National News

Gibbs says he's leaving White House

Posted January 5, 2011 10:16 a.m. EST
Updated January 5, 2011 12:29 p.m. EST

— White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says he is resigning his job as the president's chief spokesman.

Gibbs, a North Carolina State University graduate whose family lives in Apex, is leaving to become an outside political adviser to President Barack Obama and his re-election campaign and to give speeches in the private sector.

The change is to take effect in early February. No replacement has been immediately named.

Obama called Gibbs a close friend and adviser and an effective advocate for his administration.

"I think it’s natural for him to want to step back, reflect and retool," the president said in a statement. "That brings up some challenges and opportunities for the White House, but it doesn’t change the important role that Robert will continue to play on our team.”

The move comes as Obama ushers in a broad shake up of his senior leadership, heading toward his own likely re-election bid in 2012.