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. Thomas

    So if I'm a Democrat I stand for everything the clown Democrat from Minnesota, but if I'm a Republican then I stand for everything that Coleman stands for. See I'm a team player. It's called integrity. Not!

    May 6, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Ted

    Wow, so he wanted Coleman, presumably because he thought he was the best guy for the seat, right? Now he thinks Franken is? This case is a perfect illustration of what is wrong with our country. Ideas don't matter, it's only whether your team wins or loses.

    If Specter had any spine he would have run as an independent, a la Lieberman.

    May 6, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Tate

    he forgot once he switched he had to vote for stuart smalley

    May 6, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. dotjet

    If he gets that confused that easily, he needs to retire!

    May 6, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Dave S.

    He could have just said that he was being funny.

    I think the original question was about representing jewish republicans.. and that decision is truly in the hands of the minnesota supreme court. They CAN decide to overlook facts.. and send a "jewish republican".. instead of the guy who won...

    May 6, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Gerda Edwards

    Proof that he's concerned more with Party than Country - so he fits in quite well with the Dems.

    (Along with Clinton and Biden who both said Obama wasn't ready to be Pres — until he became their Party's nominee. Then somehow he magically became the best person for the job.)

    May 6, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. AM

    Mitt Romney's knowledge on healthcare needs some revising. He is clearly a novice and is uninformed on the subject. He is clearly thinking about how he can get those tax breaks for the rich back.

    May 6, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. dotjet

    Mississippi Mike: "He supports Coleman. Any sane person would. Who wants Stuart Smalley making policy decisions for you?"

    Geez, get a clue buddy! Stuart Smiley is a CHARACTER that Al Franken played on TV. Al Franken and Stuart Smiley ARE NOT the same person. Just because Al was on TV as an actor/comedian doesn't mean he's tied to that for the rest of his life. In fact, if that were the case, California's govenor would be the Terminator and Ronald Reagan wouldn't have been allowed to be President because he was a REALLY BAD ACTOR!

    May 6, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. No Incumbents 2010

    So his message to voters is: Yes, I forgot I was a Democrat, but at 79, I have the mental agility for another 6 years...???? What else is he going to forget? Someone please give Arlen some hobbies so he can retire and meet his grandchildren.

    May 6, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. stormerF

    No, Specter spoke the truth,even he knows Al Frankin is a complete fool,and an embarassment to the Demo Party and the Minnesota People.

    May 6, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. david, CA

    This guy is a little disconcerting to have join the dems. Even if you appreciate the pragmatism of Specter's jumping off the sinking GOP ship, can he be trusted after such an act of disloyalty – even if one believe's the GOP deserves to be deserted? Is it realistic that this cat can change his stripes so easily? Is Specter some sort of Trojan horse?

    May 6, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Mike Syracuse, NY

    He needs some telepromptor tutoring from Obama.

    May 6, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Larry

    He truly is a Democrat,he doesn't care about anything but himself.

    May 6, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. How do we do this?


    How in the world can we get these OLD GEEZERS out of office, other then not electing them ... Why do we let them sit in their chair in the Senate/House and die... Why can't we force term limits on the old die hards who can't remember their own name half the time....2 terms should be enough !!!

    May 6, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. David S. Robins

    It's always good to see a naked opportunist get his comeuppance. Bye, Arlen.

    May 6, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Matt

    The senile old dummy can't remember what party he is in now. Poor dems you got stuck with the doo doo end of the stick.

    May 6, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Mary

    Specter is a Republican. He was a Republican when he was a Democrat and he is a Republican now trying to pretend like a Democrat. Just wait until he gets re-elected and he will switch back to the Republican Party, because that is normally what they do.

    May 6, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Pam

    What's pathetic are the words "Senator" and "Franken" used together.

    May 6, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Kyle in San Diego

    So, where's the misspeech? Did he "mean" to say 'Al Franken'? *tsk*tsk*tsk*

    May 6, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. pete at the beach

    Go back to the GOP Arlen we dont need you

    May 6, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Dan from Sacto

    Awww, that picture makes me feel so sorry for the poor old fella.

    He looks like he just wants to walk through that door and hide in the corner and cry.

    May 6, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Alice

    I guess that explains why they voted to strip him of seniority.

    May 6, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Failure is a Republican

    Franken is one very, very smart person with a good head on his shoulders. Anyone who actually listens to him or has read any of his works would know that. Then again I don't expect the haters to have ever picked up a book to learn anything.

    Now Colman is about as smart as a Box of Rocks and I guess that is why republicans like him.

    May 6, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Mike in MN

    Coleman will take it all the way to the US Supreme court just like Gore.
    And that is where he will win. Frankin would be the biggest joke to ever call himself Senator of the United States.

    May 6, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Obama is a fool for supporting this man.

    May 6, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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