(CNN) – As Tom Daschle makes his case to remain President Obama's choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, the nation's leading liberal editorial page is calling for the former Senate Majority Leader to withdraw his nomination.
In Tuesday's lead New York Times editorial, the paper's editors write Daschle's failure to pay close to $130,000 in taxes for a car and driver service over three years is too big a mistake for Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee to overlook as they consider his nomination.
The paper's editorial board particularly takes issue with the fact that Daschle has said he identified the unpaid taxes last June, but did not pay them until he was nominated for the top post at the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Only after the Obama transition team flagged unrelated tax issues that would require filing amended returns did Mr. Daschle and his accountant address the need to report the personal use value of the car service — more than $255,000 over three years — as income," the board writes.
The editorial also criticizes Daschle for generating a sizeable income from health-related industries while working in the private sector. The former South Dakota senator has advised UnitedHealth Group, serves as a trustee of the Mayo Clinic, and has been paid "hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to interest groups, including those representing health insurance plans, medical equipment distributors and pharmacy boards," according to the Times.
"Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform," the editorial said.
Watch: Daschle issues an apology
The editorial comes one day after Daschle met privately with members of the Finance Committee, the panel which is slated to on his the nomination next week. The committee's chairman, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, issued a statement of support for Daschle after the 75-minute closed-door meeting.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs also said Monday President Obama continues to stand behind his HHS nominee.
"I think the Senate will lay a serious, but corrected, mistake against that three-decade career in public service," Gibbs said.
Watch: Daschle's tax troubles