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Andrew Romanoff says he won't turn White House job overtures into political hay

Colorado Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff said he doesn't plan to use the White House's "dangling" of a job offer as a political trump card this summer.

Romanoff is running a primary against appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). The White House has acknowledged in recent days that it suggested he might instead pursue one of a trio of job opportunities in the administration, with the purpose of clearing the field for Bennet.

Romanoff declined to pursue the jobs, and bringing that up would seem a real good way to reinforce his credentials as the outsider candidate in the race. But in an interview with The Fix, he repeatedly declined to judge the White House for its conduct and says it won't be a campaign issue.

"No, it's not," he said. "I declined to comment on this matter precisely because I did not want and do not want to politicize it. It became apparent over the last couple days that a great deal of misinformation was filling the void."

At the same time, the former state House speaker noted that the White House has been unsuccessful in thwarting other primary challenges in Pennsylvania and Arkansas. And he suggested that it wasn't persuasive in his case.

"They fought unsuccessfully to prevent Congressman (Joe) Sestak's challenge, Lt. Gov. (Bill) Halter's challenge," Romanoff said. "The national party supports incumbents; I understand that. That's their call. But at the end of the day, these decisions get made by the people of our state."

Romanoff said he didn't consider any of the three jobs that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina mentioned in a phone conversation shortly after Romanoff entered the race.

The types of jobs that the White House has broached with Romanoff and Sestak have drawn some ridicule for their lack of appeal. Two of the jobs mentioned to Romanoff were at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which the Post's Al Kamen today compared to a "failed state." And Sestak couldn't have taken the unpaid advisory board job reportedly offered to him unless he resigned from Congress.

Romanoff said he respects the president and supports him, and that he looks forward to getting past the drama and focusing on bigger political issues.

"There is a much deeper problem in Washington that has turned Congress into a subsidiary of the industries it is supposed to be regulating," Romanoff said. "I'm running, in part, because I want to change the way the Senate works."

-- Aaron Blake

By The Fix  |  June 4, 2010; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Elections have consequences


You put in an affirmative action guy - who fills the government with affirmative action appointees.


AND all of a sudden the safety standards aren't being applied and a permit for an oil rig is given by Obama to BP.


THIS IS WHAT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE DONE TO THIS COUNTRY.


How many times did people say Obama had no experience - and how many times did you tell yourselves you didn't care.

YOU SHOULD CARE NOW.


THIS OIL SPILL IS THE DIRECT RESULT OF THE DEMOCRATS PUSHING AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GUY WHO HAS LITTLE IDEA WHAT HE IS DOING.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 6, 2010 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Obama's administration approved the well, his MMS didn't oversee it, this is day 49 and he still allows BP to try the 4th attempt at saving the gulf coast this week, he allows the wrong saw to make the cuts on the well- so there cannot be a tight seal- because the diamond blades are dulled from previous use- his Navy sits on the sidelines doing nothing to attempt to stop this historic leak and resulting devastation- in NYC one can be arrested for abusing a dog but Louisiana thousands of seabirds are being strangled in oil and the President of BP is making commercials-Obama makes lovely speeches and throws tar balls on the beach- We are the strongest country in the world, with the best military but we have an author/orator/community organizer for a leader and our children and their children's children will suffer for our poor choice in 2008.

Posted by: thecannula | June 4, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind going along with an investigation and trial, but only if Cheney and Bush are also investigated and tried for all the political arm-wrestling they instigated, never mind the illegal war, wiretapping citizens, and the other too-obvious foul-ups of those two terms.

I'm sure the statute of limitations has not expired.

Posted by: MadamDeb | June 4, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

AlaninMissoula, that same situation has played out with Democratic races here in Ohio -- not to mention with the 2008 presidential contest, where a lot of people credit tough opposition from Hillary Clinton as one of the things that prepared President Obama for the general. All scandalmongering aside, I think there's ample evidence to show that, at least for Democrats, a hotly contested primary is a good thing.

Still, these White House-influenced races are different: They're races in which one of the Democrats is an incumbent. And although tough primary competition for open seats seems to produce stronger Democratic candidates, that may not be the case when one of the Democrats is already in office. In addition, the evidence seems to point toward tough primary fights serving to strengthen candidates, and it's possible that at the early stages, neither Joe Sestak or Andrew Romanoff was seen by the White House as a tough candidate.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | June 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, never thought I'd hear of Connie Burns again. There are a lot of Senators who I vehemently disagree with in terms of positions and tactics, but Burns seemed like a generally bad human being.

That being said, I certainly don't wish him to die. Here's hoping he pulls through.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I do think the National Democratic Patry and the White House are missing the mark if they try to discourage inter-party callenges of incumbants. A hotly contested primary is a good jump into the general election, especially for appointees and new comers to politics like Bennet, who still needs to work on state-wide name recognition.
I remember four years ago in Montana where then state senator Jon Tester, was up against the well funded State Auditor Jim Morrison. Comming from a rural state senate district Tester was not exactly a household name. But with a stiff challenge to Morrison he was well known by time he beat Morrison in the primary. Everyone knew who he was then when he went on to challenge three-term Republican incumbant Conrad Burns. Now he has turned out to bwe a popular Senator in Montana.
Burns, by the way, suffered a stroke this year and is still hospitalized in Billings. Bless his soul.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | June 4, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

A good point point, bsimon... but it is nice to hear someone admit that there are fundamental problems with the way industry and congress interact.

Thanks, Mark, I see.

Wow, 37 is really on tear. Wonder if he's upped the dosage of little white pills? At this rate, he may soon burn out his cerebral cortex and forget how to type. Awwww...

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The country deserves an INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR

It is amazing to hear the democrats try to look the other way on these CRIMES.


If Bush had done anything which had a hint of being wrong - the democrats would be SCREAMING FOR YEARS.

IT IS SO HYPOCRITICAL.

THIS IS HOW THE DEMOCRATS GOVERN ? THIS IS THE RESULT OF ALL THEIR PROMISES THAT THINGS WOULD BE DIFFERENT.

DIFFERENT - IF THE DEMOCRATS MEANT WORSE.


SERIOUSLY, THE DEMOCRATS HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING IF THEIR DEFENSE IS "EVERYONE DOES IT" - AND "IT'S BEEN DONE BEFORE."

Hey, that bank was robbed when Bush was President, so it's OK to rob it now.

Meanwhile - INNERCITY VIOLENCE IS OUT OF CONTROL IN AMERICA.

And the democrats don't want to do anything about that CRIME either.

34 People were shot in two days in Chicago last weekend.


LET'S DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

drindl, I had just rechecked the linked webcam view from shrink. Only about 40% of the field was obscured, down from 85%, earlier. Its back up to about 65% as I write this. Just follow the visual every hour or so and hope for the best.

FYI:

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/html/Enterprise_ROV_2.html

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"There is a much deeper problem in Washington that has turned Congress into a subsidiary of the industries it is supposed to be regulating," Romanoff said. "I'm running, in part, because I want to change the way the Senate works."


A nice sentiment, if you're going against an entrenched incumbent. Bennet has only been there since January 22, 2009. CO's senior Senator, Mark Udall, has tenure going back to Jan 3, 2009. Romanoff may make a fine senator, but jpw dpes replacing a wet-behind-the-ears senator with a wetter-behind-the-ears senator make a significant change in the way congress works?

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 4, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, the political pressures are building for Obama to give the nation what the MEDIA SAYS THE NATION REALLY NEEDS: A PHOTO OP OF OBAMA HUGGING A FISHERMAN.


You see- somehow the media is building up steam - building up pressure - because the NATION HAS NOT YET SEEN OBAMA HUG A FISHERMAN ON TV.


As if that will soak up all the oil in the few seconds it takes for that photo op to show up on every tv in the country.


No, it doesn't work that way.


The OIL IS MOVING TOO SLOWLY FOR THE MEDIA TO CREATE ADEQUATELY COMPELLING STORYLINES.


The Anchors have an hour each which they have to fill EVERY DAY.


The OIL IS JUST MOVING TOO SLOWLY FOR THE MEDIA STORYLINE-TELLING COMMUNITY.


They have to CREATE A STORY: Obama is not doing ENOUGH TO CREATE PHOTO-OPS.


What is WRONG WITH A OBAMA, HE MUST BE TONE-DEAF - HE JUST ISN'T DOING ENOUGH TO FILL THE MEDIA'S AIRTIME WITH PHOTO-OPS, STORYLINES AND DRAMA.


Maybe they could have a show-down between Hayward and Obama - some sort of SMACK-DOWN ON THE BEACH -


Obama can scream, "Look at this tar-ball"- and Hayward can pretend to care -


AND then Obama can scream - "you better care"


And Hayward can say "I care"


Then Obama can say "Not Enough"


Hayward can say "I care enough - it's you who doesn't care - you racist."


Obama says "I'm not a racist - you are the one with the British accent."

Then the two engage in a dramatic fist fight


The two have a SMACK DOWN - REPEATEDLY PUNCHING EACH OTHER AS THE WAVES CRASH ON THE BEACH and finally the two PHYSICALLY STRUGGLE and roll around in the sand - which causes the two of them to fall into the surf - as the waves wash over them,


Just as the two pause - and you think the two might kiss - the first oil drifts onto the beach.


NOW THAT WOULD BE GOOD TELEVISION.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 4, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Gusher seems less aggressive now than five hours ago."

sometimes dreams come true

Posted by: shrink2 | June 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Rs, as usual, trying to make taxpayers clean up the oil companies' messes...

"This week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration had opened criminal and civil investigations into the companies involved in the massive Gulf oil spill. Officials said they were looking into potential violations of the Oil Pollution Act [OPA] of 1990, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, among other laws.

But if Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) had his way, BP and its partners would have been off the hook for violations of all but the weakest of these laws. In July 2000, when Vitter was in the House, he introduced a bill that would make penalties under the OPA “the exclusive criminal penalties” for oil spills:

(a) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision or rule of law, sections 4301(c) and 4302 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-380; 104 Stat. 537) and the amendments made by those sections provide the exclusive criminal penalties for any action or activity that may arise or occur in connection with a discharge of oil or a hazardous substance referred to in section 311(b)(3) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1321(b)(3)).

Fortunately, the bill — which attracted only two cosponsors — never made it out of committee. If it had become law, BP and the other companies would be exempted from more stringent criminal penalties under the other environmental laws. It would also potentially exempt BP from any workplace safety violations on the rig or during the cleanup. "

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The COUNTRY DESERVES AN INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE ALL 3 ASPECTS OF THESE JOBS OFFERS.

The democrats have the attitude - a bank was robbed last year, so we might as well let this bank robbery slide.

The democrats just don't care about CRIME - mention a crime, and the democrats want to look the other way.

I wonder how many people are going to be shot this weekend in Chicago. It was 34 last weekend.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 4, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Liberals would prefer that their ethics simply be swept under the rug, where liberal ethics live.

they are as clueless, angry and bitter as ever:


McCartney aimed a bolt of sarcasm at Obama’s predecessor. “After the last eight years,” he quipped, “it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.” The audience erupted in laughter.

And so it was with McCartney's obnoxious crack, which was not only nasty, and totally inappropriate to the occasion, but also perfectly uninformed. Bush’s wife Laura is a librarian. She and her husband made a mini-cause of supporting literacy and public libraries, both when he was governor of Texas and when he was president.

The Bush administration oversaw creation of a federal grant program to train a new generation of librarians. It’s called the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, and it has awarded $130 million to date. During Bush’s presidency, federal funding for public libraries grew from $163.2 million per year to $212.2 million per year – a 30 percent increase.

In mocking the boorishness of a former U.S. president, Sir Paul, and those who roared at his remark, unfortunately demonstrated their own.

By Charles Lane

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

What is your source, Mark?

Does this tiny story really deserve FIVE columns? I mean come on, Chris. Everyone else has moved on.

Although I must say I like this guy:


"There is a much deeper problem in Washington that has turned Congress into a subsidiary of the industries it is supposed to be regulating," Romanoff said. "I'm running, in part, because I want to change the way the Senate works."

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Gusher seems less aggressive now than five hours ago.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 4, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

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