New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg withdrew his name for consideration as President Barack Obama's nominee for Commerce of Secretary citing irresolvable conflicts related to the stimulus package and the Census.
Sen. Gregg, 61, is the third cabinet nominee to withdraw and the second for the Commerce Department position after New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson.
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, stated Gregg.
The White House released a statement saying Gregg was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements he would support the President’s agenda. The administration said it regrets that Gregg had a change of heart. On his airplane,
President Obama said to reporters Thursday evening he was glad that Gregg searched his heart before officially joining the cabinet, according to the WSJ.
The president asked me to do it. I said yes. That was my mistake, not his, Gregg told reporters Thursday according to the Wall Street Journal. I should have focused sooner...on the implications of being in the cabinet.
Gregg also said he won’t seek a fourth term when his position in the senate comes up for election in 2010.
President Obama is trying to complete his cabinet according to the agenda, as he takes efforts to rescue the U.S. from falling into a deeper economic recession. Since his presidential campaign, the President has aimed to bring together Republicans and Democrats to his administration.