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. johnny

    As a life long resident of PA, I can't say I'd be sorry to see the end of Specter. I find him vile.

    December 1, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  2. Andy

    What? Chris-the Screamer Matthews vs old senile goat Specter. LOL
    That wouldn't be a big surprise though just look at what America elected as President for the last eight years. This is truly becoming a circus.

    December 1, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Dave

    Matthews would be a strong candidate. I'd be interested to see what positions he takes as a candidate.

    Specter remains one of the more moderate Republicans, which also means he is the apparent future – in spite of his years – of the party. I'm no fan of the GOP, but more like Specter would make America better.

    December 1, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. sensible Ccape Coral FL

    Matthews would be an effective Senator but he will first have to learn to STOP interrupting his guests. He is a bit of a show-off as if his opinion is the only one that counts. However we could do worse.

    December 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. ch

    As a Hillary Clinton supporter, I can't wait for blowhard Matthews to run so the good people pf PA can be reminded of how he has trashed and attacked Hillary (and Bill) Clinton for the last decade.

    Bet that does not go over too well in PA, a state that Hillary won in a landslide!

    December 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    Just another example of how the media is totally in the tank for Obama. Pretty sad. This is the year that journalism died!

    December 1, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. elizabeth

    We could do alot worse than Chris Matthews in the Senate, as a matter of fact we have, for years.

    December 1, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Tom Swift, Shopton

    Doesn't Matthews have to get permission from Keith Olbermann to run?

    December 1, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Lama

    Mattews cut his teeth in the Kennedy White House. He's no political neophyte. He worked on several campaigns throughout his early years and that's why he got the pundit job. Sorta like George Stephonopolous. Specter has spent the past year throwing his weight around in arenas he has no reason to be in like the NFL. I guess that was serving the people of PA by trying to get the Eagles a do-over agains the Pats...

    December 1, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Tom in Delaware

    Pennsylvanians re-elected that moron John Murtha, why wouldn't they re-elect Specter.

    My fellow Delawarians re-elected Joe Biden (7th time) and he didn't even campaign....the best thing about him becoming the new VP is that he'll finally be out of our hair, that is if he can keep his mouth shut for four years....and that's a big IF.

    BTW-Matthews got fired as anchor on MSNBC along with Keith Olbermann because of thier unrestrained bias for Barack Obama...the MSM's token sacrifice to show how 'fair and just' they were....you know...lip service.

    December 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Steve in VA

    We are living in the MTV, reality-show, pop culture power age. Any candidate who is liberal enough to fit in with the Hollywood crowd and gets himself a good PR team and a TV/Cinema producer to run the show can get elected.

    December 1, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. john wade

    Spector is the most unpleasant member of the senate ( now that Unclw Ted got the boot!)

    December 1, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Ken

    Hey Jay: and just what qualifications did people like Bush, Reagan, or Schwartzeneger bring to their first campaigns? Reagan and Schwartzeneger are prime examples of the personality cult that you're trying to rail-on about. And while Bush wasn't an 'entertainer' as such, he brought an entertaining resume full of consistent FAILURE to his first campaign.

    And now you have a problem with Franken and Mathews? So its Ok for [R] airheads to run for office, but not [D]s???!! Your partisan bias merely showcases your intellectually bleak outlook on the world. You neo-idiots lost the last election for good reason.

    December 1, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Matthews is very quick, very bright, and knows the terrain in Pennsylvania thoroughly. Spector will have his hands full, and I don't think he'll be able to keep up with Matthews.

    December 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Sanity has Returned

    Where do you folks come from? Matthews is on hardly a liberal. Maybe some of you folks are so far right of center, that he just looks liberal. I've been watching Matthews on and off for about 5 yrs, that man is barely a democrat, if anything, a Blue Dog Dem.

    December 1, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Lisa born -n- raised in Philly living in Pittsburgh

    Chris Matthews knows little of PA he has not been here his brother running with Lynn Swan was laughable, now he wants to be Senator. Ed Rendell 2010.

    December 1, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. demwit

    Chris Matthews a democrat!? Nooooooooo

    December 1, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. Ken

    Ahh, Tom in Delaware: another proud citizen of Dumbf-kistan, grumpy because he's stuck inside a blue state. Good grief, you neo-goons need to come up with a new mantra....blaming the so-called liberal media for everything is getting so old. You sound like my pre-adolescent kid, trying to shirk responsibility for his behavior at every turn. You just keep watching FoxNews for your deluded world-view....that should keep you happy in your little red enclave there in blue Delaware...while the rest of us adults move on to fix the problems YOUR shirker-in-charge created over the last 8 years.

    December 1, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. BS not Maverick

    Mathews will win!

    December 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. IM

    Tom in Delaware, maybe you need to do a little more research. Neither one of them have been fired from MSNBC.

    December 1, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. Dave

    Matthews is a complete idiot. I guess that's why he is a Democrat!

    December 1, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Raven

    Matthews a Liberal! LMFAO...someone hasn't been paying attention. O'Reilly's twin is no liberal. Matthews needs to stay right where he is. If anyone should run for any office it's Lou Dobbs!

    December 1, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Deb n Texas

    Go Chris!

    December 1, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Noah

    I appluad Matthews decision to run for Senate only because he needed to get out of the news industry. His behavior alone over the past election cycle were enough to do permanent damage to the so-called bi-partisan media. If the mainstream media wants to regain its former credibility (which it probably never will) then guys like Matthews have to leave. He is a disgrace to journalism. Hearing that Matthews may be leaving journalism forever send a tingle up my leg!!

    December 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. Denise Groves

    Matthews has announced he isn't running. Why is this news anyway?

    December 1, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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