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."