February 12th, 2009
05:30 PM ET
5 years ago

White House decisions 'almost humiliated' Gregg, says source

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A source close to the process says that the idea of removing the census from Commerce and having it “run” out of the White House was taken as a slap in the face by Judd Gregg. “It was like saying they don’t trust you” with such a political issue, says the source.

This source says those who wanted Gregg - including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel - believed that in choosing him, the Obama team would be "taking the opposition’s quarterback off the field.”

“They have to take some of the blame for this," says a Democratic source close to the White House. "They almost humiliated him by taking the census away from him.”

However, adds this source, Gregg’s decision to recuse himself on stimulus was not taken well at the White House either — it was seen as an insult to them.

One GOP Senate aide confirms the census was the straw that broke the camel’s back - a sign, as this person put it, that the White House is not committed to bipartisanship. The aide characterized it as “a major blunder by the administration.”

“Can you imagine what would happen if the Bush administration would’ve given (Karl) Rove control of the census? People would have set their hair on fire,” said the Republican source, suggesting that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel - former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - would have tried to control the census for political advantage.


Filed under: Judd Gregg
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Heidi

    we are all humiliated, Gregg was smart.

    February 12, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Oregon

    the GOP are acting so immature – like spoiled jealous kids. I doubt any will be reelected in 2010. This last stunt seals it for me.

    February 12, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Gregg Who?

    Who in the GOP is twisting Gregg's arm?

    February 12, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Deb

    He looks like the rest of the RNC- Racist and Nasty and CROOKS

    February 12, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Dave

    He just wanted 15minutes of fame....It's over go home!

    February 12, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Melissa

    What a load of whiny garbage. The White House did no such thing. The Republicans are just making things worse on themselves. They need to stop behaving like bratty children.

    February 12, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. jason, tx

    bunch of whiners

    February 12, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Deb

    Hit the road Jack!

    February 12, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Georgia Gal

    And let the finger pointing begin!

    "It's his fault ..."

    "No its his fault ..."

    Give me a break and grow up!

    February 12, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. magella

    An unnamed source, and editorializing about having "almost humiliated" Gregg–could we please have some real, substantiated journalism here? I cannot believe how low the reporting, ethics, and judgment have fallen on CNN.

    February 12, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. Marc in Virginia

    Interesting. Change we can believe in from the Obama team, once again.

    February 12, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Cats

    Good riddance to Sen. Gregg. I haven 't liked his attitude from the start of his appointment, and to find out he was openingly campaigning for the seat on top of it all is very vexing. Now President Obama can fill this seat with someone much more deserving.

    February 12, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. IndyVoter

    Pride commeth before a fall! Get over it Judd. The World does not revolve around you or your ego. Humiliated how? You've been in Washington for how long and your skin is still this thin? You probably don't deserve the spot.

    February 12, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. MICHELLE

    LET HIM GO....

    February 12, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. republicans hate america

    really who cares democrats need to stop apologizing for winning the power in this country an marginalize these idiot republicans anyway as they do not care one bit about the health and well being of this country unless it is to fund wars and tax cuts for foreign companies like Haleburton . if its money for education they balk at it because they know that an educated public would never vote for such backward thinking.

    February 12, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Franky

    “Can you imagine what would happen if the Bush administration would’ve given (Karl) Rove control of the census? People would have set their hair on fire,” said the Republican source, suggesting that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel — former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — would have tried to control the census for political advantage."

    No...do YOU know what woulv'e happen if we invade a country, huh? Do YOU know what woulv'e happen in a decade from now?? Do YOU know what wouldv'e happen to our future from that moment? Do YOU know why the F-- HE DIDN'T TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BUDGET?? do you realize what you dumb -- did?? DO YOU F-- REALIZE WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT?

    February 12, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Roy

    Republicans: Quick!! SPIN, SPIN, SPIN as fast as you can. So now choosing Republicans to be part of a bi-partisan administration is an evil plot to get them away from other Republicans.......give me a break! First you are excluded and unhappy.....then you are included and unhappy.......hance this mess from the last 8 years.

    February 12, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Kim

    The republican are afraid that a true census will be taken and that accurate funding and representation will finally be made available for all cities and communities. President Obama is not going to disrupt the process he is only going to make sure that it is accurate. The sad thing of it is that President Obama reached across the aisle and all the republicans had to do was step up to the plate and work with him and not against him. We will see what happens in 2010 because we want forget it. The harder they work to cause him to fail the harder we will work to vote them out.

    February 12, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. MarkS

    What a loser. Another example of the R-party putting the GOP ahead of America. They prove more and more to not be quipped with spines.

    February 12, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Snake eyes

    The cabinet serves at the pleasure of the president, and carry out the policy of the Executive. had Rove carried out a census it would have been at the direction of the president, not whatever Rove wanted to do. so i dont see what the hubub would have been about that arrangement. However, if Gregg felt he could not faithfully execute the responsibilities of the office then it was right for him to bow out, although it seems suspiciously influenced by the GOP's recent pledge to oust all members who work with the current administration. Political Terrorism by the Republican Taliban!!!

    to Gregg's credit, he was quite professional about the whole thing.

    February 12, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Barbara Ca

    This is just sad and pitiful.

    If you are not strong enough to stand up for what you believe in Senator Gregg, this is really not the job for you.

    February 12, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Former Republican Voter

    What? "A sign that this White House is not committed to bi-partisan ship"

    Uhmm, Gregg resigned from the position.

    Gregg knew from the get-go that a large stimulus bill was of highest priority for this administration. He lobbied to join this administration – hard. Now that he bails (both the position and the bill), and that most likely because he was told (threatened?) to, he attempts to blame it on the administration. Shameful!

    Just ask yourself, what was the last display of Republican Senators being spanked in the public (threatened) because they were doing there job, working to better the stimulus package, and delivering to us the American people!

    February 12, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Really?

    Poor, poor Gregg. Gregg said himself that he was "used to running things and being in charge himself." He had difficulty with Obama being in charge like many of his era do.

    February 12, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Kim

    Oh please. Obama's administration has been bending over backwards to extend bipartisanship, only to have it shoved back in their faces. The GOP is not interested in working with Democrats, not in the least. But keep it up... the people aren't stupid and we see your petty, childish games.

    February 12, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Simpliticus

    Gregg was asked and he declined. Recriminations are but theater on this matter. My guess is that Gregg didn't want to vote for or against the stimulus plan and this kept him out of the disarray. Either way, the best situation has occurred and a new Secretary of Commerce can be entertained. Otherwise, Republican garbage about nothing at all, so says Shakespeare!

    February 12, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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