February 3rd, 2009
03:18 PM ET
5 years ago

Daschle withdrawal stuns Democrats

Former Senate colleagues of Tom Daschle said Tuesday they were shocked by his sudden decision to withdraw from consideration as President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Former Senate colleagues of Tom Daschle said Tuesday they were shocked by his sudden decision to withdraw from consideration as President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(CNN) – Former Senate colleagues of Tom Daschle said Tuesday they were shocked by his sudden decision to withdraw from consideration as President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.

"I'm in shock. I didn't know that. I don't know what happened," said California Sen. Diane Feinstein. "I talked to him the night before last, and he showed no signs of withdrawing."

Some, like Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, said they still believed Daschle would have survived the nomination process. "I was a little stunned,” said the Montana senator. Baucus and the rest of the Finance Committee met privately with Daschle last night to address the questions over his failure to pay some taxes. “I thought he was going to get confirmed. I thought - he's a good man and I thought he'd be confirmed. I'm surprised."

Listen: Feinstein 'in shock'

Sen. John Kerry said the former Senate Majority Leader was disqualified on a technicality. “We're getting silly here, and I think people ought to step back and measure these things against the larger picture,” he said. “He's made his decision, I respect his decision and we go on from there."

Listen: Kerry reacts

But GOP Sen. John Cornyn said Daschle “did a service to President Obama” by withdrawing his name. Cornyn was one of a number of Republicans to oppose Daschle’s nomination over the tax issue.

Listen: Cornyn reacts to Daschle

"I think it really would have looked bad for the Senate to close ranks around a fellow member and sort of reinforce the idea that they were going to protect a member as part of the good ole boys club," said Cornyn.


Filed under: Tom Daschle
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Perusing-Through

    Daschle is gone.
    Sorry for the trouble Mr. former Senator.
    Let us move on.
    We have a crisis to confront.

    February 3, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Larry Houston Texas

    Now the others who had a history of not paying their taxes, should step down.....It's the only honest & right thing to do...

    February 3, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  3. Empty vessel

    Soon to be former Republican (Ya right)........

    The first President to give a no bid contract to Halliburton was none other than your hero Bill Clinton.

    Facts are tricky things..............

    For you sheep applauding Daschle for withdrawing, are you people that BLINDED by stupidity?

    HE CHOSE TO NOT PAY HIS TAXES and you applaud him?

    Oh Ya, Obama nominated him so he is the greatest thing and Barry is the greatest thing.

    01/22/2013, bahhhhhh, sheep.

    February 3, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Libertarian

    KUDOS TO OBAMA!! :) He said he made a mistake and now he's amending it. I've never heard a republican say that. Not even that repugnican looking for anal sex in an airport bathroom. LOL!!!

    February 3, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. Butoni N.

    This is an amazing country, but this Obama must be more careful. First, he supports this man, Daschle, then he says he made a mistake after he decides he doesn't want to go on the griddle with buddies from the Senate. It is still much better than Italian politics, but then it should be because this is AMERICA!

    February 3, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. Neal

    Poor Lil Tommy Daschle – booted out as a thievin' senator and now he's booted from committing fraud at HHS!

    Perhaps he could now start a "Global Cooling" scam!

    Algore's ""Global Warming" scam made Al over 100 million $$!

    Sweet!

    February 3, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Butoni N.

    Why must I be awaiting moderation since I said nothing any worse than your own countrymen? I am confused about this.

    February 3, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Don't you just love how the Republican trolls (nick) on these blogs are spouting off about ethical behavior? PU-LEEZE. I'd rather have someone trying to avoid income taxes than someone who basically wipes their GOP behinds with the Constitution.

    That said, we really needed someone like Daschle in that office.

    Note to potential cabinet members: mental checklist: PAY YOUR TAXES... or 'fess up and stop being the news.

    February 3, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
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