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Gregg Withdraws from Commerce Consideration, Citing Irreconcilable Differences

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) has withdrawn his name from consideration to become President Barack Obama’s commerce secretary, saying in [a statement]( show details 4:28 PM (0 minutes ago) Reply http://gregg.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=6c5fa06b-802a-23ad-4f98-65d74c049a47&Region_id=&Issue_id=) 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. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.”

The Obama administration raised the ire of House Republicans earlier this month when it announced that the census director would report directly to the White House, rather than to the commerce secretary.

Gregg is the second Commerce nominee to withdraw in recent weeks. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) stepped down last month due to an ongoing campaign finance investigation.

Turns out that assembling a cabinet is no easy task, even for a president with a 69 percent approval rating.

UPDATE: Here’s White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ statement on Gregg’s withdrawal:

“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.”

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