December 1st, 2008
08:15 AM ET
14 years ago

Specter 'prepared' to take on TV anchor

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania discusses the 2010 race on CNN's 'Late Edition.'"]
(CNN) - As speculation continues to swirl about a possible Pennsylvania senate bid by MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter said on Sunday that he’s not worried about it.

“I’m going to have an opponent, in fact I’m going to have two opponents - one in the primary, where I always have a tough race, and again in the general,” Specter told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on "Late Edition." “I never look over my shoulder, I never look behind. Somebody may be gaining on me. I run with blinders. I’ll be prepared no matter who my opponents are.”

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported on Saturday that Matthews met with Pennsylvania Democratic Party leaders to discuss a possible senate run in 2010 against the incumbent Specter. The senior Republican is currently serving his 5th term, having first been elected in 1980.

Matthews, in a statement on the political Web site, said reports of him staffing up for a run are "absolutely not true."

Specter said he’s only concerned with his own bid for re-election in 2010.

“I don’t know what anyone else is doing, but I know what one man is doing—Arlen Specter is running,” he said on "Late Edition."

A Quinnipiac poll released this week shows strong support for the incumbent Specter. Specter leads 45 percent to Matthews’ 33 percent among overall voters. Among Democratic voters, however, Matthews leads Specter 55 to 25 percent.

Robert Menendez, the recently elected Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said he hadn’t talked to anyone who could confirm Matthews’ run.

“Wolf, we’ll see who decides to run. I haven’t seen any firm announcements by anyone, in terms of running,” the New Jersey senator said.

Filed under: Arlen Specter • Senate
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Fritz

    Pennsylvania, especially the Pittsburgh area, are not near ready to listen to Chris Matthews for the next however-man years. His lispy, drooling persona should be kept on the airwaves and out of the mainstream: just another "movie star" seeking political office because they have all the "right" answers.

    December 1, 2008 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  2. Kjetil

    I like Chris Matthews so if he run i hope he is elected. He is a straight talker and knows a lot – and he seems like a man that have the right stand on different issues. :o)

    December 1, 2008 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  3. James From Chicago

    I thinl Chris would be great..You go Chris.

    December 1, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  4. Granger

    “I never look over my shoulder, I never look behind. Somebody may be gaining on me..."

    Satchel Paige used this line often; it was one of his catchphrases.

    December 1, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  5. Don Fox

    Just wait til James Bond 007 finds you LoL

    December 1, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  6. Nobody Asked Larry But...

    Chris Matthews' relentless quest for the "real story, the real answer" rather than the "politically correct" response from his guests and commentators on his Hardball tv program has earned him the respect and sometimes fear from all shades of the political stripes, left, right, and center. I believe that, plus his eandearing cry that he "loves America and all it stands for" places him in good stead with many, if not most, Pennsylvania voters. What a race it would be. What fun it would be in the Senate. What great hope for all Americans.

    December 1, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  7. mw

    I always thought the mouthy blond talking head was a Repug????

    December 1, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  8. Toby

    Matthews has already said he's not running. Once again, CNN, "the best political team on television," is trying to manufacture news. That's a lot cheaper and easier than trying to find it and report it.

    December 1, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  9. Liz in DC

    Chris Matthews would make an excellent senator, as he is pragmatic, but also has his heart in the right place–with the working people of America and our need to have a manufacturing base in this country as, at the least, a matter of national security.

    December 1, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  10. BOB

    Chris Matthewes should stay with MBC/MSNBC and all the librels there!

    December 1, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  11. won't happen

    spector is one of the lowest of low lifes in the senate. I sure hope the people that are voting will understand untill we cut all the cancer out of congress it will come back time after time and it will be bigger and uglier each time.

    December 1, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  12. won't happen

    you invite someone to comment then you don't put it up what is the matter with you liars?

    December 1, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  13. Alex

    Who cares anymore about who unseats Arlen Specter, as long as somebody new replaces him and starts a new era for Republicans in Congress. Specter is not nearly as bad as some Republicans, but he helped maintain the status quo for a miserable administration that ran our great nation into the ground. Its time to replace all these dinasours who have no true and honest vision for our children and our nation. As a Republican and Senior Citizen, I say Specter had his chance to lead and ultimately blew it along with George W. Bush.

    December 1, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  14. The Pecan State Pundit

    Spector is not as bad as most Conservatives, though he consistently chose his job over his principles whenever thet two were in conflict. I remember how he caved in to fundamentalists.

    Conservatism cannot continue to exist. Conservatives, like Spector and worse, have led the country to the brink of economic disaster several times [Savings and Loan deregulation disaster, Iraq War Funding disaster, Subprime Lending Deregulation Disaster, Global Recession disaster, ten trillion dollar debt disaster (the gift that keeps on giving), and yearly trillion dollar budget deficits]. They have led the country into the only war in the history of the human race which had no military goal, which caused only collateral damage, and whose only accomplishment was to repair some of the damage it did).

    Conservatives have opposed, delayed, or defeated every worthwhile program since Lincoln proposed the abolition of slavery.

    Let all good voters of New Jersey rise to the challenge and defeat every Conservative candidate. Conservatism is down; let all patriots keep kicking it until it is dead.

    December 1, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  15. Dr. Sam

    My concern right now is about defeat of terrorism–in Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan and indeed everywhere. The horrible crime in India’s premier commercial center of Mumbai is the direct result of President Bush’s adventurism in Iraq and as such he is accountable. For, without the unnecessary Iraq war, terrorism (from Al-Quada and its franchises) would have been dealt a significant if not crippling blow by now. Al-Quada and their allies in crime would have been defeated in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Asia. Even after more than seven years since 9/11, we still are unable to find major Al-Quada leaders like Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri. Nor have we been able to cripple Al-Quada. This is a shame and a major stain on the Bush legacy. This is the price we are paying for Bush's adventurism in Iraq. This President foolishly focused his gaze and resources on Iraq while Al-Quada continued to grow and cause trouble using Afghanistan, Pakistan and Asia as its staging grounds.

    December 1, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  16. Jay

    Another TV personality running for office, just what we need. And, shocker, he is a liberal. What qualifications do any of these TV people have? Franken? Matthews? Politics is becoming a popularity contest, with name recognition as the only pre-requisite to run. I wanna be on TV.

    December 1, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  17. Jeff Brown

    Time to put this horse out to pasture!

    December 1, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  18. Breaking News

    Specter and his half brother,Joe Lieberman,should be kicked to the curb.

    December 1, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  19. StevenAK

    Spector needs to go. He is all talk at this point. Worthless.

    December 1, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. Jenny, PA

    I like Chris and think he would be a great candidate.

    December 1, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. Richard

    Regardless of the opponent Specter can not win. The political right won't support him, the political left doesn't need him, and the middle doesn't understand his convulated interpretations of the constitution. I don't think the Democrats would allow Specter to switch parties which is about the only way he can win in 2010.

    December 1, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  22. Michelle, PA

    Specter has earned the support of a lot of Pennsylvanians because of his position as one of the few unabashed moderates left in the Republican party. However, he's been in Washington practically forever and has battled serious health issues. It may be time to take a look at a good Democratic candidate if one is available. If Matthews runs, I'm familiar with the liberal positions that sell his show but not as much with the specifics of what he would stand for in elected office with real responsibilities beyond boosting ratings and selling ads. Pennsylvania is 2 states in 1 and a moderate has the best chance of success in a statewide election here. So the question is: Is he an Actor or a Believer? And if he is more moderate than he appears in his show, can he convince enough people in the rural middle of the state of that fact to have a chance? This could be very, very interesting.

    December 1, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  23. Kathy

    I don't know too many people with as much knowledge about our political history than Chris Matthews – it will be good to "let" Senator Specter retire – I think he's been ready for several years now. Go Chris!!!

    December 1, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  24. Love Chris

    He would be a great Public Servent. I would really miss him on MSNBC though. He is my favorite of all news anchors.

    December 1, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  25. GOP=Epic Fail

    I hope Chris Matthews does it; he's a smart man.

    December 1, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
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