February 12th, 2009
06:39 PM ET

President Obama on Judd Gregg

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/12/art.obama.gregg.jpg]
Senator Judd Gregg, (R) New Hampshire, withdrew his nomination as Commerce Secretary today. President Obama reacted to the news in an interview with the State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois.

It comes as something of a surprise, because the truth, you know, Mr. Gregg approached us with interest and seemed enthusiastic. But ultimately, I think, we’re going to just keep on making efforts to build the kind of bipartisan consensus around important issues that I think the American people are looking for.

To hear the audio, click here.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    I say don't even try to bring neo-con Bush-ites inot any of this. They are after all mostly responsible for the mess we're in domestically and internationally. There are moderate Republicans I am sure that can be tapped if the President wants to show bi-partisnship.

    Let the Rush Limabugh 'hero's' rant and rave to themselves while the rest of us get on with the business of making America Great Again !

    February 13, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  2. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    If I were Obama--–I would terminate reaching out across the aisle-bite me once, shame on you--bite me twice me-–three bites and you are out.

    February 13, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  3. Maryann

    I,m glad Gregg is gone. I tend not to trust someone who has stock in Exon/Mobile – and he wasn't willing to give up anything for the job–making an agreement with the Governor to replace him with another Republican ( nothing said about that) and to opt out of voting on the stimulus package-and President Obama letting do it . No one can legitamately say the President is not bending over backwards to co operate with Republicans, -but they will say it. I'm worried because one night on AC360 Senator Specter said GOP said they would spend millions to campaige for a GOP opponent in an upcoming election if he voted YES on the stimulus package ( which he did do ). I emailed in to make doublely sure that is what he said because the media is not talking about it. I did not get an answer. It's possible they "got to' Gregg , too–although he was never for the stimulus package from the beginning. This behavior from the GOP proves they are not representing the American people–they are trying to start a fight between the Repubs and Dems ( think Senator"Taliban" ). Why isn't this being talked about ? We need to take note of the extremists and GET THEM OUT OF OFFICE ! They are NOT representing their people !

    February 13, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  4. Mary mary

    Senator Judd Gregg, what manner of Man are thee? You could barely hold your Face up with the Lies you Told, and shame shame you should be. The President didn't ask you to be a 100% for Him, He Ask you to be a 100% for the American People. And you became this Judas for what? The Republican Party Who would throw you to the Wolves in a Heart Beat. You should Never be Trusted By Anyone Again. (Note: I do not put all Republicans in the Same Basket ). Their are Some Wonderful Republicans that have Great Morales and Integrity and will do what is Right, not just for the Red States, but for the United States of America. I thank them and so does The President. "Reach out and Touch somebodies Hand, Make this World a better place if you Can". GoodBye Judd, I feel sorry for you.

    February 13, 2009 at 5:30 am |
  5. Dick

    To the GOP......lead, follow or get out of the way!!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  6. JERRY

    I have an honest question..???/
    Why do the majority of Republicans have this "chicken-necked" look about them???....and the with the rest of them it's the "fat-cat" too much of a good thing parlor arrogance....????....Are they on the "Limbaugh diet"...???

    February 13, 2009 at 1:12 am |
  7. Joseph Reilly

    I think this really points to the need to gradually teach bipartisanship to Republicans. Neither the party nor the media are yet used to the idea of the Republicans as the super-minority.

    In the meantime, this opens a great opportunity for Obama to nominate Paul Krugman to the Commerce post. Since Krugman has been providing input to the administration already, this seems like a no-brainer.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:58 am |
  8. wayese

    I don't understand why the republicans can still afford to play politics despite the economy problems. They too good in looking for every mistake of Obama..Hope Obama and the american people will succeed and let the republicans ask themselves why despite their hard work to block Obama for the american people.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:45 am |
  9. Lilley

    So Judd Gregg withdrew his nomination,but CNN,Fox,and those news commentators keep downing the President of U.S.When the President won the presidency we were in trouble and now everyone blames the President.It's like we were not in trouble when Bush was President.It is all because he is Black,you all are waiting for him to fail.If he fails it's because everyone was speaking against him.He said we had to work together as a country,on Jan.21st,before he was President one hour people were criticizing him,his speech,his wife his children.What if McCan and Palin would have won,there would be no questions, all the broadcast would be nothing but good things.The media would be giving them the highest respect. Everything he would do would be ok.David Gergens,and all the men and women of wisdom would have nothing but good things to say about McCann. All the broadcast on CNN,be what the President is doing wrong,I pray for the President that God will keep him,can't you all see it was already like this.Why will you all not try to help HIM.Have one airing of something good about the President.Bush made mistakes and you all never criticized him,but in CNN,FOX,eyes he was the best President. Let's come together and do what the President said let's work together.The Republicans,and Democrats.Stop hating President Obama and work to help him.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:08 am |
  10. Lisa

    The Republicans don't need to "try to embarrass the president". He and his green administration are doing a great job on their own.

    BAIT AND SWITCH is promising change and bipartisanship, then allowing Speaker Pelosi, the most partisan, divisive, least trusted congresswoman alive, craft a "stimulus" that reads more like a liberal wishlist.
    TOSS AND FETCH is leading the Republicans to believe that they could be involved in crafting the bill and then allowing Speaker Pelosi to shut them out.
    SMOKE AND MIRRORS are what the President is using when he takes five minutes to respond to a question but never actually answers it.

    Lampe: You are right on, It is all a BIG GAME.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:06 am |
  11. Bobbie Williams, Akron, Ohio

    Why the continued debate as to why Gregg pulled out? If it is, as President Obama's team claims, that Gregg approached them on Secy. of Commerce seat, then it is pretty obvious that Gregg set them up and had planned to pull out before going in front of the panel that would give him the green light for conformation.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  12. Tyler, Wisconsin

    lampe, if his plan does work the economy out of this deep hole, will you still call it a "Big Game"?

    February 12, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  13. Wendy, Amherst, VA

    Who can figure out the Republicans. The bottom line is this. The Republicans will never go along with the Democrat' s, because if they do and the Democrat's save the economy, they know they will never be top dogs again. They do not care about the taxpayer's. Just their own party. Why can't people see that. It is not in their best interest to work with the Democrat's. Real stupid, but not earth shattering.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  14. Ronnie

    Nancy Polosi said we won so we wrote the Bill..and you are talking about the republicans having issues with being bipatisan? I guess the Democrat's definition of being bipartisan is we make the rules and write the Bills and you support us..

    February 12, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  15. Linda B., Ga.

    Perhaps Sen. Gregg is hiding something also.... either unpaid taxes or he's missing a set ahem....between his legs....

    at any rate Pres. Obama will be better off without him....

    February 12, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  16. Ilen

    Republicans don’t care about America or the American people or their perils. They only care bout the ultrarich and their own wealth. President Obama must stop trying to get their support and do what is right for America and Americans. The hell with the Republicans. We will take care of them come re-election time.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  17. Sanddra

    What a setup for President Obama. The Republicans are playing so many political games it is unbelievable. Judd Gregg should be put out of office. At a time when the Country is in such serious financial condition I am appalled at the positiion that the news media has taken at such a crucial time in world economics. We are focused on such trivial typics when we should be set our sights on how to help the average working class American worker. This is merely a distraction from the real problems that face this country left behind by Bush.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  18. Nicole

    i think President Obama should stop trying to work with the republicans. They dont care about stimulating the economy if they did it would of never got this bad...Thank you Republicans

    February 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  19. Colleen, Brooklyn

    Perhaps, as one person commented, this is much ado about nothing, but I am so thoroughly disgusted with the Republicans, despite my cross-over voting record, I cannot conceive of ever voting for a Republican, even the increasingly rare 'moderate Republican' one, again. Not only is our international capital spent and our economy in shambles, clearly our political system is so rotten even a good man like Obama will do little for us.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  20. Glenda

    Gregg is lying. The GOP is showing their deceitful hand. Better now than later. The president has been honorable in his bipartisan efforts. The GOP clearly is not focused on cooperation for solving the countries problems.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  21. Curtis Rowell, VA

    You know, everyone makes a big fuss about Obama creating a bipartisan government and healing the 'rift' between two incompatible ideologies.

    What those who look to Obama for this very thing don't realize is that Obama as President causes the rift to be even deeper with out doing a thing. Obama's policies are dangerous to this country. He, along with Pelosi and Reid constitute a new and more insidious axis of evil; just as dangerous, more so even, than Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  22. Brandon

    If he did it because he has real issues, then more power to him, but if he did it because he caved to party line politics then. He has shown why the republican party is a falling party

    February 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  23. Norine

    I think that the Republican "SENT" their patsy to gain control of the census! That tactic didn't work but I'm sure they'll try again!

    February 12, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  24. Norine

    I guess the Republican think that Democrats are as illiterate as they are?! Judd Gregg was probably "SENT" by the Repulican Party to see if they could remain in control of the census getting ready for the next presidental election! Ha! Didn't work this time!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  25. Axl

    Obama gets credit for trying and showing how hard it is to reach across the aisle. He's earned the scars of bipartisan outreach many times in the 23 days he's been President. Gregg was an active part of the Republican caucus that sought to manipulate the Census by starving the Commerce Department in 2000, he must have been dreaming if he expected to run it.

    Gregg gets credit for being true to himself but he earns a demerit for embarrassing himself and the President by accepting the job offer in the first place; didn't he know about the Stimulus last week? Didn't he know Obama was a Democrat? Obama has tried hard enough to bring in Republicans, this incident proves once again that they are not interested. They no longer have a leg to stand on if they

    February 12, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  26. Laura

    I agree with Obama's bill but If there’s one thing the “right” is RIGHT in the US is in combatting aggressively against the most dangerous force today against humanity, that is ‘radical Islam’, whether its Palestinian Hamas (though they are masters in fake “victimhood”, including creative tactics of killing their own kids in order to blame Israel for it) , or Iran’s Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad, Al Qeada or Iraqi militants, Taliban or Lashkar Jihad.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  27. Cuthbert Nelson

    President Obama is Great. He has tried everything and still keeps on trying to let the Repulicans understand that the Politics of the past is over and America wants Americans to come together to solve American problems irrespective of Political or Idealogical differences.
    The Repulicans have to be careful and stop saying no for no sake or very soon their Party will perish.
    I am dissappointed in Gregg that when America called on him to help solve America's Problems he opt out.
    Maybe he drank too much of Rush Linbaugh's cool aid and Sean Hanity's hate sermons that he has now become the Runaway Bride and joined Linbaugh's School of " I Want Him To Fail."

    February 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  28. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    Gregg was insincere. He proved a point and can now fade into the Republican mud-slinger pool.

    February 12, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  29. Norine

    I think that Judd Gregg was "Sent" by the Republican Party begging for the job to hopefully be in control of the census. Playing "politics as usual" instead of trying to work together (the Republican way) – not surprising! I guess they thought Democrats were that illiterate????
    Good riddens Judd Gregg!!

    February 12, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  30. Emmanuel. Ewing NJ

    The Republicans are it again same old nasty games trying to embarass the president shame on them they would loose again bigtime

    February 12, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  31. Bruce Hoff

    Gregg realized the job was more than he could cope with.
    He changed his mind!
    Get over it and move forward with fixing our broken economy!
    "Much ado about nothing"

    February 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm |
  32. R.B.

    The Republicans are methodically, calculatively doing everything they can to embarrass our new president, using their same dirty, stingy, shameless, un-Christian, good-ole-boy policies. It's a bait and switch. Toss and fetch. Smoke and mirrors. The usual ploys. Little creativity there. It's theatrical chicanery. They run a pretty seedy integrated marketing campaign. They are betting that Americans want to elect that "concept" to high office again. Think again, boys.

    February 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  33. Nonpartisan

    As an independent (politically and in thought), I really wish blog posters would have watched the press conference about this and actually read the facts in the media instead of coming out with all the blame game talk.

    President Obama was called "gracious" by Greg when he was stepping down from the nomination. Greg also said he thought Obama had reached across the aisle and he really admired him for that. He said that President Obama would do a good job.

    Does that sound like someone speaking for anyone or any party besides our president and the country? No.

    Greg said that he didn't realize it until he got more familiar with the administration's agenda that this job wouldn't be a good "fit" for him.

    Who among us hasn't regretted taking a job at least once in our lives. This guy was trying to work across party lines but found his principals differed in some significant way with the administration. Some way that presented itself after the nomination. That could have been anything. But the important thing is that he didn't give the media a laundry list of complaints or spell out what the difference was.

    He just tried to politely remove himself and thank the president for the opportunity to be considered and some members of the media have tried to make it more than it was by their headlines.

    Take this for what it is: a man resigning from consideration due to conflicts of interest in some way.

    Don't take it for what it isn't: the repubs against the dems.

    February 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  34. lampe

    Please, this is all a Big Game by Obama and the Democrats. They know, that they don't need the Republicans, but act like they want to work with them. Wake-Up people. Obama is playing a really good game. If, he fails, he will say it's not his fault, he tried to work with everybody, but no one wanted to work with him.

    February 12, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  35. Haole Wahine

    Emanuel has done a much better job of smoke and mirrors than Rove could ever dream of doing. The democratic white house running the census? It even reins in Reid and particularly Pelosi, since it will decide the change in the terrain.

    February 12, 2009 at 8:20 pm |
  36. Justine

    I'm amazed that despite the bulldoggish stance the GOP has been taking since January 20th President Obama continues to try and extend a hand of friendship to them. Personally it's getting a little tiresome that he keeps trying and failing, but if anything he's proving that the GOP is out of touch with its constituents. We voted Democrat after eight years of Republican rule (six, if we're talking White House AND Congress); what makes them think that taking a partisan stance against everything the President tries to do is going to sit well with us? His plan isn't perfect but it's better than nothing, right?

    February 12, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  37. Janet SC

    Gregg was the leading author of the TARP program while he had a multimillion dollar investment in Bank of America.


    February 12, 2009 at 8:09 pm |

    Why is the media not questioning the republicans about why they are not being bipartisan? Whenever there is some tough issue to discuss, it has always been "how is Obama going to solve it?" Bipartisanship is a mutual stuff. The question needs to be "WHY ARE THE REPUBLICANS NOT BEING BIPARTISAN?" in the past it has been, what is Obama going to do about this racial devide? But nobody asked McCain and other Republicans about how they would address the race issue. BI (MEANS 2) SO bipartisanship cannot be a one way street. If the republicans are not ready to play, they should just move aside.

    February 12, 2009 at 7:53 pm |

    It is amazing how the republicans have run the media for their advantage. Obama has bent backwards, forwards and sideways to ensure that Republicans are involved in every decisions he makes but the truth is that those folks (the republicans) cannot stand Obama's guts! Obama needs to recognize that bipartisanship doesn’t mean playing nice or begging the other party to agree with you on every issue. It means listening to them and incorporating their ideas in your decision making as much as possible. It doesn’t necessarily mean having them on your cabinet. I think Obama has done enough to work in a civil manner with the Republicans but it is not in their blood to play nice. Obama, move on! and work with people who are really interested in working with you.

    February 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  40. Judy

    Gregg totally caved to the open threats that GOP & RNC have been making against any Republican in Congress that chooses to actually operate in a bi-partisan manner.

    America, pay close attention to who is being non-cooperative here & make sure you hold the GOP accountable for their deliberate efforts to try and knock down the president you elected to do exactly what he is trying to do .....

    Thank God President Obama is such a gracious and thoughtful man.

    February 12, 2009 at 7:27 pm |