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Richardson Addresses Decision to Withdraw Name as Obama Cabinet Nominee

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson held a brief news conference about his decision to withdraw his nomination for Commerce Secretary, but refused to answer questions about a federal investigation into his political donors. Video by AP

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Monday, January 5, 2009; 1:56 PM

(JOINED IN PROGRESS) RICHARDSON: ... this decision was a difficult one, I think it was the right thing to do. I made the decision over the weekend after exploring my options. I had hoped that the CDR investigation would have concluded in December with a clean bill of health for my administration. Since the investigation was not finished in December and, as long as the CDR investigation is ongoing, I made the decision to withdraw as the president-elect's nominee for commerce secretary rather than ask for a delay in my appointment.

I underestimated how long the CDR investigation would take, but I have faith in the criminal justice process, and we must allow it to run its course.

I also don't want to jeopardize the process by commenting on it today.

As you might expect, I'm disappointed in the turn of events. There were a lot of ways in which I thought I could help this country in a time of financial crisis. Sometimes your own dreams and plans must take a back seat to what is best for the nation.

The president-elect said in his statement yesterday that he looks forward to my future service in his administration. I still believe I have a lot to give in public service.

But today I will continue with the challenging job -- the one that I love the most -- of being governor, and preparing a state budget, and working with Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, and the New Mexico legislature and its citizens to move New Mexico forward.

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