The lawmaker challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary claims the Obama administration pushed him to get out of the contest, even dangling the possibility of a plum job in return.
Rep. Joe Sestak has been running hard for several months to oust Specter, who has had the support of President Obama and much of the Democratic establishment since he left the Republican Party and helped give his new party a temporary supermajority in the Senate. The White House's backing of Specter has long been clear, but did the administration actually go so far as to offer Sestak a job?
As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer Friday, Sestak was asked Thursday during a taping of a local television news show, "Larry Kane: Voice of Reason," whether the White House had made such an offer. Sestak responded, "Yes," but declined to provide any further details.
Asked whether the position in question was Secretary of the Navy, Sestak said, "No comment." He did allow that the job was "high-ranking" but made clear that he would never have abandoned his campaign for such an offer.
This isn't the only Democratic primary in which the White House has been accused of such behavior. In September, the Denver Post cited "several sources" in reporting that White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina had told Andrew Romanoff he could get an administration post -- specifically at the U.S. Agency for International Development -- if he dropped his primary challenge to Sen. Michael Bennet. The White House denied that Romanoff had been offered a job.