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. Nobody likes a traitor

    Specter? Obama played that old fool like a cheap violin, and then tossed him on the trash heap of history. This country is in a mess in large part because of turncoat Specter's support for Obamacare. Fade away Arlen, you sad old fool. What a horrible fate, to be haunted in your final days knowing what kind of man you really are.

    April 6, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  2. John

    Why oh why is anyone listening to someone that switches parties? Think about it. Could you ever take anyone seriously that totaly changes their core beliefs? What a joke.

    April 6, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  3. Jeff

    Arlen Specter just needs to go away. GET LOST.

    April 6, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  4. Rich Bowman

    Goxh, I just saw this is a moderated discussion. Well I can't tell you what I think of Rick Santorum. Just leave it at that.

    April 6, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. Name: DParke

    Rick do the noble thing here. It's time to get out of the way so we can get Obama out. Get over it, so we can get on w it!  

    April 6, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  6. ouisee

    At last, Specter is making intelligent sense in a civil manner. One thing I cannot understand is why the GOP is so full of hate. They need prayer.

    April 6, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  7. rescuekyron

    Politicalticker... is this the best you can do considering all that's going on politically? Do you owe this self-important nobody something? Shame on you. Readers deserve better from you.

    April 6, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  8. Killdeer

    There wasn't anything in his candidacy to begin with.

    April 6, 2012 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  9. Diogenes

    They've been telling us all along the nomination is Romney's. We just haven't been listening.

    April 6, 2012 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  10. king

    Santrum! Even though mitten is a fake right winger, you're a real one, and that's scary as hell.

    April 6, 2012 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  11. Reine

    Unfortunately for Santorum, it's over but he is clueless.

    April 6, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  12. Marie MD

    LOL. He failed miserably in 2012 and he will fail even worse in 2016.

    April 6, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  13. Dave Weaver

    Spector? Why even report this drivel? Arlen Spector – not even remotely relevant.
    Or as Kurt Vonnegut Jr. would say... "Go take a flying **** at a rolling donut!"

    April 6, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  14. Rudebutcool

    Spector..go away!!!!

    April 6, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  15. Bruce

    Who gives a crap what that traitor thinks?

    April 6, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  16. Justin

    Another irrelevant RINO heard from. We've now had the trifecta of tards. Trump, Palin and Specter!

    April 6, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  17. Marlee

    You and Romney wish it was over already Specter! Common sense never goes out of style! Paul – Santorum 2012!

    April 6, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  18. Stella

    Specter is correct: Rick is staying in this race to bolster RICK only. The Romney campaign will need to spend an extra $15-20 million to retire big-mouth Rick, rather than focusing those resources against Obama. Santorum is MUD to the Republican Party, and continues to lose respect. He will probably, like Specter, be forced to become a Democrat. Let's see how his position against separation of church and state plays to that crowd, ha!

    April 6, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  19. clarke

    It is over, but Rick doesn't know it yet.

    April 6, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  20. D. Smith

    Arlen,

    please be quite and go away

    April 6, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  21. Mike Johnson

    Arlen Specter is over.

    April 6, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. Crosscut

    Who cares what Specter has to say about anything? He is an over the hill has been hack. Way past time for him to disappear and shut his pie hole.

    April 6, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. Boringprof

    Now he understands when it is over. We had to send him home because it was over.

    April 6, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  24. krp

    Are we sure that is Arlen Specter? The headline reminds me of Harry Reid when he said "This. War. Is. Lost"

    April 6, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  25. JadedFan

    Arlen never met a spending bill or camera he didn't like. What a hack.

    April 6, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
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