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. I don't trust you now either Gregg

    I agree, don't run for office after this, what a let down you are

    February 12, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. ds

    But Bush didn't put a Democrat in charge of Commerce, did he?

    February 12, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Michael

    Obama never was a moderate. Just pretended to be a moderate and for bipartinship in election to get moderate independents vote.
    But is showing his true partisian liberal colors over and over again. Including with taking census from Commerce department after sham of a bipartisian move of naming Gregg head. What an insult to Gregg!
    Obama won't be able to fool the moderate indpendents again in 2012.
    Obama will be one term disaster. Will take decades to dig out. America may never be top world power again. China will be top dog, Anyone worried about how much they are lending us for so called stimulus and bail out? They will have us by the balls.

    February 12, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. Ritas

    Poor little Judd, as I recall he gave us the Bush bank bailout. No way the Dems should be working with these losers anyway.

    February 12, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. jp,michigan

    It is very apparent that the Democratic Party is trying to control all of government. Taking away the census counting from the commerce department is a step in that direction. Obama made it his choice of DNC chairmanship and now control the census , controls districts and monies recieved by districts. Socialism here we come!

    February 12, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. Michael

    I am sure the Republican Party pressured him to quit, they don't want any cooperation with Obama whatsoever. What a shallow bunch of losers. Best for this country if the party was disbanded.

    February 12, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Oregon

    Gregg is throwing away his career for Party not Country. It is so disgusting and I'm so glad I am a Progressive.

    They'll all get voted out of office eventually. Is that what they want? 100% Dem?

    February 12, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. Pat CA

    You done GOOD, Sen. Gregg - not to worry - we appreciate your integrity

    February 12, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Ajax

    Some of you need your heads examined.

    What is the purpose of moving control of the 2010 Census from the Commerce Department to the White House?

    Somebody please explain this.

    February 12, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. Jim

    America, WAKE UP.... All the cut downs on Gregg because he refused to be a yes man. The American people have become so narrow minded.

    The little o is playing games, but you refuse to see it. As for republicans refusing to count the poor, how stupid can you be.

    February 12, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. The Truth

    For a guy who campaigned for the position and then get's the appointment to only bail out like a coward. Something smells like Elephant doo-doo! Stand up and think for yourself like the other 3 Senate Republicans who voted for the stimulus package. They are truly putting the country first!

    February 12, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. Debbie

    It is amazing, the liberal rhetoric and comments sound just like the conservative rhetoric that the liberals have detested and railed against. In case anyone didn't notice the Democrats have been in control of Congress for some time now, and many of Clintons' policies are contributing to the current economic crisis. There is plenty of blame to go around and it lies with both parties. All the name calling and finger pointing accomplish nothing. Obama is right in trying to forge bipartisanship, and bring together divergent groups and ideas, too bad most of the people commenting seem to be unable to unable to take the high ground too.

    February 12, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. Jill-IN

    I've never heard of Gregg until the last few weeks - why is CNN referring to him as the opposition's quarterback. Frankly, his pulling out was so predictable.

    February 12, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Ellie, MD

    2010 WILL be the next "defining moment". I hope the GOP is ready for another lesson in Politics 101. They obviously didn't learn their lesson on Nov. 4th. So I think a reminder is in order.

    February 12, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Pk

    Yep, the whole bipartisanship thing was a lie. I voted for Obama but I'd take it back if I could. This regime is going to take corruption to new depths. Let Rahm Emmanuel run the census? And why exactly is it that the bigwigs in the party that loves to tax us seem to think they shouldn't have to pay their own taxes? How plausible is it that the guy who is the head of the FED couldn't figure out how to make turbo tax do the right thing?

    February 12, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. Lee

    The whole nation is humiliated by the White House.

    February 12, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. David in Ridgefield

    Obama what a joke.!Talk about change. How about dictatorship! Judge was an idiot to take the Cabinet position, but woke up and understood Obama's agenda -totalitarianism. First the press and now the census.

    February 12, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Obama 2.0

    He would have sucked it up and brown nosed McCain if he had won the Election, Grow a set Senator. You have Two Republican female Senators that have more testicular fortitude than you.

    February 12, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. matt

    the census determines congressional representation. if you look at what republican gerrymandering did to texas, i wouldn't trust them with that power, either. at any rate, all their whining about obama's failure to take bipartisanship seriously is going to fall on deaf ears. i know one thing: bush never even tried to reach across the aisle. i can't be the only person who notices the difference.

    February 12, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  20. Bohemio

    apparently, the republicans want to keep treating Obama like a paige boy that got lucky.
    I get the sense Obama's about to stir it up.
    And, for those who want to see him fail, the only thing i ask is: do you really understand what that will mean to you?! i guess you're all too comfortable having the country revert back to the old west and packing a gun just to go take a walk in the park.

    February 12, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. Obama 2.0


    February 12, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  22. JS007

    Obama should never have picked this guy. Gregg actually wanted to ELIMINATE the Commerce Department. No wonder Obama didn't trust him to run the census, but why would he even pick him? I know Obama is trying to be bi-partisan, but there's not much to choose from on the GOP side. Most moderates were wiped out in the last election. What's left are people who ONLY care about their re-election and take marching orders from Rush Limbaugh.

    Cudos to the 3 GOP senators who voted for the stimulus – they actually made the bill somewhat better, but what's with cutting funding for schools??? I guess the GOP doesn't like educated voters.

    February 12, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. DF

    The Bush administration (Rove) did take control of the census away from the Census Bureau. In 2001, one of Bush's first acts was to remove the Census Bureau's authority to "interpret" the 2000 census data and give that authority to the Commerce Secretary that Bush had just appointed (Evans).

    As most people will remember, what followed was a landrush by GOP dominated state legislatures to profitably "re-district" various states based on the Commerce Secretary's "interpretation" of the census data.

    And, is the GOP saying that Gregg is their star quarterback?


    February 12, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. What a bunch of buffoons

    I see the real intelligent Dimocraps are out with their pathetic talking points, one little thing for you clowns....The last census was taken in 2000 when Democrat Bill Clinton was in office. At least get your facts straight whiners before you cry about an issue.

    February 12, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. David S.

    I cant elieve Obama would try his Chicago politics methods in the White House. Stripping a GOP Secretary of Commerce the job of running the census and giving it to his political bulldog Emmanuel? What a crock of corruption! He must think the American people are idiots, oh yeah 51% of Americans voted for him, he does think we are idiots!

    February 12, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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