GOP's Gregg accepts commerce secretary post
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama extended a political olive branch to the GOP on Tuesday, nominating Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, to head the Commerce Department.
GOP Sen. Judd Gregg accepted President Obama's nomination as commerce secretary Tuesday.
"Clearly, Judd and I don't agree on every issue, most notably who should've won the [presidential] election," Obama joked in announcing the nomination, "but we do agree on the urgent need to get American businesses and families back on their feet."
Gregg will be an "able, persuasive ambassador for industry" because he is a skillful negotiator and a "master of reaching across the aisle to get things done," Obama said.
We are ... in the middle of a very difficult economic time," replied Gregg, who has chaired a key Senate commerce subcommittee.
Gregg, a third-term Republican known for being fiscally conservative, thanked Obama for taking the "rather extraordinary step of asking me to join your administration." He lauded Obama's "bold and aggressive, effective and comprehensive plan for how we can get this country moving." Watch why Gregg joined Obama's team »
"This is not a time for partisanship. This is not a time when we should stand in our ideological corners and shout at each other," he said. "This a time to govern, and govern well."
Gregg's decision to accept Obama's offer represents a stunning turnabout -- he voted to abolish the Commerce Department in 1995. If confirmed, he will be the third Republican to join Obama's Cabinet, following Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
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What do we get out of this?
We don't get a 60th Democratic Senator.
We get Sessions of Alabama as the lead Republican on the Budget Committee now.
We get someone who wanted to abolish the Commerce Department.
And going into the 2010 Census, is THIS the person we want heading things, as reapportionment rears its head?
I'm just trying to figure out why THIS Republican was such a good choice over numerous Democrats who would have been more than willing to be supportive of small business.