January 20th, 2010
08:40 AM ET
4 years ago

TSA nominee withdraws name

The Obama administration's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday, according to the White House.
The Obama administration's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday, according to the White House.

Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday, according to the White House.

Erroll Southers, assistant chief for homeland security and intelligence at Los Angeles World Airports Police Department, was nominated for the post by President Barack Obama in early September.

He came under fire from the GOP for testimony before Congress in which Senate Republicans claim he gave incomplete information about accessing a federal database for personal reasons. The move led to a censure from the FBI.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, also spearheaded GOP objections to Southers based on concerns over the TSA becoming unionized.

Specifically, DeMint and other Republicans have expressed concern that collective bargaining - a union tactic allowing workers to organize together and negotiate on issues such as hoursand wages - would be allowed if Southers takes over.

"It is clear that my nomination has become a lightning rod for those who have chosen to push a political agenda at the risk of the safety and security of the American people," Southers said in a written statement.

"This partisan climate is unacceptable and I refuse to allow myself to remain part of their dialogue."

Obama "believes that Erroll Southers would have been an excellent TSA Administrator but understands his personal decision and the choice he has made," White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said Wednesday.

The dispute over Southers' confirmation came as the agency is under the microscope after the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Northwest Airlines plane heading to Detroit, Michigan. Gale Rossides, a holdover from the Bush administration, is serving as acting TSA director.

- CNN's Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report


Filed under: Homeland Security • TSA
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. All the news that's fit to omit

    CAN THIS ADMINISTRATION DO ANYTHING RIGHT?

    Obviously not, the community organizer was NOT QUALIFIED as he NEVER ran a city, state or a business (Palin ran ALL of them and she ISN'T EITHER) and it is being proven everyday.

    They KNEW this guy SPIED on his ex-wifes boyfriend TWICE and yet they figured NOBODY would or should blink, well Barry, the Republicans are paying attention and you BLINKED coward.

    The most inept and yep, STUPID man ever "selected" for office.

    I am from Mass and I like many others spoke loudly and clearly last night, YOU NITWITS GET IT YET?

    January 20, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Silence Dogoode

    No they just want to make sure Southers was the right person for the job.... by stonewalling and not answering legitimate questions both HE and the Obama administration are the one putting politics before the safety of US citizens...

    January 20, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    Another resounding victory against the corruption inherent in this Administration!

    January 20, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. Chris

    WH should appoint Gen Wes Clark to the position of TSA head, include Clark kent Erwin in DHS top box

    January 20, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. Doug

    It is time for my President to clean house, start firing Cabinet Members and hangers on to seek a restart. This nomination never would have gotten past the sreeeners at the airport. Full review now in Washington on all oversight, and where our federal money is being spent.

    January 20, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Obama Victim

    rats off a sinking ship

    January 20, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Bob in Pa

    About time Mr. Southers.

    January 20, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Capt. Snarky

    Another Obama nominee goes down in flames.....

    You'd think he'd stop picking persons with a shady past, .....Oh, wait. It takes one to know one, doesn't it?

    January 20, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. chris

    Does this administration have ANY idea how to do a background check?

    January 20, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Sam Sixpack

    Yeah, sure, it's OK when a lying weasel is YOUR lying weasel. Give us another Palin hit-piece.

    January 20, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Dean O

    Another socialist done – toast – history. thanks to the GOP delay we dont have this liar running TSA today. Good going. Kudos to Demint. Obama Rahm and Axe better start getting it together before the NOV train gets here.

    January 20, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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