President Obama said he accepted former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's (D-S.D.) withdrawal from becoming the next Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary "with sadness and regret."

A day after saying he "absolutely" supported Daschle's nomination, Obama accepted Daschle's withdrawal from the HHS post, a position in which the former Senator was expected to spearhead the Obama administration's healthcare reform efforts.

"Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I," Obama said. "But that mistake, and this decision, cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country, from his years in the military to his decades of public service."

"If 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that 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. "Right now, I am not that leader and I will not be a distraction."

Daschle had become ensnared in a controversy over failing to pay taxes on unreported income related to a car service he'd been provided after his career in Congress. He becomes the second Obama nominee, alongside "Chief Performance Officer" nominee Nancy Killefer, to withdraw their nomination on Tuesday.