WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Democratic source close to the Obama White House said Thursday that Judd Gregg "campaigned for the job" - that the New Hampshire senator had asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to approach the president about the Commerce post.
Gregg "sat with [Obama], said he wanted the job, knew his policies and erratically dropped out without warning," said the source, minutes after the Republican senator announced his withdrawal from consideration.
UPDATE: A Democratic source confirms to CNN that Harry Reid approached White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel about Gregg for Commerce Secretary.
And White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday Gregg had initiated discussions over the position.
“Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President’s agenda," said Gibbs in a statement.
"Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart”.