From Erroll Southers: “I was extremely excited about the opportunity to lead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and fulfill Secretary Napolitano’s objective to develop it into the best organization of its kind in the world, however, it is apparent that this path has been obstructed by political ideology. I have decided, after deep reflection and in consultation with my family and friends to respectfully withdraw my name from consideration for confirmation as the Assistant Secretary for the TSA. It is clear that my nomination has become a lightning rod for those who have chosen to push a political agenda at the risk of the safety and security of the American people. This partisan climate is unacceptable and I refuse to allow myself to remain part of their dialogue. The TSA has important work to be done and I regret I will not be part of their success. I would like to thank the President, Secretary Napolitano and all of the people at the Department of Homeland Security who worked tirelessly to successfully move my nomination through two Senate committees during the past seven months.”
From White House Spokesman Nick Shapiro: "The President believes that Erroll Southers would have been an excellent TSA Administrator but understands his personal decision and the choice he has made. Erroll Southers has had a distinguished 30-year interdisciplinary career addressing public safety and homeland security issues in academia, working SWAT and investigating terrorism and foreign counterintelligence at the FBI and for the Los Angeles World Airports Police Division. Southers was uniquely qualified for this job and it is with great sadness that the President accepted Southers' withdrawal. Fortunately the acting TSA Administrator is very able and we have a solid team of professionals at TSA doing vital national security work to keep us safe."
Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.