April 5th, 2012
05:22 PM ET
2 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. prostheticlogos

    Spoken as one who no longer has to be careful – thankfully. Specter is well acquainted with flipflops – having been the flip-flop king while in office. Santorum backed (at great political risk) Spector when he was headed for defeat in the Repub. primary against Toomey the 1st time. He truly is a man without a party.

    April 5, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. Another Day in the Idiot Mines of the Obama administration

    PLEASE get this traitor that gave us Obamacare out of my sight. He is one of the worse snakes in the political arena. It was fitting Obama rewarded him by throwing him under the bus in his election. He deserved what he got but deserves far worse.

    April 5, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Well, he knows a thing or two about over.

    April 5, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Two words: Benedict Arnold.

    April 5, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. cali girl

    If it talks like a loser, walks like a loser, then it must be a loser.

    April 5, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. Mikey

    @Another Day – it is 100% us and them for you, eh?

    April 5, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Levi

    Specter saying that Romney has switched positions too many times?

    This coming from someone who switched from Republican to Democrat just to have an easier primary? Give me a break.

    April 5, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Out of respect for Good Friday and the Easter holiday – this is my last comment.

    Santorum is enjoying the attention and knows full well he has no chance of winning. Having said that – he also knows Willard doesn't either.

    Have a Happy Easter everyone (republicans included). I'll pick up our lively discussions on Monday.
    Peace

    April 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. PAMike

    When will Specter Finally Go Away..His ramblings make about as much sense as the single bullit theory he once proposed...

    April 5, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. snapperman

    Specter is totally irrelevant.

    April 5, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. Ed1

    You should know been there already haven't you.

    April 5, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. ditty1991

    this race is nowhere near over. Nobody knows what the true delegate count is.

    April 5, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. Thomas

    God will tell Rick it's over this weekend .
    It's sad , God has a busy weekend and more important happenings going on.

    Maybe one of Ricks Kids could tell him it's time to pack it up and come home and be a Father .

    April 5, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. chuck pirschel

    This phony is the worst of the worst. Who wants to know what he thinks about anything? Just an old man with no core, a dumpster full of regrets, and a bad combover. old glazier

    April 5, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  15. mfm321

    Oh Puleez! Traitor RINO condemns his enemy former Senator! The Spectre knows something about death

    April 5, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Chuck

    Romney, Specter, Santorum - they give me the creeps.

    April 5, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Amash

    Who cares what this loser (in so many ways) thinks?

    April 5, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Why would Anyone Care what this disgraced Traiter to the repblican party who may or not be impared mentally Thinks about a republican issue??? Really !!

    April 5, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  19. John Poland

    Why would you ask this former traiter to the Rebuplican party what he he thinks? No one Cares !!! You must be writing to impress Dems who think he has some influence there..Ha Ha !!

    April 5, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. rick

    Who in the hell wants to hear the opinion of this elitist traitor. Specter is so full of himself; he's no doubt the biggest loser of a politician of the century. Specter has a total lack of ethics and even Barry wants nothing to do with him.

    April 5, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. Barbara

    Ricky Boy, you need to get real.

    Romney won Wisconsin by 7 points even though 12% of all voters were
    Democratic trouble maker voters. 80% of these Democrats specifically voted for you.
    When asked why, they said that you would be a weak opponent for Obama.

    April 5, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  22. GUY

    The problem is Israeli money in American politics....

    April 5, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Dear "Another day-" get you OWN handle. All politicians are snakes (as are uncreative trolls like you who steal) The Repuglicans threw Arlen under the bus first.

    I figure he was doing exactly what all politicians do (and Repooplicans typically admire)- looking after his own self interest.

    April 5, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  24. akin

    america is democraticall advance politic must play acordding to the rule

    April 5, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. James A. Webster

    This might be the first time I have ever agreed with Specter. The guy was an embarrassment to the Republican party and did everyone a favor when he left the Republican party.

    April 5, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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