ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf reports: As Republicans stepped up their criticism of the White House for trying to entice Rep. Joe Sestak out of the Democratic primary with a federal appointment last year, Sestak tried to put the whole event behind him, dodging questions from reporters.
You can listen to the full audio HERE
Sestak was congratulated by Senate Democrats for his primary victory over the White House’s favored candidate – Sen. Arlen Specter – at a Democrats-only lunch today. President Obama was talking to Republicans at their weekly lunch meeting down the hall. Sestak got a round of applause and left shortly after the Democrats’ lunch began.
Reporters tried to pin him down on his accusation that the White House tried to buy him out of the Democratic Primary with a cush federal job.
“I have nothing more to say on that. I ‘ve said everything I’m going to say on it. and I mean that with respect,” he said as he walked into the Capitol rotunda.
Sestak tried to bring the conversation back to his Republican opponent, Pat Toomey.
“What’s broken with Washington, DC, is the kinds of games people try to divert attention away from either their record – which, the last eight years, Congressman Toomey was part of that, and I like the guy by the way, ran this nation into the ground,” he said.
Does he have a personal responsibility to clear the air? Sestak tried to bring the conversation around to Pennsylvania working families. Should he try to clear the air?
“I answered about my role,” he said.
A reporter came back hard at Sestak – “But you know more than that,” said the reporter. “You know more than just about your role. And congressman there are people who are suggesting you are not telling the truth about this. And you know that people are out there saying that. Does it behoove you to come out and say what happened?”
“I really don’t have anything else to say,” said Sestak. “I know that I was up front about my personal accountability and my role and all and I have to let others decide, you know,” he said, calling the focus on accusation of quid pro quo between him and the White House “political gamesmanship.”
Besides, said Sestak, he did not act inappropriately because, “I said no. Well, I said yes to the question (asked if he was offered a job), but I said no. (to the job)