May 3rd, 2009
12:29 PM ET
5 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. Glennis

    Frankly, after Specter's revelation of his true colors by his defection to save his Senate seat, I hope he DOES get trounced. And I don't care whether he's beaten by a Republican or a Democrat; either will do.

    May 3, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Eugene

    More empty promises from the discredited ones.

    May 3, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Joe the Troll

    The one good thing about 2003 was that Republicans actually had to shut up about the "liberal media" and stop shooting the messenger. Of course, that was when the media was saying what the right WANTED the media to say – you know, all those lies about WMDs and such.

    May 3, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Joe the Troll

    "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."

    I'd be willing to bet that you didn't say the same about Lieberman.

    May 3, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Glennis

    Ex-Republican, ignorance isn't limited to the Deep South. Some of the idiots here in Pennsylvania would put him to shame. And they're Democrats. Who'd of thunk?

    May 3, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. Keith in Austin

    "It's all about me"

    Famous quote by Arlen Turncoat Specter!

    May 3, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Fredi

    maybe someone needs to tell these Republicans that instead of fighting to be elected, they should explain to the voter why they should ...

    May 3, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Jeff

    As long as the GOP continues to focus its energy on attacking people instead of the challenges of this country, the GOP will continue its slide into irrelevance. In the mean time the Democrats will be trying to solve the problems created by the GOP. I do wish we had a competent opposition in our government, but it looks like the Dems will be able to run amok for the foreseeable future.

    May 3, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Bill/CA

    What a difference a day makes...one day you're a Republican Senator with the respect and support of your party, the next you're a Democrat and loathed by the same people who were your friends a day earlier. I don't live in PA, but I WILL be donating to Sen. Specter's re-election campaign.

    May 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Vence

    What can you expect of people who likes torture?
    These are the same guys that according to them never owned slaves, and they came here legally, and they never killed an indian or (native american in the country) thay say they simple desappear and that never existed.
    More commonly known as cowards or GOP.

    May 3, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. 60's survivor

    GOP better open their eyes and dare I say it their hearts. instead they keep falling into the same old trap and continue to chew their legs off. dibilitating themselves even more. something karmic about it all however!!

    May 3, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Bainbridge Bob

    Once again, the GOP is not focused on the good of the people, but only self serving interests. Shocking to see such energy poured into a political vendetta from a party which has become isolated pushing hard against the right wall. In case you in the GOP have not noticed, seems no one is following.

    May 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. abraxis

    Way to go Ensign! As you name indicates, you will always be a watery officer dying to be DRY!

    Your party is about petty bickering and small mindedness. "Let's get everybody who disagree with us" is your party's motto. Make some room, Rush Limbaugh is scurrying up next to you.

    May 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Donna from Colorado Springs

    It's okay to be optimistic, but the Republican party has a huge problem that they aren't facing and that is public trust. No one except for the die hards in the party believe a word they say! They have a lot to make up for because the last eight years tore up and divided this country like never before. They can go out in public and come across as really confident, but the Republican party is facing a real identity crisis. Until they change many years of the same ideology, the American people will not put themselves through another Republican administration!

    May 3, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. bill

    and the republican party did such a nice job the last 8 years. solved our economy problems. got us into an illegal war. lots of luck

    May 3, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Luke Brown

    Senator Ensign, while you were asleep, the country moved past the mindless partisan bickering that brought your party down last fall. We have it with this kind of hate-everyone-who-agree-with-us stuff.

    May 3, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Karen-phoenix

    As a 40 year long republican who finnally saw the light and voted for President Obama and glad of it, until the GOP starts understanding the American working class is the backbone of this country and we need National Health Care, Jobs in wind and solar and good public education they will only go farther down the ladder. The GOP panders to the ultra rich and to hell with the American worker! Spector will win because he cares about the workers!!!

    May 3, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. John

    Good ole senator Ensign. From one of the states with the highest foreclosure rates and he's worrying about revenge on Specter. NO MORE REPUBLICANS EVER AGAIN. I am a moderate from Delaware but I will contribute as much as I can to Specters campaign just to make Ensign wrong! Republican stands for retrogression (probably back to the stone ages).

    May 3, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Scott (DC)

    Ensign's comments are liberally taken out of context by all of you. Try watching the entire interview. Toomey will win, Specter will probably lose his own Dem primary. Some people will do anything to hold power.

    May 3, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    Like the GOP took down Obama, Democratic Senators and house members in 2008?

    GOP is dead, it’s a hose long bereft of any morals, decency and progressive thinking. And they say evolution is not real. They "intelligently designed" themselves out of existence. Poetic Justice.

    May 3, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Lori

    Yeah, Ensign. Your threats are just as empty as your Tea Parties were.

    May 3, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Expat American

    Republicans are interested in one thing. Regaining power. They don't care about everyday Americans. For 8 years the GOP lied, spied on American citizens, tortured, and killed innocent women and children abroad.

    The success of the past Republican government is represented in a dirty pair of shoes being thrown at their leader.

    Also, it's astounding how low income uneducated whites will continue to vote for a party that cares nothing about them. The GOP could care less about low income uneducated whites.

    May 3, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Brian Dodge

    "...you're going to have to welcome people who maybe vote differently, who look at issues differently."

    Typical Republican hypocrisy; if the GOP actually believed that, Senator Specter would still be with them.

    May 3, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Linda iowa

    Ahhh! The politics of hate! AGAIN!

    May 3, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Jim

    200,000 voters in PA switched from Republican to the democratic party – is Ensign as clueless as the RNC and the traveling snake oil show the Romney is on now?

    How about working for the people, how about doing what's right and honorable?

    How about a 70 vote majority block in the Senate, Republicans = no ideas, all hot air, lot's of finger pointing and no owning up to the fact they screwed this contry up.

    Conservatism is a failed experiment you poor missguided souls, deal with it as you put your marginalized Regional Party back together.

    May 3, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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