Former Gov. Ed Rendell hosted a conference call Thursday to reiterate his decision not to endorse a candidate in next year's Democratic primary for governor.
He explained that the non-news event was prompted by confusion over his role at a coming fundraiser for Emily's List, the political action committee that supports women candidates. The invitation lists Mr. Rendell as a host for the fundraiser and notes that Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Montgomery, one of the Democratic candidates will be speaking there. Ms. Schwartz has been endorsed by Emily's List.
Mr. Rendell explained that he signed on to the event to raise money for female candidates across the country, and that the coincidence of their appearances does not mean he favors her over other Pennsylvania candidates. Mr. Rendell said that since the invitation went out he had fielded calls from several of the other candidates protesting the impression created by the invitation.
"Let me be clear,'' I am not endorsing any candidate,'' he said, adding that it would take an "extraordinary development,'' for him to change his mind. He underscored his previously expressed neutrality in the race saying that choosing among the candidates would be like asking someone to choose among their children. He pointed to the fact that three of the other Democratic hopefuls, Kathleen McGinty, John Hanger and Tom Wolf, had served in his cabinet in Harrisburg and that state Treasurer Rob McCord, who is expected to enter the race soon, had been and early supporter of his own run for governor. He also praised the record of the newest Democratic candidate, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski.
In response to a reporter's question, he dismissed rumors that he privately favored Ms. McGinty's bid. He noted that he had heard similar speculation that the former DEP secretary was supported by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and said that a senior aide to the Clinton Foundation has assured him that the Democratic superstars intended to stay out of the Pennsylvania race.
"Politics is all about rumors and gossip and maybe five percent is true,'' he said.