February 12th, 2009
05:30 PM ET
13 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. Centrist

    For a guy that voted twice to abolish the Commerce Department, I for one don't think the man ever should have ever accepted the post. Talk about turning your back on your own beliefs.
    Does it matter that he lost the Census to the White House?
    Yes of course it does.
    But then telling the President you will vote fot the Stimulus Bill when you see that most of the country is hurting, and then abstaining from the vote altogether smacks of hypocrisy.

    February 12, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. kingssman

    I thought Gregg was supposed to be the no-man in Obama's team

    February 12, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Had It

    Awwww – was his little bitty ego bruised.

    He couldn't take the heat, so he got out of the kitchen. No guts, no glory.

    February 12, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. HuskyPhD

    How can anyone here believe it is perfectly okay for Obama to commandeer the census away from the Commerce Dept? And then, what's worse, to then somehow (in your twisted minds) blame the REPUBLICANS for this?!?!

    I'm not even a Republican, and I'm blown away by the idiots who post on this forum.

    You guys are either (1) smoking crack, or (2) partisan hacks.

    Or, perhaps, both.

    February 12, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Alan Smith

    I think the main reason he quit is because the GOP stands to lose seats if underrepresented people are counted in the census (in other words, minorities and the poor).

    GOP needs to stop treating minorities as their enemies.

    February 12, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Texas Teacher

    *LOL* Poor poor Republicans... so HURT! They have had exactly what they wanted for 8 years and more! The pay back is hell.... yes? You screwed the American People.... DO NOT expect us to forget!

    February 12, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. Cindy

    Well, if he was almost humiliated before... he's thoroughly humiliated now. What a puppet. I almost feel sorry for him.

    I guess the wrath of voting against the Whitehouse wasn't as bad as the wrath he would have, or was already getting from his party, huh? Note to Prez Obama... bi-partisanship can only happen if both parties actually want it.

    February 12, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. houstonguy

    Just proves nobody trusts Republicans anymore. The mere fact Gregg wouldn't take the post unless a Republican was appointed to replace him speaks to his character, party affiliation over the good of the country. That is why the GOP has lost so many elections over the past few years. Their allegience is to the Party, not the Country.

    February 12, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. Jeanie

    Marks said: What a loser. Another example of the R-party putting the GOP ahead of America. They prove more and more to not be quipped with spines.

    So stealing the census isn't political? A promise to keep Washington open, and honest, then bringing lobbyists into your administration isn't political? Writing into the pork bill, a stipulation that doctors have to seek the Governments authority, and ok, for any medical treatment you, or someone you know, and, or love gets? Imagine having a child with cancer, and the government says no more treatments. To expensive. What do you think happens?

    Forcing an entire nation to pay for abortions in this country, and others around the world isn't political?

    I could go on, but I won't. Time will reveal all.

    February 12, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Re: Obama's inexperience?

    I think not. This supposedly "experienced guy" lobbied for the job & then allowed his fellow Republicans to bully him out of it.

    The President needs to move on & appoint a fresh face – someone right out of Silicon Valley or some much more progressive and well trvelled internationally.

    I'm sickened by this line of thinking – inexperienced my foot!

    Rock on Mr. President!

    February 12, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. GuyInVA

    Greg in Denver,

    You can't possibly mean that. President Obama doesn't make mistakes.

    February 12, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. No Money

    I am just imagining John McCain being a president in this crisis and cuting taxes when people are being laid off.
    Or Sarah Palin handling this crisis because something happened to McCain.
    Do you imagine what this nation will become? Russia might probably declare war to the US and that will be the armaguedon the Wright Wing neocons are waiting for.

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

    Gregg humiliated himself for not having a spine. The GOP tell him to bend and he got rammed up the arse. He must feel proud to be a Republican getting shafted............That must hurt BAD.

    February 12, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Obama 2012

    Obama doesn't need this jelly-back. I'm glad he is getting out. He thinks he is hurting Obama, but he is actually doing him a favor.

    February 12, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  15. joe b. in boston


    February 12, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Sherry

    Since Gregg is so deeply offended by this, it makes me wonder if he had some other agenda for the census portion of the job. Hopefully the President will find someone who can find a way to work with everyone.

    February 12, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  17. Oregon

    well, at least he wasn't completely humiliated.


    February 12, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. One and done Barry

    Imagine the outrage you stupid as all hell blinded sheep would be IF the moron Bush tried to pull the census into the White House.

    It would have been story one, page one, stop the presses "He is raping the constitution" according to Keith "Groucho" Olbermann.

    So the empty vessel asks Gregg to be in his cabinet and after Gregg accepts, the empty vessel says you can't be trusted to do your most important aspect of your job and a huge JOB it is, the census.

    Gregg should stay after the empty uh, uh, uh, uh vessel pulls a fast one to appease the usual suspects?

    Where was the ACLU when Obama did this, as it is the JOB of the Commerce department and IN the CONSTITUTION as the planners wanted to keep it away from the PRESIDENT.

    Must have missed the original story getting the big headlines even on CNN who I like, but they are too busy with constant stories on someone who has actually run a business, a city and a state, while this suit can only run his mouth with the uh, uh, uh aid of his binkyprompter.


    February 12, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. Steve Brown

    I just caught a part of your broadcast re. the withdrawal of the appointee for Commerce Secretary. In it, as well as in the article on your website, a comment was made re. use of census information. I'm here to tell you that I would not place any credibility in any decisions/conclusions drawn for any purpose from census info. I had the unfortunate experience of working on this last census and the whole process is totally flawed and a waste of both time and tax payers' money. For example, about half-way through the process word came down from our regional head-beagle in Chicago that we were to "do whatever it took to get things done or they would find others", because he/she was ranked last in the country as far as head-beagles were concerned. I know for a fact that there was alot of falsification being done; one team was meeting at a Burger King and making things up.

    February 12, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Mary

    What a ego to think this way. What a looser. Better not to have such personality who places country last in the cabinet in such a crucial time.

    February 12, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Steve (the real one)

    blkgirl February 12th, 2009 6:21 pm ET
    look … was this on purpose?
    Census …
    Republicans have long been known to count only certain parts of the country and omit others… meaning the poor
    people that live in the united states need to be counted
    Can I have the link to this information or are you just making this nonsense up?

    February 12, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. Marge

    Gregg ....the stupid posts about a yes man...what in the devil was he for the last eight years. He messed himself ten times over trying to be the first to yes yes yes yes bush....and now they say he doesn't want to be a yes man.

    He wants to be like the rest of the republicans delay delay delay and obstruct anything and everything to try to lie and get back in office. And I'm glad, because the more they try to obstruct the less of them will be elected in 2010...hopefully like the old saying "they just fade away".

    February 12, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  23. Rick

    Hey Obama, even your own buddies say that your administration caused him to leave. Looks like Obama has another one bailing out because of the way his administration is trying to run this country like dictators. You only want republicans in place to play more games not being bipartisan. So when are trhe new taxes coming, ohh thats right Nancy wants a windfall tax on your retirement.....

    February 12, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Rick

    Hey Obama, even your own buddies say that your administration caused him to leave. Looks like Obama has another one bailing out because of the way his administration is trying to run this country like dictators. You only want republicans in place to play more games not being bipartisan.

    February 12, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. Bankrupt in Tx

    Symantec boss John Thompson is on a two-person shortlist to fill the role of the next US Commerce Secretary.
    Former Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons is reportedly the other person on the Commerce Secretary shortlist.
    Obama officials confirm that the candidates will arm-wrestle and submit a 500-word essay on why they support the stimulus bill.

    February 12, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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