It was just something I’d been hearing about from a variety of sources. Was it true? I didn’t know , but I decided to pop the question.
During the taping of my Comcast Network Voice of Reason show, which airs Sunday night at 9:30, the following dialogue took place:
“Larry Kane: I have a question for you. I don’t know how accurate this is but a lot of reports are that the party has tried very hard to get you out of this race.
Joe Sestak: Haha, yes.
LK: Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?
LK: Was it the Navy Secretary?
JS: No comment. I – let me –
LK: Was it high-ranking?
JS: Let me just say that both here in Pennsylvania and down there, I was called quite a few times and all I’ve said is, look, I felt when a deal was made that it was hurting the democratic process, I got into this because I think that deal started getting us off the track of where the Democratic party should go. I would never get out for a deal. I’m in this for the Democratic principles and working families.
LK: Okay, but, was there a job offered to you by the White House?
LK: That’s what I want –
JS: Yes. Someone offered — yeah.
LK: It was big, right?
JS: It was — never — let me not comment on it. We had a closed comm–
LK: Yeah, but you’re going all the way.
JS: I’m in this all the way for the working family. Look, I love the Navy. It’s the best thing I ever did in my life except get married. It took me 8 years, I proposed to my wife, 8 years later she said yes. And have my beautiful daughter. But this is the next best job — to pay back this nation for having had those wonderful years in the Navy–
LK: Well, we’ve run out of time with the best question I had.”
Was I surprised? A little. After all, I was just probing.
Two hours later, I called the White House press office. I played the tape, and asked for a reaction. They called back 15 hours later with a denial.
Sestak is behind Specter in the polling. But it could be a tight race at the end. The White House is backing Specter, who switched parties last year. Sestak is well financed.
If the White House tried to get him out, it is an indication of concern that the primary contest could endanger the party’s chances in the fall, or that Sestak could pose a political risk to Arlen Specter.