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Clinton Endorses Romanoff Over Incumbent Bennet

By Kyle Trygstad

Throwing a wrench in the gears of Democrats pushing the candidacy of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Bill Clinton today endorsed Bennet's primary challenger, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

The move solidifies the fact that Clinton and Democratic leadership in Washington are not always on the same page. The White House is so firmly in support of Bennet that it discussed other potential jobs in Washington with Romanoff that he could explore instead of running for Senate.

"Colorado is far better off today because of Andrew Romanoff's leadership. America will be too," Clinton writes in an email to supporters titled, "I support Andrew Romanoff." "Andrew brings to this race both an extraordinary record of public service and an extraordinary capacity to lead. I believe that those assets, as well as his deep commitment to Colorado, give him the best chance to hold this seat in November."

Clinton cites their long relationship -- the two met during his first run for president in 1992, when Romanoff was a student at Harvard -- and Romanoff's accomplishments as the first Democratic Colorado speaker since 1976.

The Aug. 10 primary is expected to be competitive, though Bennet led by 17 points in a Denver Post poll released earlier this month. Clinton's endorsement will surely boost the profile of Romanoff, however.

Bennet, who endorsed Obama in 2008, was appointed to the seat following Ken Salazar's appointment as U.S. Interior Secretary. Romanoff endorsed Hillary Clinton in the contentious presidential primary battle.