June 3, 2010

Oh, look. Another phony scandal! And another case of amnesia, as Republicans block all the cases in which they did the same thing from their memories.

Yes, Republicans are gleefully insisting this is a pattern of improper behavior and calling for a special prosecutor. But then again, if President Obama knocked a piece of White House china off the table and broke it, the Republicans would be calling for an investigation to see if he really sold it on eBay and pocketed the cash:

First, Joe Sestak. Now, Andrew Romanoff.


In an emailed statement, Romanoff, the former Colorado House speaker, said that in September, “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.

”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 also attached an email from Messina outlining the posts, and said he later left Messina “a voicemail informing him that I would not change course.” He said he hadn’t spoken with Messina or anyone else in the White House since then.

[...] Before Romanoff issued his statement, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith on Wednesday responded to the Romanoff reports by reiterating his call for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate both the Sestak and Romanoff discussions with the White House.

“I am concerned that the Obama Administration has engaged in a habit of attempting to manipulate the democratic election process to benefit the Democratic Party,” Smith said in a statement. “Such actions are certainly unethical and may very well be criminal. And it makes the recent White House report attempting to downplay allegations even less believable.”

Lamar, you're a lying sack o'fertilizer. Shameless, shameless, shameless!

Having learned their lesson with the Sestak story, the White House responds quickly:

Both sides insist no concrete job offer was made, but Romanoff’s announcement made it look as though the White House and come up with the idea all on its own. The part he apparently left out was that he applied for the jobs at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“Andrew Romanoff applied for a position at USAID during the Presidential transition. He filed this application through the Transition on-line process. After the new administration took office, he followed up by phone with White House personnel,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs in an e-mail statement sent before 6:30 a.m.

“Jim Messina called and e-mailed Romanoff last September to see if he was still interested in a position at USAID, or if, as had been reported, he was running for the US Senate,” Gibbs said. “Months earlier, the President had endorsed Sen. Michael Bennet for the Colorado seat, and Messina wanted to determine if it was possible to avoid a costly battle between two supporters.

“But Romanoff said that he was committed to the Senate race and no longer interested in working for the Administration, and that ended the discussion. As Mr. Romanoff has stated, there was no offer of a job,” Gibbs said.

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