White House: Romanoff applied for job with administration 

The White House has just released a statement saying that Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff, who yesterday said White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina “suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race,” had in fact applied for a job with the Obama administration in late 2008 and early 2009. “Andrew Romanoff applied for a position at USAID during the Presidential transition,” says a statement from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.  “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.”

But Romanoff didn’t get the job.  Then circumstances changed, and Romanoff’s chances of employment in the Obama administration improved dramatically. Last September, when Romanoff was planning to challenge White House favorite Sen. Michael Bennet in the Colorado Democratic primary race, the White House says Messina got in touch with Romanoff to see if he’d be interested in the job he applied for earlier — plus a couple of others.

According to Gibbs, after President Obama endorsed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, the White House “wanted to determine if it was possible to avoid a costly battle between two supporters.”  So Messina “called and emailed Romanoff… 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.”

By all accounts, Romanoff said he was committed to running for Senate.  He “was no longer interested in working for the administration, and that ended the discussion,” the White House says.  “As Mr. Romanoff has stated, there was no offer of a job.”

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