Published May 23, 2010
The White House continues to avoid discussing details on whether Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak was offered a job if he skipped the Pennsylvania Senate primary but spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sunday that lawyers reviewed conversations and found "nothing inappropriate."
"I'm not a lawyer. But lawyers in the White House and others have looked into conversations that were had with Congressman Sestak. And nothing inappropriate happened," Gibbs told CBS' "Face the Nation."
"I'm not going to get further into what the conversations were. People that have looked into them assure me that they weren't inappropriate in any way," he said.
Sestak, a former Navy vice admiral who defeated Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary last week, months ago said that the White House offered him a job to stay out of the race.
Sestak refused to bow out then, and still refuses to say now what job was offered.
"I was offered a job. I answered that," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press. "Anybody else has to decide for themselves what to say upon their role. And that's their responsibility."
Gibbs said Republicans continue to "dredge this up" because Pat Toomey, the GOP nominee challenging Sestak is "already behind in a very important Senate race."
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll taken one day after Tuesday's primary election showed Sestak leading Toomey 46-42 percent with 1 4.5 percent margin of error among 500 likely voters.
"Is it proper, ethical and legal for the White House to try to get a sitting member of Congress out of a race because they have other plans? I don't know. The White House has to answer the question," Steele said.