From NBC's Mark Murray
While the RNC is seeing its fundraising decline, it is zeroing in on Pennsylvania Senate nominee Joe Sestak's (D) claim that the Obama administration offered him a job to persuade him not to challenge Arlen Specter in a primary. Of course, Sestak defeated Specter on Tuesday.
Yesterday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele issued this statement:
It is unacceptable for an administration that touts itself as the 'most transparent' in history to continue to stonewall a significant and potentially devastating accusation of political corruption. And, until a thorough and public investigation has been conducted and the air is cleared, this matter will continue to cloud the President each time he steps foot in Pennsylvania to place the establishment mantle on Joe Sestak between now and November."
Today, Steele followed up with this blog post:
Was a job promise made by the White House to bait Sestak out of the race and, if so, does the offer still stand? Why is the White House stonewalling on this issue? Are they afraid of what a public investigation might yield? Is it because this type of quid pro quo is considered business as usual in the Obama White House?
While Sestak continues to maintain in interviews that the Obama administration offered him a job, the White House has denied that there anything improper took place. But White House isn't saying anything more than that. Consider White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's press briefing yesterday:
Q And Sestak -- several months ago, I asked you on February 23rd if you could find out more about what Sestak said about the White House making him an offer to not run. And I know that in March you said whatever conversations have been had are not problematic. But I'm wondering since this has become an issue in Congressman Sestak's campaign and will likely be -- continue to be an issue, if you could -- if you want to put it to rest right now, what exactly was the conversation?
MR. GIBBS: Jake, I don't have anything to add to what I said in March.
Q But you never -- you never really explained what the conversation was.
MR. GIBBS: Then I don't have anything to add today.
Q But if the White House offers a congressman a position in the administration in order to convince that congressman to not run for office --
MR. GIBBS: Jake, I don't have anything to add to that.
Q But you've said a number of times that you would get something for us on that.
MR. GIBBS: And I did. And I gave that answer in March, and I don't have anything to add to that.