Sestak, Gibbs Skirt Questions About Alleged Job Offer

Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:50am

Coming off his Tuesday primary win, Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.) faced fresh questions Sunday about his contention that the White House offered him an administration job if he would clear the field for party-switching incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.

Sestak acknowledged that he had been offered a job, but he declined to discuss it further in appearances on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
He said he only acknowledged the job offer in an interview months ago because he was asked the question.

“I was asked about something that happened months earlier, and I felt I had to answer it honestly, and that’s all I have to say about it, because anything beyond that gets away from what we just talked about, what are the policies,” Sestak said on “Meet the Press.”

He refused to say whether the administration offered to make him secretary of the Navy.

Similarly, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, speaking on “Face the Nation,” avoided talking about the alleged job offer, but he said the president and the White House did not do anything improper in their talks with Sestak early in the primary campaign.

“I’m not a lawyer, but lawyers in the White House and others have looked into conversations that were had with Sestak,” he said. “Nothing inappropriate happened.”

Asked to confirm whether the White House offered Sestak a job, Gibbs said: “I’m not going to get further into what the conversations were. People who looked into it assured me they weren’t inappropriate in any way.”

Melanie Starkey contributed to this report.