Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell says he had multiple conversations with the White House about keeping Congressman Joe Sestak out of the Democratic Senate primary but that he didn’t know the administration offered Sestak an unpaid position.
Rendell says he talked “three or four times” with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel about how to persuade Sestak to back out of challenging Arlen Specter.
Rendell says he knows Democrats would have retained Sestak’s Congressional seat if he ran for re-election, but says he’s now worried Republicans could take it over this fall.
"So I was very interested in that. And Chief of Staff Emmanuel and I discussed that. No question about it. And that’s why I know the White House didn’t offer him a full-time job. Because the White House’s main emphasis was getting him to stay in the Congress and run for reelection as a congressman. So I’m certain there was no full-time job offer."
Rendell, President Obama and Senator Robert Casey supported Senator Arlen Specter's bid for a 6th term in office.
Rendell calls the continued focus on the White House offer “much ado about nothing,” and says Republicans calling for a special investigation into the matter are just playing politics and wasting time.
President Obama says the administration did “nothing improper” in using former President Bill Clinton to offer Sestak an advisory position.