Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Specter Denies Santorum Deal, Says He's Too Far Right To be President Specter Denies Santorum Deal, Says He's Too Far Right To be President

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Campaign 2012

Specter Denies Santorum Deal, Says He's Too Far Right To be President

Former Sen. Arlen Specter on Friday refuted Rick Santorum’s debate night claim that he received the presidential candidate’s endorsement by promising to support then-President George W. Bush's upcoming judicial nominees.

Speaking on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown, Specter said the two former Pennsylvania senators had an excellent relationship when they served together, but no such deal was made.

 

“That is flatly not true,” Specter said. “We never had any such conversation. It would be improper to make a commitment on a vote before I knew who the nominee was and whether I thought the nominee was qualified. I've got a very strong reputation and a record behind that did not make deals like that.”

Specter, who was a Republican for nearly 29 of his 30 years in the Senate, said Santorum’s support was important in winning his 2004 GOP primary bid—but not as important as Bush's, he pointed out. He said their relationship until this week had been “cordial and good.” But Specter said he will not back Santorum’s current bid for the White House.

“I think that my support for him for re-election to the Senate was based upon what he and I did as a team and on his seniority,” Specter said. “But where you have Sen. Santorum's views so far to the right—his attitude on women in the workplace, and gays and the bestiality comments, and birth control—I do not think it is realistic for Rick Santorum to represent America.”

 

Santorum came under attack during Wednesday night’s GOP debate in Arizona for endorsing Specter over the conservative alternative at the time, Pat Toomey, in the 2004 Republican primary. Specter went on to vote for President Obama's 2009 stimulus package, then became a Democrat and provided a critical vote for Obama's health reform law before losing the 2010 Democratic primary.

Romney blamed passage of the law on Santorum and Specter. In a new "Arlen and Rick" web video released Friday, his campaign calls Specter the "deciding vote" on the health law. It also says Santorum and Specter opposed a federal right-to-work act and voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's pick. 

“If Rick Santorum couldn’t say no to liberal Arlen Specter, can you really trust him to change Washington?” the video asks.

Santorum endorsed Specter at the request of the Bush administration, which worried that the more conservative Toomey could lose the general election. Toomey went on to win a Senate seat in 2010.

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized Specter's party affiliations. He left the Senate as a Democrat.

 

Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL
 
 
 
 
What should you expect from on Election Night?
See more ▲
 
Hide