May 3rd, 2009
12:29 PM ET
9 years ago

Ensign vows GOP will take Specter down in 2010

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Sen. John Ensign vowed Sunday that his party will make sure newly-minted Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter loses his re-election bid in 2010.

"I know as Republicans that we have some great candidates that we're recruiting out there," Ensign said on Fox News Sunday. "And we want to make sure that Arlen Specter is no longer in the United States Senate after the next election. We're going to work very hard to make sure that happens."

Pat Toomey, the former president of Club for Growth, has already announced his candidacy for the Republican primary in Pennsylvania. Some Republican leaders have also floated the prospect of recruiting other high-profile candidates to take on Specter next year.

Ensign called Specter's decision to defect from the GOP a "good wake-up call" and encouraged his party to recruit "kind of candidates who can win," even if they have some philosophical differences.

"I'm a conservative, but some people have wanted to have just all conservatives in the party," Ensign said. "But if you're going to be a national party and you're going to be in the majority in Washington, D.C., or in most states, you're going to have to welcome people who maybe vote differently, who look at issues differently."

Filed under: John Ensign
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Allison

    Typical Republican comment.

    May 3, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Allison

    Ensign is the one that needs to be taken down. He thinks he's royalty.

    May 3, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Ex-republican

    Looks like you forget that PA changed to blue last year, and next year will be dark blue. Just wait next year!

    May 3, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Lynn

    What a joke CNN...all about the Republicans and their repackaging of the same rotten fish and big threats...I thought they said that about the Congress race in NY.

    Ensign doesn't even make sense...a Senator left because his independence wasn't accepted and now he says they should welcome people who think and vote differently.

    The Republican Party is a group of revengeful whiners who only think about the next election and not about actually doing something for the constituents that pay them.

    May 3, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. Jon

    Spector does what benefits Spector the most. This party change is his second and has nothing to do with ideology. It's all about his ego and his refusal to accept that his time has passed.

    May 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. videodrome

    Well, it looks to me like some people in the Republican Party are finally starting to wake up and smell the coffee.
    The Republican Party NEEDS to diversify and NEEDS to stop driving away moderates. This party NEEDS to start welcoming people of other races and who make look differently at some issues. This party NEEDS to grow up some and NEEDS to get in the 21st century.
    And this party NEEDS to distance itself from the like of bad entertainers, the likes of whom I will not mention today.

    May 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Chicago Zak

    Pretty sad that they look at Spector as abandoning the party, instead of looking at themselves and figuring out why he thinks the party abandoned him.

    May 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Dan, TX

    I hope they expend tremendous effort and money to do it. The democrats would not shed a tear to have the GOP spend millions to defeat Spector in the democratic primary only to have the democrat then beat the republican in the general election. If Specter wins the primary, he will win the general election for certain.

    The democrats win unless the Republicans do exactly the opposite of what Ensign proposes. Specter would be an ally to the GOP as often or more often than not. Why waste the effort? When the GOP stops screaming and embrace a mature view of the world they will win big. Look to Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft, and Dick Lugar as examples, not Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin.

    May 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Lyle

    Sen. Ensign obviously dances to the tune of Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove. Just another follower spouting off his mouth full of crap.

    May 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. sqs1

    The GOP really doesn't get it!!!!!....shouldn't politics be about whats in the best interest of the country, and not revenge???........With this ideology and approach, the GOP will thankfully soon be extinct.....this country is greater than, and deserves better than this ridiculous stuff!!!!!..........

    May 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. mike smith

    Arlen Specter will win re-election in 2010 because of his record and because of his integrity. This isn't football or any other kind of game. Wake up Repugnants; your threats don't hold any substance.

    May 3, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. vicky

    That is going to be difficult when the citizen's of Pennsylvania like Specter. Specter has repeatedly gone against his party to vote the will of his constituency, and has kept his seat because many democrats in Pennsylvania like myself have voted to keep him there. The only candidate they may possibly be able to run against him as a republican and have a chance of winning will be Tom Ridge, who was a good governor for our state. However, Tom Ridge also does not meet the republican litmus test, and will not be chosen by remaining anti-abortionist republicans in this state. He would be in the same position Specter was in, and would be unable to win in the primary.

    May 3, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Joanna

    LOL that's rich. I live in PA and this will not happen! We are going to work extremely hard to see that Specter does indeed get re elected.

    May 3, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Yolanda

    Sen Ensign's comments are the reason why so many Americans have become tiresome of the Republican Party. What an idiot!

    May 3, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Carmine Abbattiello

    GOP starting to sound more like a gang than a political party...

    May 3, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. anita

    Specter is the symbol of the DEM leadership:


    May 3, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Trent

    Nevada needs to take Sen. Ensign down!

    May 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Jack in Florida

    Blah blah blah one is listening to their jabber....

    May 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Lexie

    Ohhhhhhhh....another Republican threat!

    May 3, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Goverment is your Daddy

    The unions won't like him because of card check......

    May 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Paul Brewer

    Man! The GOP has really become a gaggle of gluttons for punishment! Does Ensign really think that the Democrats are just going to roll over and play dead in response to his threats? Talk about telegraphing your punches! Ensign's approach is one of the main reasons the GOP was defeated in the last election! Well, okay. If the GOP wants to lose again, they couldn't have chosen a better "leader" than Ensign to lead them back down the road to defeat.

    May 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Bill in Austin

    Looks like Ensign is the newest Republican "hatchet man". When out of ideas, savage the other guy.

    May 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. gary davis

    Ensign needs to just do the job he was elected to do or people in his district just might vote him out of office

    the republicans just don't get it.. we are tired of your crap and you just don't know when to eat your own crap and learn to join in on what most americans want you to be doing

    May 3, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Zaley

    Republican Ensign might think he's tough crap in Nevada, but he's not respected anywhere else.

    May 3, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Seattle Sue

    Senator Ensign is typical of GOP, just full of hate.His party is going down and he just can not believe it's his fault and the fault of the rest of the Republican party

    May 3, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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