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

Specter 'prepared' to take on TV anchor

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/30/art.arlenspecter.cnn.jpg 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 FiveThirtyEight.com, 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. tpayne

    It won't happen. Matthews can't stop fawning over pivotal players long enough to gain any real serious consideration.

    December 1, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. Silvia, Maine

    A definite win for Matthews with no problems.

    December 1, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  3. Shelley florida

    Go for it Chris!!!!. The senate needs someone like you to shake it up a bit.

    December 1, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. Sue

    Chris Matthews has proven himself to be a clone of Bill O'Reilley. He should now take his stutter and go home!!!! He has truly become an
    antagonist and is now a danger to honest broadcasting.

    December 1, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. Smitty

    I agree with Jay on Frankin, but Matthews has actually been around politics for a long time. If you spend time listening to him and read his background you would see that. He not your traditional TC personality who is running for office. I think he would have a serious chance of winning if he decided to run.

    December 1, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. MEH in Bucks County, PA

    Arlen Spector has been a great Senator and his service to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is unquestioned. Chris Wallace offers what, besides being a talking head for MSNBC, the most "in the tank" for the democrats network on TV?

    December 1, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  7. ET from Omaha

    Time to kick this Old corrupt politicians only looking for themselves out of washington and put some fresh thoughfull, young, non-ideologist in there.
    I don't care who will run against him but as long as that personne is young and intellegent, I am for it.
    They should limit the number of terms to limit corruption as well.

    December 1, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. delloyd burgess

    I think 28 years is plenty to be an elected official, Don't you?

    December 1, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. Mickie

    I think Chris would make a wonderful representative for PA. By the way Jay, this whole movie star/tv personalities running for office started with the republicans (Ronald Reagan). Then how about Arnold Swartzenegger? And, unlike Chris Matthews, their roles didn't have anything to do with politics. So much for them all being liberals. How about checking out the facts first.

    December 1, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  10. Laura, Boston

    I have always liked Chris Matthews that is up until this last campaign. I think he (along with Keith Obermann) showed himself to be completely unobjective in his reporting. It was no secret that he was supporting Barack Obama. That is fine but a good journalist (pundit) doesn't show partiality toward one side or the other. They remain objective (like Wolf Blitzer).

    I agree that Matthews is knowledgeable in politics but as far a policy, that is a different story.

    He is denying this report anyway.

    December 1, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  11. Robert NYC

    If this is true, good by Specter.

    December 1, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  12. Spencer/NY to VA

    I can't wait until Chris Mathews takes this guys job.

    December 1, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  13. dan

    Jay's comments are right on the money. Who's going to be next? Rosie O'Donnell? Joy Behar? These people believe the only qualifications you need are opinions formed with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

    December 1, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  14. Jaime, Sunrise FL

    To the person who posted that politics is turning into a popularity contest...

    Uhm...

    Politics is – by definition – a popularity contest.

    December 1, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  15. Rob

    The economy is in the toilet, we are in an illegal war, the current president is the WORST in history of mankind, and Arlen Specter's TOP priority is to start an investigation into the NFL over an issue that has already been resolved and NO ONE wants to repeat. Arlen Specter is INSANE!

    December 1, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. Former republican army wife

    Amazing how the same people who are supporting Matthews, are the same ones who call Frankens candidacy a joke. Franken is a Cum Laude graduate of Harvard university. Now, I am not a Franken fan, but I have to admit, I love the hypocrisy of some people. Matthews is a talking head, nothing more, nothing less. Anyone can sound intelligent on television, when they run the show. Matthews picks his topics before the show airs, studies up, and then sounds like a scholar on tv. Matthews is a joke, Franken is a joke, but at least Franken has Harvard behind him. Matthews has a show that he is able to control, thus making himself look like a genius. Television people should stick to tv, not go into politics. This is no different from these actors who decide they want a singing career too. Anyone own Hillary Duff's CD? THOUGHT NOT! Matthews and Franken are no better than that.

    December 1, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. brian

    about what jay said, when was there EVER any job qualification criteria for any politician? ironically, these positions that are often supposed to be most important in society (e.g. president) simply requires ability to talk and money. otherwise, bush would be the janitor at the white house.

    December 1, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Ted

    Specter is another spineless Republican In Name Only. What ever happened to social security/medicare reform, fighting corruption instead of abetting it, government that lives within its means, and not being the world police?

    December 1, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Why not? Maybe he can do an expose on Republicans who keep trying to hit the flush button on the United States.

    December 1, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. Politics should be more

    But it shouldn't be a popularity contest.

    December 1, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  21. Vigla

    Jay, Matthews is far from liberal. You should have heard him back on 2002. You would have thought he was a neocon. Frankly, no one knows what his positions are. I say we wait and see.

    December 1, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. KJ

    Chris Matthews is arrogant and is nothing but a bully who pushes people around because of his media status. I used to watch him, but lost all respect for the man after watching him do this over and over again.

    So, first we have Franken and now we're talking about Matthews running for the Senate. Come on Americans, I believe "Jay" has hit the nail right on the head when he stated "Politics is becoming a popularity contest with name recognition as the only pre-requisite to run"

    What is going on in this country when it comes to electing "qualified" candidates?? Wake up America and vote wisely and carefully, in particular, our young voters/first time voters.

    December 1, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. 1/20/13

    I just hope if he runs he gets that warm tingling feeling in his leg checked out first.......He is a moron but hey the dems will vote for him see the disgusting Al Franken

    December 1, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. DN

    'MEH in Bucks County, PA', you got the name wrong! That is too funny - and speaks volumes about your political affiliation. It's Chris Matthews, not Chris Wallace. Wallace is an anchor on FOX news. A little 'Freudian slip'. Say it now 'MEH', "I pledge allegiance to the Republican party for which it stands..."

    December 1, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. Peg

    I'm a Democrat and I like Specter. He's one of the few moderate Republicans, for the most part and should be re-elected without a problem. My only concern is his health and I'm hopeful this will not affect his candidacy.

    December 1, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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