GOP Hardliners Change Tune on Gregg
Senator's decision to quit is rallying cry for Republicans
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Feb 13, 2009 9:57 AM CST
Sen. Judd Gregg, R- N.H., announces that he will withdraw from his nomination as commerce secretary Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Judd Gregg said the right bipartisan things, but to a Republican Party in need of a boost, his withdrawal as nominee for commerce secretary feels like an act of defiance against the administration, reports Politico. When his decision was announced in a party meeting, attendees broke into applause. "Sen. Gregg has shown the American people the type of selfless leadership they should only hope to see from the White House," Rep. Tom Price said in a statement.

In Gregg, Republicans see a model for resistance to the Obama agenda. “Here's a guy who's going to turn down his place in the history books,” said one congressman. And if a senator backing out of a low-tier Cabinet job doesn’t scream "return to power," the GOP is taking what it can get. “When your opponent trips and falls on his face, it certainly emboldens the opponent,” said another congressman.