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. Simmy

    No way baby! ........ Sen. Ensign is known for making outrageous remarks...This is another such blah....He's beginning to sound like his boy Steele....So I repeat, "No way baby"........ PA will be BLUE.....

    May 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. magella

    @ Lauren, 12:48 pm:
    "I say there will be OVER 100 comments from liberals who have nothing better to do than toss out insults and stupid comments about Republicans.
    I am willing to bet there will be a majority of one liner comments calling Republicans names, and saying, just go away, and that they just do not get it."

    I don't think that's happening. And with all due respect to you, do you really think Ensign's comments are helpful? Do you really think your party is going about its political recovery in a productive way? Saying no and talking about bringing people down does not seem to be a good substitute for listening to constituents and responding to their needs. I think your anger is misdirected at liberals–you as a conservative deserve better from the people who allegedly represent your point of view and your interests in the public sphere.

    May 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Ex-republican

    I bet you live somewhere in deep south!!! Right?

    May 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Sounds like a threat of "Voter Suppression" coming from Ensign before the people have spoken. Nothing positive comes from the mouth Republicans because they talk out of the other end and are full of crap.

    May 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. gl, Pittsburgh

    United States Senate after the next election. We're going to work very hard to make sure that happens."

    If only the Republicans learn how to work hard for the people and not for their paryt maybe they would not be the party of obsolet. How about working with the President and get the USA out of the mess your party caused.

    May 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Sue

    Interesting. That comment, "Take him down.," sounds like the Republicans are more interested in revenge. That, instead of placing the person best qualified for the office. I would think that Christian conservatives would be totally against revenge and hate.

    May 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. David C

    The GOP may or may not beat Senator Specter in the next election.
    In reality he is not much of a Senator for either party. He is a prime example of why every elected office in the United States, Federal, State or Local, should have term limits. Americans need to wake up and demand them!

    May 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Where were you 8 years ago

    Again this morning we are inundated with what the GOP thinks. I submitted this comment yesterday but it never made it through. So I'm posting it again today on several articles, hopefully one will make it through.

    For anyone who believes that there is a liberal mainstream media bias, look at the top 5 stories on CNN's political ticker. They are all about the conservative’s message and their beliefs and how they are getting themselves together. Hogwash! They are pushing the same old message and are allowed by CNN and other networks to spew the same lies and hypocrisy over and over. Why? 2 reasons:
    One because CNN like most TV, radio and print media are owned by republicans and two in the past it worked for conservatives to repeat the same nonsense over and over again and many Americans bought their lies and manipulations for whatever reasons. This time it’s not working because the devastation to the country happened on their watch using their policies. Putting more money in the pockets of the wealth has never worked as a fiscal philosophy for one reason alone. The reason wealthy people remain wealthy is because they hold on to their wealth, they don't trickle it down to the less fortunate, as the last 8 years have proven without a doubt.
    Here's hoping that the majority of the American people continue to reject the hypocrisy of right-wing republicans. Here's being grateful that many Americans are asking the right questions and understanding that President Obama didn't create this mess, the last administration did and that last administration was republican and their tax cuts for the wealthy, regulation is bad, let the free market correct itself philosophy failed miserably.
    I asked the majority of Americans did your taxes go down over the last 8 years. I guarantee the answer for most of us is no. So who spent trillions over the last eight years? Whose policies almost destroyed our economic? Who continues to try and shift the blame as opposed to owning up to their failures?

    May 3, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. bk

    Did it ever occur to any of you people that CNN is trying to get elected Dems and will keep printing garbage about Republicans and only good things about Democrats? The media is controlling the political process. When are you people going to wake up?

    May 3, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. dreamer

    All this hate and unpleasntness by the RNC and flunkies,y'all need to go smoke one a relax some.

    May 3, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Va. Boomer

    Man, these GOP type just can't shake the whole bitter thing.
    Get over it already and move on and serve your people.

    May 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. America Shrugged

    Spector changing sides isn't an automatic win for Dems nor an automatic loss for Republicans. Spector will be just fine and I'll be another out of state Dem who donates to his campaign. RW GOP, grow up. The American people spoke loud and clear the past 2 elections. Continue on this path of whining and stonewalling, and you will truely become a regional party.

    May 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. RepubliKLANs Are Plain STUPID

    The Grand "0" Party needs to be taken down fast, before they destroy America with these kind of asinine comments fron Ensign.

    Opps, this is nothing new to repugs; they like bloviating, spewing hatred and calling anyone that disagrees with their backward policies un-american!

    May 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. JonDie

    The people of Pennsylvania, not NEVADA's John Ensign, will decide.

    May 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. JF

    Oooo.... no personal vendetta here! 🙂

    May 3, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Maggie

    Where were you 8 years ago: where have you been? under a rock? CNN id not owned by the Republicans. CNN spreads all the dirt they can find about anyone related to the GOP. CNN is in favor and biased by the democrats and regardless of what you think they are owned by that party. I stopped watching CNN becasue of so much bias and their misguided approach to the Republicans. They are responsible for Obama being elected. All their coverage of all the events and encouragment to vote for him, not in so many words but they did sway the people to vote democrat. Fox News ia fair and they report what the truth is regardless of which party.

    May 3, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Neil

    Ensign doesn't have a clue. Sestak will win Specter's seat. Anything branded Republican will be political suicide by 2010.

    May 3, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Simmy

    Get Real,

    No one candidate will be perfect....If you are not satisfied with either party, did you vote? If you didn't vote, you have no right to complain.

    May 3, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Troy

    Let's face it. Specter is simply an elitist. He truly believes he has the only answer for the people of PA and the nation. The problem is many in this great state continue to follow this piper which ever direction he leads. I don't really care what party he belongs to, Specter will vote for or against what he believes is best at the time. You just never know what he believes from one minute till the next. PA surely deserves better.

    May 3, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Juan Chin

    Complain, complain, complain . . .
    That is all the Republicons know how to do. CNN is for electing Democrats??? If you don't like CNN, then don't log on to the website or watch it on television. You should be more at home with FOX. Furthermore, we continue to read the need to "wake-up"! We have and that is why the Republicons are now irrelevant. GO SPECTER!!!

    May 3, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Rachell

    I hope Specter is defeated by a REAL LIBERAL during the democratic primaries. Specter's only concern is remaining in power. He always spoke out harshly against Bush administration policies but ended up voting for them 100% of the time. It infuriates me that Democratic insiders would openly embrace this man and pledge their support like this. His senate seat is something to be EARNED, he is not entitled to it.

    May 3, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Janelle

    I will give money and vote for dear Arlen!! Republicans think that they still have power, but what they don't seem to realize that they are powerless old windbags that will definitely lose if they try to take Arlen down. In New England, you have no one. So, how do you think you are going to convince hundreds of thousands of Democrats and moderates in PA, a blue state, not to vote for Arlen when we know who he is, the great thing that he has done by switching parties, when so many Republicans in PA have switched from Republican to Democrat?? Arlen is not by any means the only defector...there are thousands and thousands of ordinary pweople who defected! OF COURSE we will vote for Arlen!! Repubies, you have got NOTHING!!

    May 3, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. anderson n carolina

    The Rethugs needn't worry about Spector....he will not win the Democratic primary when he votes NO on the health care bill and the card check bill. Spector will be a man lost in the wilderness the next 2 years just like LIEberman. Spector is for no one but himself!

    May 3, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Ali

    bk: Did it ever occur to any of you people that CNN is trying to get elected Dems and will keep printing garbage about Republicans and only good things about Democrats? The media is controlling the political process. When are you people going to wake up?

    and FOX is trying to ger republicans elected and will continue to print garbage about democrats and only good things about repepublicans. The media is controlling the political process. When are you people going to wake up?

    May 3, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Ted Tartaglia

    It is interesting when Ensign says that Republicans need to expand the base to include those who may disagree with them at times and then promises to defeat a former member who was driven from the Grand "OLD" Party by the evangelical religious base. Does this seem disingenuous?

    May 3, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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