Joe Sestak is continuing his attacks on the Democratic establishment, which he previewed here in Pittsburgh in remarks three days after the primary.
We can expect the two-term congressman to use this argument throughout the fall in an attempt to align himself with anti-incumbent feelings sweeping the country -- a new "Frustration Index" from ABC News shows those feelings at a 16-year high, and worse than they were during the Republican Revolution of 1994.
Just two weeks after the White House attempted to clear the air for Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), the Democratic nominee for Senate again blasted his party for backing Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) in the primary.
Sestak defeated Specter in the May 18 Democratic primary for Senate, even though the former Republican senator had the backing of the White House, national and state Democrats. When questioned about what he thought about the White House's vehement support for Specter, Sestak said in a televised interview with Tavis Smiley that it was simply “wrong.”
“There’s no more kings, there’s no more king makers in America,” Sestak said on the PBS show "Tavis Smiley." “And if the Democratic party should stand for anything when they are trying to get me out of the race, they should be for enticing people into the race. This President said it so well and I believe [that] he believes it: believe in principle and politics will follow. No. The party establishment was wrong in what it did.”
In the weeks following his victory, controversy erupted over whether administration officials offered Sestak a job last summer to get out of the primary. White House counsel Bob Bauer released a memo on May 28 that showed former President Bill Clinton called Sestak to discuss the race but that no official job offer – specifically, Secretary of the Navy – was offered to the two-term congressman.
Sestak’s remarks suggested the relationship between him and the administration is still cool, and that he hasn't yet forgotten his treatment during the Democratic primary.
Sestak has done a limited number of extended interviews since he won the nomination, according to his spokesman Jonathon Dworkin. Sestak faces former GOP Rep. Pat Toomey this November, and public polls show a competitive race in the Keystone State.