their approval about who he or she should pick to replace a Senator? If Sen. Gregg believes that his accepting President Obama's offer to take the job could upset the Senate GOP's chances of fillerbustering, then he should NOT take the job. President Obama tried to get approval from the GOP House for what he wanted to do with the stimulus, and look where that got him. Gov. Lynch, if you're given the opportunity, then PLEASE pick a Dem!

    January 31, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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