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Talking Points Memo on White House statement concerning Judd Gregg's withrawal from Commerce Secretary consideration.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has just released this statement, putting the blame for Judd Gregg's withdrawal squarely on Gregg -- that Gregg had said at the outset they could work together despite economic policy differences, then didn't follow through:
"Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President's agenda. 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."
Late Update: It turns out Judd Gregg blames Judd Gregg, too:
"I couldn't be Judd Gregg and serve in the Cabinet. I should have faced up to the reality of that earlier," Gregg said. "I've been my own person and I began to wonder if I could be an effective team player. The president deserves someone who can block for his policies. As a practical matter I can contribute to his agenda better -- where we agree -- as a senator and I hope to do that."
A couple of things about this.
First, it proves that all Gregg wanted was access to control of the Census. And I think he wanted control of directing the Census for purely ideological and political reasons. Gregg probably wanted to keep the number count down in those unreal-American urban areas, the multi-ethnic regions, and by doing so, limit federal funds to those communities. Always a policy favorite of the moral and religious political party in the U.S. sometimes called the Party of Lincoln(!)
So, Obama pulls the Census Bureau control out of Commerce, Gregg shows his true colors, and does a 180 on this....
A senior administration official, plainly annoyed at the Gregg’s change of heart, emphasized that the Republican was the one who reached out to them.
“He approached [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid and said he’d be interested in serving,” recalled the official. “Sen. Reid contacted us and we reached out.” Link
This is what Gregg said in his statement.....and it stinks...
“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,” Gregg said. “Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.”
The part about the stimulus is bullsh*t. Gregg knew what Obama had planned for the stimulus.....it's been telegraphed for months to even dishonest brokers, like Gregg's being here in this situation. He knew what Obama's economic leanings were. That's that. But the Census is the only reason he volunteered for the job, I betcha'.
Stupidity on the part of the GOP'ers here. An already leaderless, (unless you count Rush and FOX), political party that looks like it's in total disarray.....botches an opportunity for yet another Republican to be in Obama's cabinet. I think that makes the GOP look bad, unwilling to work together for the greater good and all that. What's worse for the GOP......Gregg said he's not going to run again in 2010. Which leaves the door wide open for the Democrats to get yet another New England senate seat. Of course, stuff changes, but all in all, this is another black eye to a political party that is already suffering from multiple wounds.....and the majority of those wounds, self-inflicted.