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Arlen Specter: 'I might have helped the country more if I'd stayed a Republican'

The Democratic senator from Pennsylvania speaks like a man who isn't worried about beating Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) in his new-ish party's primary. Colby Itkowitz reports:

''Well, I probably shouldn't say this,'' he said over lunch last month. ''But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I'd stayed a Republican.''

Specter mused that perhaps if he'd remained in the caucus he could have persuaded one or two of his GOP colleagues to support health care reform.

That's the same argument he's made for a while, really, that he joined the Democrats more out of sorrow than opportunity -- more out of regret at how moderation was dead in the GOP. And yet expect the press release machines to start churning in 3, 2, 1...

By David Weigel  |  April 28, 2010; 9:42 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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