NBC’s Andrea Mitchell was first to report that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has withdrawn his nomination as Commerce Secretary. Richardson is citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state as his reason for pulling his name from consideration.
The AP confirmed the news 30 minutes after the report first aired on MSNBC.
For the second day in a row, MSNBC has shelved its afternoon crime documentaries to cover the situation in Gaza. But much of the 1pmET hour was filled with the Richardson news.
MSNBC has put out a press release with Mitchell’s reporting including comments from Richardson and Pres.-elect Obama…
NBC News/MSNBC Exclusive: Richardson to Withdraw As Commerce
NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell Reports Exclusively
NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell exclusively reports that New Mexico
Governor Bill Richardson will withdraw as Commerce secretary-designate today. The news was first reported on MSNBC at 1 p.m. ET.
Below is the report on MSNBC.com:
Richardson to withdraw as Commerce secretary New Mexico governor cites pending investigation of business dealings
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.
“Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact,” he said Sunday in a report by NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. “But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”
He said he plans to continue in his role as governor. “I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our
friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country.”
Obama said Sunday he accepted Richardson’s decision to withdraw with ‘deep regret.’
“Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office,” Obama said.
Richardson, 61, was United Nations ambassador and energy secretary during the Clinton administration, and he is in his second term as New Mexico’s governor. He also served seven terms in the House of Representatives.
Obama on Sunday gave no indication whom he might name to replace Richardson as the nominee but said “we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson’s decision.”