Republican Senatorial Committee still pushing Romanoff-White House story

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is emailing around a story posted by The Hill today that reports the non-news that Sen. Michael Bennet knew that the White House was in talks about a job with his primary opponent Andrew Romanoff in an effort to avoid a Colorado primary battle. The NRSC and The Hill bury the lead in the story, which comes at the end as a quote from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.):

Durbin defended the Obama administration’s outreach to the candidates, saying that too much has been made of the controversy.

“It’s an old story. It applies to presidents in all administrations,” Durbin told The Hill. “I don’t find it surprising and I certainly don’t think there’s anything unusual about it.”

From The Hill:

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said Thursday he was aware that the White House urged Andrew Romanoff not to challenge him in a primary.

Bennet told The Hill that 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.”

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 also knew before the article’s publication of the White House contacting Romanoff.

News would be if Bennet hadn’t known. The Romanoff-White House story is surely nothing Bennet is concerning himself with these days. Bennet’s financial regulation legislation votes are coming under increased scrutiny and battles over energy and immigration bills loom.

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