May 6th, 2009
12:06 PM ET
11 years ago

Specter: I 'misspoke' on Coleman

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The Pennsylvania senator said he 'misspoke' in an interview with the New York Times Tuesday when he voiced his support for GOP Sen. Norm Coleman."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Arlen Specter's recent switch from Republican to Democrat appears to have caused him some confusion over party loyalty.

The Pennsylvania senator said he "misspoke" in an interview with the New York Times Tuesday when he voiced his support for GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, who is locked in a recount battle with Democratic challenger Al Franken in Minnesota.

"In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates," Specter told CQ Politics. "I'm ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I've made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke."

Questioned about who he's supporting in elections Specter responded, "I'm looking for Democratic members. Nothing personal."

Specter's comments came after an interview with the Times in which the Pennsylvania senator declared he is rooting for a Coleman win in the hotly-contested Senate race. "There is still time for the Minnesota court to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner," he told the magazine.

soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Tom Bachman

    Ridge would destroy this guy. Reagan Dems will shun him, unions will shun him, and all 14 Republicans left in PA will shun him. Hard to believe that a state party so horribly screwed up will regain a Senate seat. Too bad there's only one Senator from PA these days. Bob who??

    May 6, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. IndyVoter

    OOPS! lol....I'm glad you switched Spector, but get it together please before you become more of a liability than an asset.

    May 6, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Targar

    I believe him when ever you leave a team,or your former wife, you some time make mistake in calling your new wife the name of your former wife. No big deal.

    May 6, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Bev

    Of course...what's right for the people of Minnesota doesn't matter. It's what's right for the Democratic party and his career that's important. What a perfect example of why we need term limits.

    May 6, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. DefiantOne

    I know this won't be posted, but somebody please take Arlen out of his Senate misery. Stesak, Ridge, Toomey...anybody!

    May 6, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. nugun

    Arlen is all about "Self"...his integrity is irrelevant as he'll change any tune if it furthers his cause (namely "Arlen Specter")

    So he'll be for Coleman, but switch because of a stupid party. Parties are what is destroying this nation.

    May 6, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Cardinal

    I can't believe Senator Franken is still not in DC. Pathetic.

    May 6, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. zgomer

    He must be senile. Better check this old boy out.

    May 6, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Tony

    *LOL* This guy has no filter, I love it! He openly admits that he's switching parties strictly and solely to save his career, and now he's only backing Democrats because they're Democrats. I'm glad the Dems are openly embracing him because no one individual will turn more people away from the Democratic Party than Arlen Specter.

    May 6, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Bryce

    This is just sad sad sad

    May 6, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Maggie from Virginia

    I think Admiral Sestak can beat Specter, Ridge, and Toomey.

    May 6, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Scott in Atlanta

    60 60 60 60! That's all that matters.

    May 6, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He said that he wasn't going to be a loyal Democrat. That is true; he's living up to his word on that.

    May 6, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Ren from Baltimore

    In Psychology, they call this type of behavior "terminal drop." This relates to a diminution of cognitive functions, even of will to do what is "correct," as one approaches the end of one's life.

    Certain aspects of the mind-body relationship synchronize this change in behaviors. At this point, for Sen Specter, it would be interesting to him to explore his recent actions with a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, lest he do himself and those he has cared for a good deal of harm.

    May 6, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Paul from Phoenix

    Wow, this is just plain sad. How hard is it to figure out "who your teamamtes are?" There aren't that many teams.

    This guy is just plain pathetic. I hope he doesn't even make it out of the Dem primary.

    May 6, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. joy

    You can switch political affiliations Specter but your mindset will remain the same.

    May 6, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. michaelam

    I am starting to wonder if Senator Specter is exhibiting signs of senility. Glad to have you aboard; but you need to get it together some.

    May 6, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. RWE


    May 6, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. MFinNJ

    Another politician that places his own interests above the country's. In yesterday's news he said he switched so he'd be in a better position to bring jobs and federal funding to PA. That's right. Re-elect me and I'll bring home the pork! Nevermind that we haven't had a balanced budget for years and the national debt is near 10 trillian. So much for character and leadership. If America collapses it will be because of guys like this.

    May 6, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Vince

    I have to admit, that hurts his credibility considerably. However, to equate his behavior and ethics with the Dems as a whole is a little ridiculous.

    May 6, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Lynn

    Too old just like John disrespect but Spector will be over 80 when he runs in the election and he gets as confused as McCain did during the 08 elections. It is time the Congress shifts to the next generation like the White House did.

    May 6, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. David, Blacksburg, VA

    And this is what is wrong with our politics. No matter what party you are affiliated. He's "looking for Democrats. Nothing personal." So it doesn't even matter if that candidate is qualified or not. As long as they are alive and they are within your political party, that is who I will back. I have WAY more respect for people who back the better candidate, no matter the party.

    Business as usual.

    May 6, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. JonDie

    Specter should follow Pete Domenici's example and retire because Specter is clearly no longer able to fully function as a senator and the people of Pennsylvania need a younger, more able person.

    However, it is more likely that Specter will follow Ted Stevens' and Jim Bunning's examples, and continue to believe that he, Specter, will live forever and to be a senator forever (old age does that to some people).

    May 6, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Lori

    Honest mistake. It's kind of like when Bush misspoke and said 'there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.' Republicans seems very angry with Specter. They fail to realize that they are still on the path to extinction. Specter will win reelection and the Republicans will still be lost in the wilderness. It's a fact. Take a deep breath and spend your energy planning another tea party or something.

    May 6, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Ken

    I love to hear these sore-LOSER [R]s come on here and bad-mouth Spector. It just goes to show what utter delusion and hypocrisy it takes to be a true-believing wing-nut these days.

    I especially like the whining about term limits and about "buying" senate seats. Where was all this cry for term limits when [R]s were in charge of the senate - and Specter is buying a senate seat? Man, they breeched the skulls of you neo-morons when they branded the word S_T_U_P_I_D on your foreheads.

    For all you self-styled "strict constructionists", the constitution takes care of term limits through the process called "voting". Ever heard of it? I know the [R] party is not to keen on that "voting" thing right now, but is just hilarious how these so-called conservatives get their panties in a bunch, and turn into a swarm of reactionary insects.

    May 6, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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