February 12th, 2009
05:30 PM ET
14 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. Larry Schlueter

    I guess he realized that the administration of OB is starting to be more BO. It just take one at a time, but the dominos are starting to fall.

    February 12, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Bird

    Thank God, Gregg woke up before it was to late and came to the only conclusion, that Obama was only wanting to use him! To bad Hilary can't seem to wake up either since it is so apparent that her role is also shrinking.

    February 12, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Greg in Denver

    Good riddance. It was a mistake for Obama to have picked him to begin with.

    February 12, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Nikki Voight

    This entire Obama administration has been such a joke to the United States of America. I am so embarrased for them.....
    No I did not vote for him, but I was trying to HOPE that he would do a decent job. If these first few weeks are any indication of what the next 4 years are....I am truly sad for our country that we have come to this!

    QUESTION: Is he a natural born US citizen... I would STILL like to know. Please find out for me.... I KNOW YOU CAN!!!

    February 12, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Mike in Houston

    Gregg's integrity won out over the hypocracy of this administration. Congratulations to you Judd.

    February 12, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. American

    What source?...we are suppose to believe this story.
    Anyway, I say good riddance

    February 12, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. Robin

    He is too good for this cabinet.

    February 12, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Joe in Austin

    Gregg doesn't keep his promises

    February 12, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. catmom

    Well I guess this shows why President Obama shouldn't have trusted Gregg in the first place. Gregg obviously had his own agenda and quickly realized that it wouldn't work under the Obama administration. If the truth be known this is probably just an excuse to cover his own tax problems.

    February 12, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Yeah, perhaps that "almost humiliated" him, but his withdrawal 100% humiliated him. When will you GOPers wake up to the fact that America is completely and utterly tired of your games?

    February 12, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. indevoterPA

    Mr President, The GOP does not want change, they do not want to make this country better & most of all they do NOT want to help the American people. Leave them be and stop reaching out to them. Don't waste your time or ours with these nitwits.

    February 12, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. MICK in MESA

    Obama gave him the job he asked for then when the obstructionist GOP senators realized they were being out foxed by Obama they forced Gregg to bail on his commitment to the country.
    Typical "party over country" Hooverite thinking at it's best. Thanks GOP for your desire to put country first – NOT!

    February 12, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. big papa

    President Obama is learning that you can't use rationality...

    ...with the insane...

    February 12, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Jackie in Dallas

    No, we wouldn't have set our hair on fire...since we would never have heard about it in the first place, as it would fall under Executive Privilege!

    OK, Gregg was insulted. I see that. And I'd agree, it wasn't handled well. But why is the census under the Department of Commerce anyway? Why is the census the business of business? It makes more sense to have it under the Department of Management and Budget, or even independent of the Cabinet. It's not as if the Department of Commerce isn't important enough without it, and Gregg even campaigned for the job.

    Maybe, Republican Source quoted in the last paragraph, GREGG was the one wanting to use it for political advantage and was hurt he wouldn't be able to. The census does affect the gerrymandering that the politicians of both parties use to construct districts that will elect a specific party candidate. Geez, even Gregg, who looked like he might have the cajones to buck the Republican leadership (and Rush), buckled under. Too bad.

    February 12, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. IdiotMark

    MarkS-read the article you idiot. It's the "D-party" that screwed this one. Like most of your party..clueless.

    February 12, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Mwita (Los Angeles, CA)

    Fractured Republicans face the real possibility of becoming a minority party, unable to win national office, especially if Obama succeeds in turning around the economy. Republican voter registration numbers are shrinking, at a time when Democratic registrations rolls are growing. They lack direction and leadership. Think abut it, who is the leader of the republican party? Ask 5 people and you will get 5 different answers. Sarah Palin, Rush Lambaugh, Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele, John McCain, etc? No clear leader, No clear focus, No clear message, No new direction. They are currently in a unified holding pattern, unsure of what to do, so they just say "No." Republicans have spent the last year pandering to Evangelical Christians, and the Wealthy Elite. After 8 years the Christians are disillusioned, and the Wealthy are not so wealthy anymore. Who is your base now? And if you make an effort to represent their interest, are those interests national viable. Just like the 2008 election, if Red states are turning Blue, you have no prospect of turning Blue states Red. In sports terms: Have you ever seen a fighter win a fight on defense? No, they just keep falling further and further behind.

    February 12, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Chris

    What an utter disaster this presidency has been so far. Hand picking media to ask questions after a press conference, control of the census, politics of fear. And you thought President Bush abused power? This guy is a disgrace.

    February 12, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. The Colonel

    You're an idiot Mark S. You need to have a spine to walk away from a cush job because you have scruples and ideals. Rahm Emanuel is a Chicago scumbag and Blagojevich isn't done ratting out the rest of the hole dwellers – just wait....it will get more and more interesting.

    February 12, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. clbridwell

    Looks like Obama just wants someone who will agree with him instead of telling him the truth. He's trying to up his status with Kissinger and the Builderbacks to help secure their plans to groom him to be the head of the New World Order.

    February 12, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. Todd (not the Alaska Separatist)

    Gregg is a Republican. Thus he deserves to be humiliated. Flush!!!!!! Now let's get a non-obstructionist Democrat in this position and get on with repairing the US from eight years of Repug-inflicted damage. And the citizens of New Hampshire need to step up and do their part to vote Gregg out.

    February 12, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Linda32

    Bird & Larry, you do realize that this country depends on the President's success, right? This is not like a CEO messing up one company, so for you both to make comment about him failing is stupid and show how much you care about this country.

    February 12, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. albert

    to gregg in denver

    we pay taxes but you and your turbo tax tim and tom daschle do not care if taxes go up because you dont pay taxes you pin head

    February 12, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. Obama MamaMan

    All the democrats do is insult republicans. HAhahahahahaha...... As gracious in victory as they are in defeat!!!

    February 12, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. Tim

    And the Republicans, the party of nothingness...already has an unknown source close to the so-called distinquished senator...ready to feed the press. Blah, blah, blah...good ridence Senator! You really didn't have anything to contribute.

    February 12, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. Blue skys

    No spine Gregg would rather fallow his no account Rebull-ican base
    while he even knows they went out with the trash and are lost forever sunk deep in the Bushes
    He was not the only one on that list .

    February 12, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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