April 30th, 2009
05:41 AM ET
14 years ago

GOP using Specter's own campaign ads against him

(CNN) - After Arlen Specter bolted the GOP Tuesday, Republicans like party chair Michael Steele attacked him as a "leftist" with a history of "left-wing" stands.

That was yesterday.

Twenty-four hours later, his former colleagues in the Senate GOP are rushing to embrace Specter's past in a new campaign designed to highlight the consistency of his Republican record.

"In light of Senator Specter's changing political party, we felt it was our civic duty to adequately inform Pennsylvania Democrat primary voters about their new Senator's record and his close relationship with our former President George W. Bush," National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson said in a Wednesday announcement.

The effort includes a Web page featuring YouTube clips of Specter's positive comments about conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum, and criticism of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. It also involves robocalls to Pennsylvania voters to "help you welcome your newest Democrat senator" that use audio from Specter's old campaign ads - audio featuring what the NRSC describes as "glowing support" from former President George W. Bush.

"I'm here to say it as plainly as I can, Arlen Specter is the right man for the United States Senate," says Bush in comments included in the new call. "I can count on this man - see, that's important. He's a firm ally when it matters most. I'm proud to tell you I think he's earned another term as the United States senator."

The remarks were made back in 2004, when the Bush's endorsement was widely credited with helping Specter eke out a narrow primary win over challenger Pat Toomey.

Filed under: Arlen Specter
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