May 25th, 2010
01:26 PM ET
12 years ago

Durbin: Sestak must come clean about job offer

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday that Rep. Joe Sestak should fully explain whether Obama administration officials pressed him to drop his Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter in exchange for a job."]
Washington (CNN) - The number two Democrat in the Senate, who has close ties to the White House, is urging Rep. Joe Sestak to come clean.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told CNN Tuesday that the Pennsylvania Democrat should fully explain whether Obama administration officials pressed him to drop his Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter in exchange for a job.

Related: CNN's John King on Sestak, the WH

"At some point I thing Congressman Sestak needs to make it clear what happened," Durbin told CNN. Sestak has refused to reveal whom he spoke with at the White House about a job offer.

Sestak made the claim in February when he was still trailing Specter, who had the backing of the White House, in the polls. Sestak captured the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nomination last week.

Aides to President Obama have acknowledged that conservations took place between White House aides and Sestak during the campaign, but said nothing improper took place. Still, administration officials have also refused to divulge who talked to Sestak.

Durbin said the White House can provide details after Sestak explains himself.
"Congressman Sestak raised the issue," Durbin said. "If there's been some confusion, I hope he can make the facts as clear as possible. Then, as far as the administration is concerned, they will react to that."

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Filed under: Arlen Specter • Dick Durbin • Joe Sestak • Obama administration
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Hey Sestak... how's the smell of diesel exhaust under the Obama Greyhound?

    May 25, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. thor

    It will be just be a matter of time before someone in the administration decides to fall on the sword to protect Obama.Nothing could happen without his approval. It's the Chicago way !!

    May 25, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Who cares? The Democratic establishment promised to back Specter, and this was part of it. It didn't work. Maybe if the Democratic establishment would consider keeping their promises and backing us, the American people, instead of offering us watered down versions, we would back them instead of buck them. But who knows.

    May 25, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. saldunn

    I don't think anyone offered him a job, its something he said to bring attention to his self during his campaign rheotic. I also think that the WH is protecting somebody but they don't know who. Sestak said someone offered him a job and the WH thinks maybe someone did. The man seems to me to be lying and now scared to death that he is being questioned about it.

    May 25, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Tim

    Actually, it's the white house that needs to be clear.

    May 25, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Tim

    Right, Obama doesn't want to have to say anything that Sestak may not bring up. Most transparent administration since Obama took office.

    May 25, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. CSM

    Compared to EVERYTHING ELSE going on... this means squat.

    May 25, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Eric

    Durbin is just trying to cover his own rear end.

    As the politician he truly is, he's smart enough to know this is going to blow up into a very, very big ugly situation for the "most transparent" administration (think "Plame-gate" but with an ACTUAL high-crime committed). Durbin is publicly grandstand right now so none of the political fallout lands on him during the special prosecutor's hearings.

    Job-offer-gate is gonna be a career-ender for someone in the administration. Since Teflon Barry is too adept politically, he'll instruct Rham Emmanuel to fall on his sword for the administration. Will Dead Fish be willing to do prison time for Barry Dunham? Doubtful.

    This is going to get ugly... I'm going to make some popcorn and watch with glee.

    May 25, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Carl

    I know it doesn't mean much when applied to politicians anymore, but could we get Sestak's answer under oath please?

    May 25, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Welcome to Oblahblah's Banana Republic

    The Department of Jihad (Justice) has refused to investigate. Surpirze, surprize, surprize.
    This crooked administration wouldn't tell the truth if their lives depended on it.
    I can see November from my house!!

    May 25, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. chill

    It's time to get out in front of this issue and put it to bed one way or the other. Otherwise it will just distract from and leave a cloud over the campaign. You'd think these guys would have learned damage control by now.

    May 25, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. chris

    of course he was offered a job. that's the way this white house works. THE CHICAGO WAY!!! my question is why anyone is even surprised? the disgrace this president has brought to the office is so sad.

    May 25, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Ab in PA

    He had better start explaining or he will prove that he can't be trusted to tell the truth and neither can this administration. That would cost them both my vote.

    May 25, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Paul from Phoenix

    The GOP and Dems both do this. HOWEVER....

    Obama ran on change. He said he was the candidate to get rid of cronyism and backroom deals in Washington. More lies by a President and an administration that is becoming all too good at lying.

    This is not what I voted for.

    May 25, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. stevegee

    Propaganda, demonization, now bribery – the Obama administration is making Bill Clinton look like a saint.

    But will there be an investigation into what appears to be a federal crime? Of course not, the liberal media are in the bag for Obama, and so is the Justice Dept.

    Wake up people! In November 2010, vote American, vote Republican!

    May 25, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Alex

    It sounds to me like Rahm and the White House have some 'splainin' to do, not Joe Sestak.

    May 25, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Nick

    Back-room deal making, Chicago style. My understanding is that this is an impeachable offense, and Sestak would do the country a great service by testifying and allowing the impeachment of the President.

    May 25, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Karo77

    They are probably all trying to coordinate their stories at this point and come up with something innocuous that benefits both WH and Sestak............

    May 25, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" Economics has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    If there is any truth to the allegations, then Sestak needs to name names, otherwise, if he was just ranting then he needs to admit that as well.

    May 25, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
1 2