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Longtime GOP Sen. Specter Joins Democratic Party

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Posted over 5 years ago

 

Republican voters have sent Arlen Specter to the Senate five times, but faced with the prospect of a strong challenge from conservative Pat Toomey in the GOP primary and the state trending Democratic, Specter announced Tuesday he is jumping ship and becoming a Democrat.

FOXNews.com




Veteran GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday he will switch political parties and run in the Democratic primary in 2010.


Republican voters had sent him to the Senate five times. But faced with the prospect of a strong challenge from conservative Pat Toomey in the GOP primary and the state trending Democratic, Specter issued a statement that he was going to jump ship.


"I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters," Specter said at a news conference on Tuesday.


"I can understand their disappointment," he continued. "I am also disappointed that so many in the party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides."


The switch puts Democrats within one vote of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Democrats currently hold 56 seats in the Senate, and two independents typically vote with the party. Republicans have 41 seats. 


With Specter switching sides, Democrats will reach the magical number of 60 if Al Franken, who has been entangled in a protracted court battle with incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, is seated in Minnesota.


Despite the change in political stripes, Specter vowed to remain an independent voice in the Senate.


"My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans," he said.


"Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy's statement that sometimes party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America," he continued.


Specter's departure further fueled anger that had been building since his vote for a $787 billion stimulus package proposed by President Obama and supported by just three Republicans in Congress. 


After Obama was notified of Specter's decision Tuesday morning during his daily economic daily briefing, the president called Specter and said "you have my full support" and that Democrats are "thrilled to have you," a senior administration official told FOX News.


Specter said at the news conference that Obama will campaign for him in the Senate primary.


With the switch, Specter now is more likely to face a general election challenge from Toomey, former head of the conservative Club for Growth, who almost defeated Specter in a 2004 GOP primary. Toomey was beating Specter in public opinion polls of GOP primary voters.


"Senator Specter's decision today represents the height of political self-preservation," said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to get GOP candidates elected.


"Let's be honest -- Sen. Specter didn't leave the GOP based on principles of any kind," said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. "He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record.


"Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don't do it first," Steele said.


"Everyone switches parties when you know you're going to lose," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told FOX News. Graham said Specter's decision now puts pressure on a lot of red-state Democrats, who campaigned on their conservative credentials, to step up.


"They may be the only thing that can stop this radical liberal agenda," he said. 


Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., told FOX News that Specter attended a weekly GOP lunch Tuesday after news of his decision broke and said nothing. Some Republicans approached him and said they'd miss him.


"Some saw the raw politics of" the switch and did not take acknowledge his presence, DeMint said.


Last week, DeMint reportedly told Specter that he would be supporting Toomey in next year's Republican primary. But it is unclear whether this conversation prompted Specter to switch parties.


Specter said in his statement that he is acting now because he needs to prepare for the state primary that is less than 13 months away.


"Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle," he said.


Political experts in Pennsylvania note that Specter has alienated the Republican base over the years with his support for abortion rights and gay rights, and other more hard-core conservative issues. His approval rating percentage among Republicans hovered in the 30s, according to a handful of polls conducted this year.


However, Specter's approval among Democrats in his state is high. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., praised Specter's decision and noted that he has always been willing to work in a bipartisan manner.


"I welcome Sen. Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus, and to continuing our open and honest debate about the best way to make life better for the American people," he said in a statement.


Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Tuesday that he was notified of Specter's decision that morning and that he got the impression that "a great party left him, not the other way around."


He added that he is not surprised by the decision and expects Specter to remain as independent as ever.


At the news conference, Specter said he told Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell several months ago that he wouldn't need his help when the Democratic governor offered to help him raise money if he switched parties.


"I changed my mind about that," Specter said, drawing laughs.


FOX News' Trish Turner and Major Garrett contributed to this report.


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Knighttemplar2_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

TRAITOR!

Untitled_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I say good riddance! Maybe the Republican Party can shed some more RINO's (Republicans In Name Only) now.


2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new."

Fallenherobadge-3-1_max160_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I live in PA, he is on my mailing list quite often.  He has always been a closet liberal, used to be DA of Phila. when I first knew of him, he represented  a guy named Ira Einhorn, who was a hippy flower child and the darling of the Phila society as he posed as a liberal do gooder. Einhorn murdered his girl friend and kept her body in a trunk in his apartment for quite a long time till the Philly police finally found her there and arrested him.  Specter arranged for him to get bail with his silvery tongued blather to the Judge and a socialite immediately posted and of couse Einhorn fled to Europe and lived there in quiet luxury with another rich lady for years until his recent arrest and extradition back to U.S. I say good riddance from the Republican party as he votes with the dems most of the time, however, he would have lost the primary so his act is self serving to assure himself his career job of "doing the people's work"  What bullshit, we need term limits for these crooks. 


IMPEACH OBAMA. GENERAL McCHRYSTAL FOR PRESIDENT.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Luther, Pat Toomey in 2010!


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Cookie_monster_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Now that he's calling himself a Democrat, maybe he will start voting along with Republicans.

Fallenherobadge-3-1_max160_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

dalagraphic says ...



Now that he's calling himself a Democrat, maybe he will start voting along with Republicans.



Yeah, he is getiing kind of senile, he may just forget which side he is on.


IMPEACH OBAMA. GENERAL McCHRYSTAL FOR PRESIDENT.

Fallenherobadge-3-1_max160_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Ralph8119 says ...



Luther, Pat Toomey in 2010!



He has my vote already.


IMPEACH OBAMA. GENERAL McCHRYSTAL FOR PRESIDENT.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

My wish is that I could have voted in P.A. but since I'm neither a resident of Pennsylvania or living in the U.S. for now I'll just pray for the best!


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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Ralph8119 says ...



My wish is that I could have voted in P.A. but since I'm neither a resident of Pennsylvania or living in the U.S. for now I'll just pray for the best!



Car 54, where are you?


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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Heck in Colombia South America! LOL


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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

It's called "self preservation"...the whole problem with our government is this whole two-party system!


Republicans are so far to the right that they are out of touch, and Democrats are so far to the left that reality is blurred!


Independants are moderates that have touched base with both sides of the aisle, but they don't have that "PARTY" affiliation so they don't get near the credit that they deserve!


 

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

coshanecoshane220 says ...



It's called "self preservation"...the whole problem with our government is this whole two-party system!


Republicans are so far to the right that they are out of touch, and Democrats are so far to the left that reality is bluIndependants


Independantseserve!


Sorry but what the United States of America needs right now is the Conservative party, fiscal responsibility and a pair of balls inside or hanging from our new president!


We had enough maybe politions in office.....................


 



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Rated -1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I hate to keep bringing up the past, but under President Bush, the national deficit more than doubled!


Gasoline prices increased by more than 100%


Where is the fiscal responsibility in that?


8 years of economic failure!


I don't cast my vote by party, I cast by results! In 4 years, if I have not seen any results then I'll vote for someone else!

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

coshane220 says ...



I hate to keep bringing up the past, but under President Bush, the national deficit more than doubled!


Gasoline prices increased by more than 100%


Where is the fiscal responsibility in that?


8 years of economic failure!


I don't cast my vote by party, I cast by results! In 4 years, if I have not seen any results then I'll vote for someone else!


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Where are you getting this information?


#1. Bush left us well under a trillion dollar deficit, under Obama administration and party in three months they've placed our children's future with over a eleven trillion dollar nut plus interest with out of control spending and Government take over of the private sector!


#2. Gasoline under Bush has gone under $50.00 a barrel it's today going up!


#3. Under Bush appeasing the left he moved to the middle but kept us safe for 8 years, oh yes the Democrat spending went up with over 9000 pork spending bills, "FACT" / lets save the sexually active cockroaches in California bill!


#4. Vote as you will just don't complain if you screw up!   please don't blame Bush for everything..................


#5. It's now Obama's play book 100%


 



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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

coshane220 says ...



It's called "self preservation"...the whole problem with our government is this whole two-party system!


Republicans are so far to the right that they are out of touch, and Democrats are so far to the left that reality is blurred!


Independants are moderates that have touched base with both sides of the aisle, but they don't have that "PARTY" affiliation so they don't get near the credit that they deserve!


 



I have to disagree with this.  It looks to me like the democrat party has moved drastically left.  The republican party, in response, has also moved toward the left, or center, if you prefer, but they are not truly conservative.  This explains some ot the talking points already mentioned in this thread, like spending under Bush 43.  Very few true conservatives will tell you they were happy about this.  My point?  I completely disagree that the republican party is so far right they are out of touch with voters.  I admit, they are out of touch, but for the exact opposite reason from what you suggested.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

coshane220 says ...



I hate to keep bringing up the past, but under President Bush, the national deficit more than doubled!


Gasoline prices increased by more than 100%


Where is the fiscal responsibility in that?


8 years of economic failure!


I don't cast my vote by party, I cast by results! In 4 years, if I have not seen any results then I'll vote for someone else!


Hate to point this out to ya man but this is way off the mark.  Under bush and the republican controled congress none of those events occurred.   Those things happened when the demos took control of congress and began killing the policies that had reinvigorated our economy after the disaster that was the clinton co-presidency.  The media and the spin doctors put that crap out and most people swalloed it like it was gospel. 


Remember repeat a lie often enough and it will become the truth.  Main mission of the demo party with the help of mainstream media.


As far as specter goes it matters little he voted demo more than some demos did, it doesn't change the power in the senate, or affect the control of the senate by demos.   Too bad that the people of his home state that sent a Republican to DC can't toss him out and seat a true Repub in his place.  He has violated their trust and disenfrancized them.


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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

SPecter... the Spectre (R) (RHINO)...


he and Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and her husband/former SecDef our South DFAC Namesake are ALL a bunch of loosers...


Zell Miller was a better Democrat for the (R) than Specter and the aforementioned ever were as elected (R)... those people make me ill.. good thing I have a strong stomach!!  HOOAH!!

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Some people have been drinking the kool aid, in the words of the great one Marl Levin, what an smuck


Keep the change I don't want it. False hope and lose change.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

securenutt2002 says ...



SPecter... the Spectre (R) (RHINO)...


he and Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and her husband/former SecDef our South DFAC Namesake are ALL a bunch of loosers...


Zell Miller was a better Democrat for the (R) than Specter and the aforementioned ever were as elected (R)... those people make me ill.. good thing I have a strong stomach!!  HOOAH!!



BUMP, get rid of them all McCain can go to the dems too, let them all go, with the rest of the RINO's to hell with of them give the dems 62 or 63 votes I dont care any more let obummer screw the country up for the next 2 to 4 years and after that no commie liberal trash will win an election for years


Keep the change I don't want it. False hope and lose change.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

CONSERVATIVE BUMP!!


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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

The people of Pennsylvania elected a person with an (R) after his name.  That is what they deserve, until such time that they properly replace him.  Throw this bum out on his tail.