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. obama-mama

    He should be on Keith Olberman's WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

    February 12, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    He does not want to be caught in the cross fire, because he knows what kind of ammunition is being held on his side of the aisle. We are glad that the President is optimistic, but also smart and intuitive.
    Senator Gregg must have heard from Rush, or some right wing-nuts are calling him names like "deserter". When a battle is pitched those who try to leave are in great danger.

    February 12, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Film Professor

    OK, fine. Just go back to the corner with all of your other fellow Republican negativists. You guys screwed up the economy, and that's why you lost the election. So please just sit down, and shut up, if the only thing you have to offer is saying "No".

    This reminds me of the sign I always heard was on Ted Turner's desk: " Either lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way."

    February 12, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Liberty Queen

    Another repuglican obstructionist comes to his knees. Goodbye and Good Riddance!

    February 12, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Lydia

    hmmmm.... He campaigned for the job then suddenly drops out. Sounds like the GOP got to him and gave him a verbal beating.

    February 12, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Tracy

    It is his choice but I hope it does not come back to bite him in his behind later – 2010 maybe? Whatever happened to leaders who may not agree with their boss on everything but could still work to get things done for the good of the people. I hope this decision is not really due to GOP backlash.

    February 12, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. REG in AZ

    It should be obvious to everyone that Gregg gave in to strong pressure exerted by the Republican Party, the same kind of aggressive pressure that became apparent as being put on the three Republican Senators who voted for the stimulus package. It would be naive to think that Gregg wasn't aware of the stimulus plan before or that he wasn't now being pressured to back the Republican position, which is simply to fault and block all Obama efforts, to be obstructionists and to stop any Obama success that would be creditable to the Democrats. Hopefully the people will recognize it for what it is and that it represents a Republican total disregard for the best interests of the country and the American people. Again, as they have consistently and arrogantly done over the last eight years the Republicans now demonstrate their total focus on their own agenda without any regard for the cost to the rest of us. Hopefully Obama will now recognize that the Republicans are incapable of any real bipartisanship or even any responsible and conscientious behavior. Disgusting!

    February 12, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. McBeth9

    It was better that Gregg realize that he potentials now instead of later.
    How could he Trade with other countries and not be able to trade his
    ideas with Congress? Just narrow mindedness. He can't handle
    the job, the United States needs someone who would be able to
    trade with other countries the Global Market, where Global Leaders
    will have other ideas that Gregg will not agree with, but need to convince his plans are better. Good Gregg stay out the Big League.
    You can't handle it. Sorry you could cease the moment.

    February 12, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. ron

    Wait a minute didn't he beg for the position in the first place. Did the GOP use there terrorist tactics to scare him off? You got to love the republicans, how did that line go 'country first' lol seems like a long time ago since the campaign.

    February 12, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. dee

    Republicans spent this country into the ground, destroyed the economy and put us into a misguided war leading to the death of thousands of our soldiers. Don't reach out to those losers anymore.

    February 12, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Sandra

    Withdrawing his nomination is good. However, at his level of political leadership, it is very difficult to believe that he suddendly realized that policy differences are in the way of working together to make the country work. The threshold question- Is Judd Gregg's leadership working for the country? It doesn't sound like it in this instance.

    February 12, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Big Al

    Once it became known that a conservative would replace Gregg, the rose feel off the bloom real quick for Chairman Obama.

    February 12, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. arithmetic is liberal

    note to the Limbaugh zombies here: SOCIALISTIC IS NOT A WORD!!!!

    EVery time I am convinced that you are a bunch of fools, you open your mouths and PROVE IT!!!

    I challenge ANY Republican on here to give me a working definition of socialism. If ANY of you can do it without relying on Websters or Wikipedia, I SWEAR TO YOU that I will donate $10 to the Republican Party!!!

    February 12, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. Riaz

    Good.. He is anyway ending his political career!!!

    February 12, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Cindy

    This whole thing doesn't smell right. I actually kinda feel bad for Sen. Gregg. I think he got too much pressure from the Republicans... Obama and the census issue are just the scapegoat. Gregg was probably being ridiculed as being just another defector.

    February 12, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. concernedinTexas

    the big O looks PISSED in the pix LOL

    February 12, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. IndependentfromTexas.

    I am glad he is out. We need folks with decency and committment to all people and not just their voting public. Repubilcans have gone nuts with ideology. People are losing jobs left, right and center and these folks want tax cuts – what if we don't have jobs to pay any taxes? Let me know – good riddance.

    February 12, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. DavidinCA

    I'm sure that since the Stimulus bill looks so lousy from what we learn of it in public, it may really look bad from inside the administration where you can see how they actually intend to implement it. I applaud Senator Gregg for taking a stand to not take part in something he can't buy into.

    February 12, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |

    dont let the door hit you on the way out 🙂

    February 12, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Texas Teacher

    Hell, yes... Obama needs people who support him... he does not need those who do not at all! Enough said! 🙂

    February 12, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  21. Texas Teacher

    Concerned in Texas, you sound pissed... *LOL* or is your white sheet showing? Bottom line.... Obama simply does NOT NEED THEM! Either you decide to play nice, Republicans, or you will get left by the way side. And I guarantee you that We, the People, will care less about you and your failed ideas!

    February 12, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. Texas Teacher

    The Big O looks to me like he has got this bozo's number! *LOL* That look says, FORGET YOU to me!

    February 12, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Larry

    Great move,I could only wish others had this mans ethics--the rest of the country will be doing the same thing in 2010.

    February 12, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Mary

    As an independent this is how I read it:

    Greg is smart and wanted to work with both parties to move the country forward. After he began to participate in the administration to some degree, he realized that his principals and the administrations way of doing things were in conflict.

    Rather than pointing out the areas of conflict, he tried to take the high road and just say that he wouldn't be able to give 110%. He was very polite and professional about it, in my opinion.

    Seems like America will benefit more by having him serve in the Senate. He said as much in the press statement he gave. Did you guys watch it? You should.

    February 12, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. PC

    GOOD for Gregg - BAD for Obama (well deserved)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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