Gregg: “Simply a bridge too far for me”

Judd Gregg explains his decision to withdraw his nomination for Commerce secretary; meanwhile, Hill sources open up about what happened.

Topics: Judd Gregg, R-N.H., War Room,

“I’ve been my own person for 30 years … made my own decisions, stood for what I believe in,” New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg said at a press conference Thursday afternoon at which he discussed his decision to withdraw his nomination to be Commerce secretary. “It just became clear to me that it would be very difficult day in and day out to serve in this Cabinet or any Cabinet for that matter, and be part of a team and not be 100 percent with the team.”

This was Gregg’s message throughout the press conference, that he simply couldn’t be fully devoted to the Obama administration and that’s why he’d decided to withdraw.

“For me, I just realized as these issues started to come at us and they started to crystallize, that it really wasn’t a good fit,” Gregg said. “I realize that to withdraw at this point is really unfair in many ways, but to … find myself sitting there and not being able to do the job the way it should be done on behalf of the president, that would have been an even bigger mistake … Bottom line is this was simply a bridge too far for me.”

That wasn’t quite the message coming from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who were telling reporters that the Obama administration had driven Gregg to this move. One unnamed “Republican aide familiar with” Gregg’s decision told CNN that the New Hampshire senator had been discussing the move with GOP leaders over the “past couple of days.” CNN also talked to a GOP Senate aide who said the decision to have more White House oversight over the Census was the catalyst for Gregg’s announcement.

Similarly, an anonymous “Democratic source close to the White House” told the network that the administration has “to take some of the blame for this. They almost humiliated him by taking the Census away from him.” On the other hand, the same source said, the White House was insulted by Gregg’s decision to recuse himself from voting on the stimulus.



Meanwhile, congressional Democrats are criticizing Gregg for his actions, as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs did earlier. In a statement given to Salon, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who chairs the Commerce Committee, said, “I wish Sen. Gregg had thought through the implications of his nomination more thoroughly before accepting this post.” And in her Twitter feed, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., wrote, “Old ways die hard around here. I know our President won’t give up on changing the unproductive partisan habits.

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>