Judd Gregg withdraws as US Commerce Secretary nominee

Friday, February 13, 2009

Judd Gregg (R-NH), who was nominated by President Barack Obama as the next United States Secretary of Commerce, withdrew from consideration Thursday, citing "irresolvable conflicts" with Obama over the administration's proposed stimulus package and the Census.

Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Judd Gregg, and President Barack Obama (left-to-right) at Gregg's nomination on February 3, 2009.

Judd Gregg is a current Senator representing New Hampshire, where he formerly served as Governor. Senator Gregg is also the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a member of the Republican Party. Had he been confirmed, he would have been the second Republican in Obama's cabinet.

In a statement, Gregg thanked the President for the nomination.

"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," Senator Gregg said in his statement.

In an official White House press release, Robert Gibbs stated: "Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart."

Gregg is the fourth cabinet nominee of Obama to withdraw. The first three were former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle, consultant Nancy Killefer, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson who was Obama's first choice for Commerce Secretary.