April 5th, 2012
05:22 PM ET
3 years ago

Specter on Santorum: 'This campaign is over'

(CNN) – While Rick Santorum insists he'll pull a victory in his home state of Pennsylvania later this month, another former high-profile senator from the Keystone State said that won't happen.

"This campaign is over for Rick Santorum," Arlen Specter said Thursday of his former supporter. "There's nothing left of his candidacy."

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In an interview set to air on CNN's "John King, USA," the former senator speculated Santorum was only staying in the race to gain book deals or fuel 2016 White House aspirations.

"I'm not going to tell him what to do, but he's beating a dead horse in my opinion," Specter told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

Specter's comments came just days after Santorum faced three disappointing losses to Mitt Romney in contests in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The former senator unexpectedly became a hot topic at a CNN debate in February when Romney criticized Santorum for supporting Specter in a 2004 re-election bid. Romney argued that Specter eventually went on to become a key vote in the passage of President Barack Obama's health care reform.

Specter served most of his life as a Republican but switched parties in 2009 to run as a Democrat after polls showed he would face a tough primary battle. The longtime senator lost in his new party's primary, however, while conservative Pat Toomey ultimately won the seat in the general election.

But the former senator also showed little enthusiasm for Romney, the Republican front-runner. Asked if the candidate could win Pennsylvania in the November general election, Specter argued the former Massachusetts governor had switched his positions too many times.

"It all depends on which Mitt Romney they're going to reset his campaign," he said.

A former chairman on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Specter also weighed in on Obama's controversial remarks about the Supreme Court this week, in which he challenged the high court to uphold the health care law.

While Republicans accused the president of overreaching in his comments, Specter said Obama acted in a "calculated way" and "appropriately laid down a marker."

"If the Supreme Court is going to be political about their decision, he's going to make it a campaign issue," Specter said, though adding the president "has to be careful."

Watch the full interview at 6 p.m. ET on CNN's "John King, USA."

Also see:

Santorum enjoys three strikes

Romney makes general election pitch in Pennsylvania, but can't ignore Santorum

Santorum: Romney attacks to fall short in Pennsylvania


Filed under: 2012 • Arlen Specter • Pennsylvania • Rick Santorum • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. lmarkasovi5

    Who cares what Specter has to say. He is a no-nothing former politician just like our president and congress of today.

    April 6, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. The Bobster

    Who cares what this old prunefaced turncoat libtard Orlon Sphincter has to say about the party he constantly betrayed?

    April 6, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. Mr Wile E Bear

    Why do we have to pay attention to anything from this old RINO gas bag!

    April 6, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. truthfulster

    ALL POLITICIANS are SNAKES, from the Presidential top to the Town Administrator bottom. This is the problem with every country they have the most greediest, lying-est people in control and they protect that position with a Passion. If there ever was a revolt in this country and every politician was eliminated it would still be the same after a number of years because humans themselves SUCK, we should put the canines in charge!!!!!

    April 6, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  5. robl

    Why is it we care about Arlen Specter? It's amazing that he would show enough courage to actually take a stand on something. So I would go by Scottish law and say "not proved".

    April 6, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. Richard L. Fortin

    Who cares what Arlen Spector says. Like Santorum he was booted out of the Senate the same way. Both have been sent to the trash heap of Pennsylvania politics.

    April 6, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  7. Chester

    Who cares what this old fool has to say! CNN must be struggling for on air talent these days!!

    April 6, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. NYS Parkie

    Spector? Who effin cares what this dill weed has to say. He is nothing but a "job" jumper who would sell his soul to have kept that "power" feeling he use to have. Just a wrinkly old coot now.

    April 6, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. PA Patriot

    Does anybody really care what Specter says? I think NOT. And that's why he was defeated in 2010.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    April 6, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Polyphemos

    I am surprised that a media outlet with the pedigree of CNN would even care what this fly on the fecal extrusion of politics has to say. This man makes Democrats look brave.

    April 6, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Thomas

    This coming from a man who switched parties to try and save his Senate seat. With all due respect Senator, Senator Santorum is by far the most honest of any candidate I've ever known. He admitted to his mistakes by "taking one for the team" and backed you when he knew it would be unpopular due to a debt he felt he owed you. You said there was no such thing, but anyone who knew what went on during that campaign knows you asked for his help.

    April 6, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. The B Man

    Why would anyone listen to Arlen Spector? He is a Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat. He has no morals, no core, no values.

    Arlen Spector you should disappear.

    April 6, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Rob

    Ahh talk about the pot calling the Kettle Black..This is to funny..
    The one time I agreed with president down Grade. How are those Bus Marks running over your back You piece of Washington trash. Must be a slow news Day for CNN to even have this Old wart on.. Come "on CNN how about some real News? This Article is the bottom of the Barrel for you guys.. How about another Piece on That Racist Zimmermen
    you know yelling out all those racist remarks! Ol"I for got, you had to recant that didn't ya? my bad.

    April 6, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Don

    Who cares what this man thinks.... I am live in PA and he is an absolute disgrace.

    April 6, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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