(CNN) - The conservative organization Club for Growth sharply criticized Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter for his decision to leave the Republican Party, calling the move a "cynical play for political survival."
The former chairman of the Club for Growth, Pat Toomey, has announced he is running for the GOP Senate nomination in Pennsylvania.
Full statement after the jump:
Club Statement on Specter's Decision
Club for Growth Statement on Arlen Specter's Decision to Switch Parties
WASHINGTON – Upon learning that Arlen Specter has switched political parties, now joining the Democrats in a filibuster-proof U.S. Senate, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola issued this statement:
"Senator Specter has confirmed what we already knew – he's a liberal devoted to more spending, more bailouts, and less economic freedom. Thanks to him, Democrats will now be able to steamroll their big government agenda through the Senate.
"This also shows how unprincipled he is. Just a few weeks ago, he stated quite clearly that he was remaining a Republican because he thought he had 'a more important role to play there.' And he said 'the United States very desperately needs a two-party system.'
"This cynical play for political survival calls into question whether Pennsylvania taxpayers can believe anything Arlen Specter says. If his only principle is personal ambition, can he really be trusted with the serious issues that face our country?"
"The Club for Growth PAC enthusiastically endorsed Pat Toomey for Senate in Pennsylvania when Specter was pretending to be a Republican. Club members will be even more committed to Toomey's candidacy now that Specter has revealed his true identity."