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Washington - Sesgate: Republicans, Dems Press White House on Sestak Job Offer

Published on: May 26, 2010 01:21 PM
By: AP
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Rep. Joseph Sestak, D-Pa. talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 25, 2010, after the Democratic Caucus luncheon. Sestak defeated Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa. in last week's Pennsylvania Senate primary. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)Rep. Joseph Sestak, D-Pa. talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 25, 2010, after the Democratic Caucus luncheon. Sestak defeated Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa. in last week's Pennsylvania Senate primary. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

Washington - Republicans and Democrats pressured the White House on Tuesday to disclose whether it offered a federal job to Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak if he would drop his Senate primary challenge against Democratic incumbent Arlen Specter.

Sestak has said repeatedly that he received an offer to join the Obama administration if he abandoned the race against Specter, who had switched from Republican to Democrat last year and was the White House’s preferred candidate. Republicans have criticized the offer, saying it was grossly inappropriate and demanding an explanation from the administration.

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Sestak said he rejected the job offer. Last Tuesday, he defeated the five-term Specter, capturing the party nomination.

White House officials have insisted that “nothing inappropriate” took place. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs declined to say if Sestak was offered a job, but did say on Sunday that White House lawyers and others have looked into the matter. Political adviser David Axelrod hinted that the White House might have more to say.

“I don’t think that any questions will be left unanswered on this,” Axelrod said during a Monday appearance on CNN.

That hasn’t quieted the calls for the administration, which frequently says it is the most transparent in history, to make a full disclosure.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele urged supporters to take to Twitter to pressure the White House into answering questions.

“We have Joe Sestak telling us that the White House offered him a deal, offered him a job, offered him something if he didn’t run for the United States Senate. The White House won’t answer the question,” Steele said in a Web video.

Two top Democrats — party chief Tim Kaine and Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate — said the White House and Sestak need to address these questions.

“At some point, I think Congressman Sestak needs to make it clear what happened,” Durbin told CNN, adding that he was not pointing fingers at either party.

In Blue Bell, Pa., Republican candidate Pat Toomey said Tuesday that Sestak should clarify what job the White House offered him to drop a primary challenge. Toomey, a former Republican congressman who pushed Specter out of the Republican primary, said he prefers to focus on issues but “it would be helpful” if Sestak cleared the air about the job offer.

Sestak spokesman Jonathon Dworkin dismissed Toomey’s rhetoric.

“If Congressman Toomey really wanted to focus on issues that matter to the working families of Pennsylvania, he wouldn’t be bringing in the Republican establishment from Washington, D.C., to speak for him about political distractions,” Dworkin said.

Steele, campaigning for Toomey, noted Sestak was the one who first disclosed the job offer.

“Speaking of forthright, don’t you just love Congressman Sestak right now?” Steele said. “Singing all kinds of tunes. White House is not happy.”

In the House, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California suggested the White House was stonewalling.

“The chorus is growing louder from both Democrats and Republicans for both Joe Sestak and the White House to finally disclose what was said and who said it,” said Issa, who unsuccessfully sought a Justice Department investigation.

National Democrats have urged the White House to quickly dispatch with the nagging question and focus on the midterm elections, when voters will pick 36 senators, 37 governors and the entire 435-member House.



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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 26, 2010 at 01:40 PM Paskunyak Says:

The Obama White House will inform the public on this issue in a timely and truthful maner. Just like they did when they were asked for Obama's BIRTH Certificate. NOT!

Why won't Obama produce his original BIRTH CERTIFICATE ??????????

Makes you wonder???????? If you only knew what else they were hiding.

2

 May 26, 2010 at 02:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Can you even begin to think what would of happened if Bush was accused of this there would be called for impeachment. If what is true happened this is braking federal law. The white house tells us to trust them are they out of there mind I don't trust obama and his cronies for a second.

3

 May 26, 2010 at 03:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Where all the Obots now? Wow, they are all hiding like cowards. I can assure you, though, nothing will come out of this, as he has dodged much more serious crimes, and got away with it. "Change" you were waiting for. You got what you paid for!

4

 May 26, 2010 at 04:47 PM gop2010 Says:

This was already released by sestak weeks ago.But the liberal media didn't make any fuss .Imagine if this was bush,just picture the immediate media firestorm.

5

 May 26, 2010 at 05:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Bribery is an impeachable offense and President Obama is clearly implicated in this disgusting political corruption scandal. I believe that the Obama Administration will be embroiled in a Grand Jury and Special Prosectorial Investigation within three months. This corruption scandal will surely topple the Obama Administration.

6

 May 26, 2010 at 05:48 PM Conservative One Says:

Where is Chucky Schumer who was always very quick to call for Special Prosecutors everytime President Bush sneezed in public. Why is he not calling for a Special Prosecutor to investigate the emporer, Hussein Obama? Could it be that he knows that his comrade committed impeachable offenses and many democrats may drown in November in the mud he created? VOTE REPUBLICAN.

7

 May 26, 2010 at 05:50 PM Smells Nasty Says:

Republicans go get em, let's see democrat heads roll ........

8

 May 26, 2010 at 10:18 PM Dave Says:

Politics.

There is no "there" there.

If, as has been rumored, the White House offered Admiral Sestak the Secretary of the Navy position, what is the crime?

That he would have to drop out of the campaign? You cannot campaign and serve in that role at the same time. The job itself would require him to drop out.

Now, would they get the benefit of avoiding a primary in Pennsylvania? Yes they would. Is that a crime? No.

9

 May 27, 2010 at 09:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Dave Says:

Politics.

There is no "there" there.

If, as has been rumored, the White House offered Admiral Sestak the Secretary of the Navy position, what is the crime?

That he would have to drop out of the campaign? You cannot campaign and serve in that role at the same time. The job itself would require him to drop out.

Now, would they get the benefit of avoiding a primary in Pennsylvania? Yes they would. Is that a crime? No.

learn some law ,dave.

10

 May 27, 2010 at 09:51 AM gop2010 Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Where all the Obots now? Wow, they are all hiding like cowards. I can assure you, though, nothing will come out of this, as he has dodged much more serious crimes, and got away with it. "Change" you were waiting for. You got what you paid for!

They are in their holes as usual when something like this comes out.Just like harry ried's racial remarks.Rules by the liberals only apply to the gop.

11

 May 27, 2010 at 10:54 AM Dave Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

learn some law ,dave.

Please elucidate.

Where is the crime?

12

 May 27, 2010 at 06:45 PM gop2010 Says:

Reply to #11  
Dave Says:

Please elucidate.

Where is the crime?

Giving a job in a goverment office in exchange for a deal is likely illegal

13

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