February 12th, 2009
04:25 PM ET
13 years ago

BREAKING: Gregg withdraws


Sen. Judd Gregg is the second person to withdraw from consideration for the post of Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire released a statement Thursday withdrawing from consideration to be President Obama's Commerce Secretary.

Full statement follows:

“I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

“However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

“Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives.

“I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.

“As we move forward, I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the President’s proposals. This will certainly be a goal of mine.

“Kathy and I also want to specifically thank Governor Lynch and Bonnie Newman for their friendship and assistance during this period. In addition we wish to thank all the people, especially in New Hampshire, who have been so kind and generous in their supportive comments.

“As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.”

Related: Gregg pick for Commerce sets of partisan fight over 2010 census

Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    February 12, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. John Tait

    I voted against a Commerce Committee before I decided to be the head of it and before I changed my mind and decided I didn't want to be head of a Department I was against before I was for it.

    Sounds like a typical Mitch McConnell drafted explanation of the R view of our government.

    February 12, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Juge

    AH HA – Rush and the rest of the one dimension party gave him his orders. Glad he walked away – Move along – Move along. I now think we should have been afraid of him in that position – it sounds that he thought he could sabotage Obama but realized that he would not be able to.

    February 12, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Robert

    He doesn't want to be part of the solution, he just wants to be part of the problem.

    February 12, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Ben

    Well, what can one say that hasn't already been said?? Change is hard to come by when folks are still suffering from the Bush syndrome.

    February 12, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. rod h

    as a democrat i accept the senator's honesty for not accepting the position however i do believe his decision was strictly political. as well republicans can't say that president obama has not attempted to reach across the aisle

    February 12, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Kathy

    I think he should stay as far away as possible from BHO. He's a disaster waiting to happen.

    February 12, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Linda32

    Good riddance!!! He doesn't seem like he is ready to lead anything. Besides, didn't like his voting record or his view about the census or the recovery package.

    February 12, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Maggie from Virginia

    I cannot stand wish-washy people... The President do not need weak people like this in his cabinet. Good riddance!

    February 12, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. righty

    BO dosent know how to be bi-partisan. He's so far left he'll never move to the right. Gregg was right get out now, why try and work with a socialist... it's futile

    February 12, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Eric M

    I'm glad Gregg woke up and smelled the coffee. Obama was nominating him to put Gregg's Senate seat into play for 2010. In addition, the appointment of a Republican with a differing viewpoint on methodology was one of the justifications being used for putting Rahm Emanuel in charge of the census.

    This was political strategy by the Obama administration, not a genuine effort to be bipartisan. If bipartisanship is your objective, you don't nominate a member of the opposing party and then try to strip that office of one of its most important responsibilities.

    Gregg was smart enough to recognize that he would likely find himself marginalized in a cabinet role, and that he could be more effective by remaining in the Senate.

    February 12, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Claude

    Sounds like a bunch of BS to me. This joker (Gregg) knew before he accepted the job where President Obama stood on the issues. And isn't it the role of staffers, cabinet members, even the VP to subordinate their views to those of the president they serve? Something about this doesn't sound right. Sounds like some underhanded Republican games, or just out and out fear that without Gregg on the ballot in New Hampshire next election, that seat is gone.

    February 12, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. megan-colorado

    Never liked this guy anyways.......Nice time buddy!

    February 12, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. maurice from ontario

    Well, the Great Obstructionist Party strikes again! We're clearly seeing who is trying to be bi-partisan and who isn't. While I respect Gregg's honesty, it is clear that "country first" is an empty slogan. I wonder what would happen if Pres. Obama asked John McCain to lead the Commerce Department.

    February 12, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Beth

    Actually, I don't think he really wanted to be apart of Rahm Emmanuel's and President Obama's little scheme to fix the census.

    February 12, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. VS

    I respect his decision to resign! Enough of the spineless politicians that cannot stand for their principals! I am sure this was done over Obama's decision to oversee the 2010 census. As to how "this country will benefit from his leadership", I am sure we will all find out...

    February 12, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. James

    All in the name "bipartisanship"! What was Obama thinking choosing a Republican hack that didn't even want the position to exist!? Nice move.

    February 12, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Nat

    Good riddiance ....

    February 12, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Soooo...Collins strips the bill of whistleblower protection, which is key to helping prevent the money from going to waste...and we're supposed to sing her praises? Do we really need any more evidence that the GOP is trying to make the bill not work? That they want 4 years of suffering so they can blame Obama?

    2010 can't come soon enough. RIP GOP.

    February 12, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. JO

    This is such good news. It was a mistake to offer the position to someone who's goal has been to dissolve the Dept. of Commerce. He would have done what Republicans have done to all federal government departments the past 8 years, which is to hollow them out, by driving knowledgeable people out and not replacing them. Why do you think that the FDA has done such a lousy job with our food safety problems. The Republican head of the FDA did exactly that. Then they all can sit around and talk about how the government can not run anything – planned failure works for them. Republicans can not run anything as evidenced by the past 8 years.

    February 12, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    @ dan

    You're an idiot. Obama helped get agreement from the Governor that a Reppublican would replace Gregg in the Senate.

    February 12, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Don

    Ok... no need to keep reaching across the aisle. The Republicans are determined to all go down on their sinking ship together.
    Ciao suckers!

    February 12, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. arithmetic is liberal

    He's nothing more than a $#*t-stirring Republican drone...

    Obama already made a deal to make sure that a Republican took his seat.

    February 12, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Ken P.

    Obama has gone from being the next Lincoln to being the next Carter. Another failed Democratic presidency in the works.

    February 12, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Val in MA

    WOWw, just WOW!

    Obama was unfair to Gregg and Gregg had to withraw his nomination. When Richardson was in the run up for Sercretary of Commerce nomination Obama said that he would leave Richardson in charge of Census Bureau. What happened? Once he nominated a Republican, he (Obama) all of a sudden needed to took Census Bureau into his own hands? That's just shows how hypocritical Obama is – you fools who voted him into the highest office.

    This administration is becoming a comedy for real.

    February 12, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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