Washington (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton announced Tuesday that he is endorsing challenger Andrew Romanoff in the battle for Colorado's Democratic Senate nomination, rather than support incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. The move puts the former president at odds with his national party.
In an email to supporters, Clinton said that he supports Romanoff, "and I hope you will too. Please make a generous contribution to his campaign today."
In the email, the former president says he first met Romanoff in 1992. Clinton then goes on to describe what he calls the many accomplishments by Romanoff as a state lawmaker and then as Colorado's first Democratic House speaker since 1976.
"Colorado is far better off today because of Andrew Romanoff's leadership. America will be too," add Clinton.
Washington (CNN) - A Colorado Senate candidate, who is challenging Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary, said Wednesday that a senior White House aide suggested last year that three administration jobs might be open to him if he abandoned plans to run against Bennet. But the candidate, former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, also noted that he was never offered a position by the White House.
"In September 2009, shortly after the news media first reported my plans to run for the Senate, I received a call from Jim Messina, the president's deputy chief of staff. Mr. Messina informed me that the White House would support Sen. Bennet. I informed Mr. Messina that I had made my decision to run," Romanoff said in a statement released early Wednesday evening. "Mr. Messina also suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race. He added that he could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions. At no time was I promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina's assistance in obtaining one."
Romanoff said later that day he received an email from Messina with descriptions of three positions. Romanoff includes an attachment of what he says is the email from Messina, which is dated Friday, September 11, 2009. The three positions listed in the email are Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and Caribbean, USAID, Director of the Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID, and Director of the US Trade and Development Agency, USTDA.