By Sam Youngman - 05/20/10 06:45 PM EDT
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs refused to answer questions about whether the administration offered Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) a job to dissuade him from running for Senate.
Gibbs, throughout the spring, told White House reporters that he would get back to them with questions about the White House offering Sestak a job in an effort to stop him from running against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).
Specter lost Tuesday night despite President Barack Obama's endorsement.
In mid-March, Gibbs said he had spoken with others in the White House about the job offer, but he would say only that the conversations that took place on the issue "are not problematic."
On Thursday, Gibbs repeatedly refused to answer any questions about whether the White House offered Sestak a job, referring reporters to his March statement.
With Sestak taking the Democratic nomination into a battle against former Rep. Pat Toomey (R), the Republican National Committee (RNC) sought to make the matter into a big issue Thursday morning, calling for a "straight answer" from the White House.
"It is unacceptable for an administration that touts itself as the ‘most transparent’ in history to continue to stonewall a significant and potentially devastating accusation of political corruption," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement. "And, until a thorough and public investigation has been conducted and the air is cleared, this matter will continue to cloud the president each time he steps foot in Pennsylvania to place the establishment mantle on Joe Sestak between now and November.”