Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) said Thursday that he's been courting Sen. Arlen Specter for the Democratic Party since Specter nearly lost the GOP primary to former Congressman Pat Toomey five years ago.

Rendell also said that he made no promises to clear the Democratic field in the Senate context next year.

"I've been after Sen. Specter for five years," Rendell said on MSNBC. "I've had had no success."

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Rendell also said Specter "never asked" for help keeping Democrats out of the Senate race.

"If he had asked me," Rendell said, "I would have said, 'Arlen, I'll try my best."

Rendell's remarks come after a day where it has become increasingly unclear whether the governor is urging Democrats to stay out of the race. Early Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Rendell had urged Joe Torsella, the only Democrat that has declared for the Senate race so far, to abort his bid.

Later Wednesday, Mark Nevins, a spokesman for Torsella, told Pa2010.com that no such conversation has taken place.

On Thursday, Rendell was adamant that Specter is expecting anything.

"Arlen Specter didn't make a deal," Rendell said.

If Specter was promised the Democratic primary all to himself, other Democrats don't appear to be cooperating. Torsella has said he is going forward with his campaign and Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak said he is still considering whether he will run.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com