WASHINGTON Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination as President Barack Obama's health secretary on Tuesday, saying he did not want to be a distraction after tax errors forced him to pay $140,000 in back taxes.
"This morning, Tom Daschle asked me to withdraw his nomination for secretary of health and human services," Obama said in a statement. "I accept his decision with sadness and regret."
Daschle also will not be taking the White House job he was slated to hold concurrently to spearhead a major reform of the costly U.S. healthcare system.
Daschle said in a statement he was withdrawing because he did not want to be a distraction.
"This work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction," Daschle said in a statement released by the White House.
"Right now, I am not that leader and will not be a distraction," he said.
(Reporting by David Alexander and Jeff Mason; Editing by David Wiessler.)