Yesterday, Wade Norris posted a story outlining the timeline on the White House job offer to get Romanoff out of the race.
In it, he essentially asked a few simple question: what did Michael Bennet know, when did he know it, and what was his involvement?
Well finally, today, Michael Bennet at least comes clean on the first two.
After a few statements dodging the issue with phrases like:
Conversations Michael had with the White House focused on the president’s continued support for his campaign, regardless of what career path Speaker Romanoff chose to follow.
Bennet, whom the White House is supporting in the primary, was aware at the time that someone in the Obama administration planned to contact Romanoff “to confirm reports that he was interested in running for the Senate or determine if he was still interested in serving in the administration,” according to a statement from Bennet’s campaign. But Bennet had no role in those conversations with Romanoff, his campaign said.
Today we find a slightly more direct response in the Hill.
Bennet told The Hill he knew beforehand that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina had reached out to Romanoff in hopes of avoiding a primary challenge to the incumbent Bennet.
“Yeah, I was aware,” Bennet said. “Right.”
But wait…isn’t there now a little problem between this and the previous statement? First his campaign said he had no role in those conversations, then Bennet says he knew a lot more than he previously implied. The entire quote from Bennet in the hill is 5 words, which begs the question…care to elaborate Senator?
His campaign quickly ponies up the info that he knows the everything that happened, and makes a desperate pitch to cover the Senator’s ass, which just implicates him even more:
Bennet said he didn’t remember specifically how he was made aware of the contact, but pointed to a September 2009 Denver Post article about Messina’s contact with Romanoff. An aide clarified that Bennet knew before the article’s publication of the White House contacting Romanoff.
So here is my question for Senator Bennet: please give a timeline of your involvement. Andrew Romanoff did so, clearing the air about what he did or didn’t do. Senator Bennet — if you are really so inclined to clean up “this Washington” as your TV ad says, why not clear the air yourself?
To start with, you could release a list of when you talked to Jim Messina or others in the White House. White House calls and visitors are logged right? That should be easy to do. Then you can answer one very simple question that no one has yet asked you:
Senator Bennet: did you ask the White House to try and get Andrew Romanoff out of the race?
and for a followup:
Senator Bennet: if you did ask the White House to get try and get Andrew Romanoff out of the race, isn’t your whole messaging crusade about cleaning up dirty politics just a giant hypocritical ploy?