http://www.foxnews.com/politics/fir...s-nomination-health-human-services-secretary/ Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination for health and human services secretary, after fielding mounting criticism over his failure to pay more than $130,000 in taxes. President Obama stood by Daschle Monday, telling reporters that he "absolutely" supports the former South Dakota senator. But the president accepted Daschle's withdrawal Tuesday morning. It was unclear whether Daschle, with his deep network of ties in the Senate stemming in part from his time as majority leader, would have been able to weather the criticism in confirmation. Senators were reluctant to state publicly any opposition to Daschle's nomination in recent days. But that started to crack Tuesday morning, as Republican Sen. Jim DeMint called for Obama to withdraw the nomination -- becoming the first senator to say that the former majority leader's tax problems are disqualifying. DeMint told FOX News that Daschle's failure to pay $134,000 in federal taxes reflects a "problem with integrity" that the government cannot afford to tolerate. DeMint spoke out against Daschle as a number of prominent newspapers, including The New York Times, called for the South Dakota Democrat to drop his bid. DeMint said he came to that conclusion after it became "obvious" that Daschle knew about the tax problems long before his nomination and did nothing to make it right. "The average American would likely face criminal charges with tax evasion of this size, yet he did not address the issue until he was nominated," he said. Daschle has since paid $146,000 in back payments and interest, and apologized on Monday for what he called income tax errors. The New York Times, in its editorial, complained that Timothy Geithner was already confirmed as treasury secretary despite his tax problems. "It would send a terrible message to the public if we ignore the failure of yet another high-level nominee to comply with the tax laws," the Times wrote. Several other newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, also have called for Daschle to withdraw. But Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer earlier said Daschle's own admission that he had failed to pay the taxes was reason enough to forgive his sin. "Clearly it was a bad mistake, and Daschle was the first to come up with this in June 2008," Schumer said. "It wasn't discovered by the administration's vetting team but rather by Daschle himself much earlier and he brought it to the attention of the administration's vetting team when he was chosen as a potential nominee for HHS." Obama's pick to be the White House's first performance officer, Nancy Killefer, also withdrew her nomination on Tuesday because of her own tax liabilities, namely a $946 tax lien imposed by the D.C. government for failure to pay $298 in unemployment compensation tax on household help. Noting the importance of the post, Killefer wrote in her withdrawal letter to the president that "my personal tax issue of D.C. unemployment tax could be used to create exactly the kind of distraction and delay those duties must avoid."