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Santorum on Specter: "Arlen is With Us on the Votes That Matter"

As Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) settles into life as a Democrat, a 2004 campaign ad that features then Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) advocating for Specter is making the rounds in Washington.

The ad, which ran during Specter's 2004 primary fight against former Rep. Pat Toomey, features Santorum, a conservative darling, endorsing Specter and calling him the "key vote" in passing then President George W. Bush's tax cut plan.

"Arlen is with us on the votes that matter to move our agenda forward for this president and for the country," says Santorum as a picture of Specter and Bush strolling at the White House is shown on screen.

While Santorum's support almost assuredly aided Specter in narrowly beating back a challenge from Toomey six years ago, the words of the former senator -- not to mention the images in the ad -- are sure to come back to haunt the newest Democrat as he prepares to run for reelection.

Specter is sure to distance himself from these sort of ads by noting that much has changed within the Republican party in the last six years (including the fact that Santorum is no longer even in the Senate after being drubbed by Bob Casey Jr. in 2006). But, that effort is complicated by the fact that Specter acknowledged that his party switch was primarily driven by political expediency.

If either Rep. Joe Sestak or former National Constitution Center head Joe Torsella decides to primary Specter, you can bet an ad like this will be dredged up -- heck, it already has been -- to paint him as insufficiently loyal to the Democratic cause.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 11, 2009; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

I sure hope Pa. is smart enough to say thank you and good bye to Specter. Joe Sestak knows what the labor force needs.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | May 12, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else noticed that the G-word search engine has removed all images and links for search 'Man AND Dog'??

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 12, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

OR MAYBE IT'S ALL PART OF THE PLAN...

Prediction: Specter will renew his reputation as a champion of civil and human rights -- then announce that he has decided not to run in 2010, instead throwing his support behind Joe Sestak.

Perhaps that's been the plan from Jump Street.

Sen. Specter, start here, since Pennsylvania is a ground zero for these abuses:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 12, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Chris, I think this commercial cuts both ways. It reminds us of just how long the National and State GOP organizations has been flogging Specter for his independent voting style.
The Bush admin was Ape about voting the straight party line -- remember how they spent years strong-arming their OWN Reps and Senators on votes concerning Soc Sec and the out-sourcing of Medicare? They looked like Soviet Commissars.
BUT when it comes down to possibly losing the senate seat, well then everyone found Specter relectable and so for the next 6 months the GOP party organization would pat and praise him.
I think that commercial makes Santorum and the GOP handlers look small. The fact that they don't know how to respectfully include long-time party members like Powell, Ridge and Specter and keep their seniority and stature working for their party also makes the GOP look small.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 12, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry BB no azure glasses here. Specter is respected by both parties in his state, and there have been many Democrats who crossed the aisle to vote for him. It happens. Even moi of the azure voted for Republican Gov. Spellman in my own state because for a Republican he had a pretty good environmental record, and his opponent was of the timber industry.

But PA and WA share a dilemma, both have a state GOP that is hard right, and at odds with the GOP voters. WA state's GOP a few years ago ran one Ellen "Crazy" Craswell, a knucklewalking pro-lifer and in '92 we made the map by their nomination of Pat Robertson over Bush the Greater. Anyway.

PA's GOP will nominate Toomey, who can't win there, he might win in Texas or Utah but for PA they may as well nominate Uncle Ghengnis. The GOP in PA is relatively moderate, a term that I have trouble applying to any of the 21-percenters, but there you are.

That said I'm not happy with the guy, he's bending over backward to illustrate his independence from his new party and if he's still voting for free markets and on behalf of the wealthy I would rather he lost .. in the primary.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 11, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Fox - The point seems to have escaped you. Specter won his primary in part by prominent Republicans, including the other sitting senator from Pennsylvania, reassuring voters that he'd be a loyal member of the party.

Now it flips in a Democratic primary (and it's coming, trust me), that these endorsements will be fodder for his primary opponent. Take off your azure tinted glasses for just a moment.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 11, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

wagonjak1:

Be careful what you wish for. You are aware that GWB gave Sen. Lieberman what was also called (literally) "the kiss" of death, right? He still managed to out-smart you Democrats. This thread is not about a CURRENT Santorum ad (they are using his words from 2004).

Posted by: JakeD | May 11, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

How about an appearance of Rick "ManOnDog" Santorum and Mitt "DogOnCarRoof8Hours" Romney in a fund raiser where the profits would be split evenly between the local SPCA and Arlen!

I think it's a fabulous idea, and if Specter gets in touch with me I'll be glad to arrange this event!

Posted by: wagonjak1 | May 11, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh YEEAAHHH...the endorsement of Rick "Man On Dog" Santorum is really gonna help with PA Dem and Independent voters...another kiss of death on the sunken cheeks of Specter. Is Santorum trying to sabotage Arlen so he can step in? Inquiring minds want to know.

GO SESTAK GO! Take down this phony, self-serving, senile shadow of his former self (which wasn't great even then!)

Pennsylvania needs a real Dem and not a turncoat traitor who isn't trusted by Dems or Repubs...

Posted by: wagonjak1 | May 11, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, mnteng. I will check in on that thread.

Posted by: JakeD | May 11, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

I saw the links and remain unconvinced. If you would like, I will post one more comment on the other thread to explain (so as not to pollute this thread). But neither of us will change our minds, it seems.

Posted by: mnteng | May 11, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the D in JakeD stands for Dick head or Doosh Bag.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | May 11, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

mnteng:

Did you see the IVF "single embryo" links I posted for you on the other thread?

Posted by: JakeD | May 11, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

It seems to still hold true today.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 11, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the USA today link..
Man on Dog..
I wished I would have said that here, I've been one upped by a moron (another moron).

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 11, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Ewwwww....Santorum on Spector? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but please let's not invade the privacy of the bedroom.

Posted by: tailwagger | May 11, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

PatrickNYC1:

Nice one.

Can't wait to see what incarnation of Specter appears in the D primary, particularly if there is a serious challenger from the left.

Posted by: mnteng | May 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha! I guess this means that Specter is with Santorum on any future "man on dog" votes.
.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-04-23-santorum-excerpt_x.htm

Posted by: DrainYou | May 11, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

If Specter loses his primary to a Democrat, an authentic progressive, I call that a win. Specter can't be counted on to support any legislation that the country needs, he'll balk at supporting labor or the middle class, I'd much rather see a genuine liberal in place of a DINO.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 11, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Arlen never fits in whichever party he belongs to. He's an original Independent -- he doesn't know how he's going to vote, and neither does anyone else.

But with GOP undergoing a purge of moderates and going from the Big Tent to the Pup Tent, the issue comes up.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 11, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what that knucklewalker Santorum thinks? This is a guy of such monstrous ego he wrote a book about having a family. Let's not forget he was the GOP's annointed prince, on his way to one of the top slots, and he lost election by SEVENTEEN POINTS.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 11, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Arlen is like the ugly girl who could never get a date.. until her parents bought her a 'vette.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 11, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Almost as if Specter was 'born again'.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | May 11, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, that was 2004. We are in 2009 today.

Posted by: JakeD | May 11, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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