New York Gov. David Paterson is ignoring pressure from the White House or the Democratic Party to abandon his gubernatorial campaign, the Associated Press reported Sunday afternoon.
The New York Times reported earlier that President Barack Obama sent a request to Paterson to drop out of the 2010 race because of his perceived political weakness, but the Associated Press reports this morning that it's National Democratic Party leaders who are urging Paterson, appointed in the wake of the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal, to step aside.
This prompted a Sunday morning response from RNC chairman Michael Steele. "I found that to be stunning, that the White House would send word to
one of only two black governors in the country not to run for
reelection,” Steele said on "Face the Nation."
On his radio show Sunday, Rev. Al Sharpton announced that he had stepped into the fray as well. More from the AP:
"A senior Democratic adviser close to Paterson said Sunday that the state's first black governor is still planning to run and is focusing on the state's fiscal crisis. The adviser spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak for Paterson.
The governor's office has refused to comment since reports Saturday night revealed the Washington-based effort to persuade the governor to drop out of the 2010 race. That would pave the way for the far more popular Andrew Cuomo, the state's first-term attorney general.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said Sunday on his radio show that he has spoken to the White House and Paterson about his concern that Democrats do what is best for the people of New York. He wouldn't say whether he was advising Paterson to drop out."
The AP cited another anonymous adviser as suggesting Paterson, whose approval rating is at 20 percent, could potentially land an administration job if he pulls out of the running.