White House: Bipartisanship Will Survive Gregg

Posted February 13, 2009 at 2:07pm

President Barack Obama could still consider other Republicans for his Cabinet, even after the sudden withdrawal of Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) to be Commerce secretary because of ideological differences with the administration, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Gibbs, who could not say whether any Republicans were actively under consideration, nevertheless asserted that Obama did not regret choosing someone for Commerce whose ideology diverges from Obama’s own. Gibbs also denied that the Gregg fiasco would dampen Obama’s enthusiasm generally for trying to grow bipartisanship in Washington. “The president’s not going to stop reaching out to Republicans,” Gibbs said. He suggested the White House was at a loss for how it might have handled the Gregg nomination differently, noting Obama aides could not predict that Gregg would change his mind. Gibbs asserted that the independent-minded Gregg might have had trouble serving in any Cabinet.