Transportation Secretary and GOP Cabinet member Ray LaHood gives Rachel Maddow a no-nonsense response about Judd Gregg’s withdrawal from consideration as Commerce Secretary: "I think it’s very odd."
I can’t imagine Secretary LaHood went on Rachel Maddow’s show without consulting with the Administration about what he planned to say. He’s really the best person to say this on behalf of Team Obama, since he’s immunized as a GOP for any criticism of another GOP:
"I think it’s very odd. I know that Senator Gregg went to the administration, went personally to several members of President Obama’s team and asked if he could be appointed to the cabinet. And they acceded to his wishes, and appointed him to the cabinet. And then all of the sudden to change his mind I think is very peculiar, and frankly I don’t understand it."
"I would have thought when you ask for a job, and when the President gives you a job, that you were willing to roll up your sleeves and go to work. It’s a pretty odd set of circumstances,and I don’t understand it."
LaHood does say he has no reason to believe his former Capitol Hill GOP colleagues pressed Judd Gregg to pull his name, but he’s got no reason to disbelieve it either. Rachel doesn’t ask him about Mitch McConnell’s pretty conversations with Judd Gregg in the last few days, where it’s quite clear the Senate Minority Leader did not say, "Well, Judd, you gave the President your word, and the Democratic governor of New Hampshire has agreed to appoint a caretaker GOP to your seat, preserving my ability to block his program. Don’t you think you’d better do the right thing and keep your word to the President?"
No, here’s what Mitch McConnell, patriot, told the Washington Post this morning:
"He was uncomfortable philosophically with the position he would be put in," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
McConnell said that he had spoken regularly with Gregg since he decided to accept the nomination and that in recent days Gregg increasingly indicated doubts about taking the job. McConnell said he expects Gregg to receive a "standing ovation" when he walks into the next gathering of the Senate Republican Conference.
Swell company you are keeping, Senator Gregg.