Santorum Claims Specter Traded Confirmation Votes for Campaign Support

By:  Jack Kenny
02/24/2012
       
Santorum Claims Specter Traded Confirmation Votes for Campaign Support

For a Senator who lost by 18 percentage points when he last ran for reelection, Rick Santorum must have awesome powers of persuasion. According to a rival GOP presidential candidate, Santorum is responsible for the passage of the Obama health care plan because as the junior Senator from Pennsylvania, he persuaded the voters of his state to back senior Senator Arlen Specter over conservative challenger Pat Toomey in a hotly contested Republican primary race in 2004. And Santorum claimed his endorsement of his colleague, who was in line to become chairman of the Judiciary Committee, came after he sought and received from his Senate colleague a pledge that Specter would support President George W. Bush's nominees to the Supreme Court,

 

For a Senator who lost by 18 percentage points when he last ran for reelection, Rick Santorum must have awesome powers of persuasion. According to a rival GOP presidential candidate, Santorum is responsible for the passage of the Obama health care plan because as the junior Senator from Pennsylvania, he persuaded the voters of his state to back senior Senator Arlen Specter over conservative challenger Pat Toomey in a hotly contested Republican primary race in 2004. And Santorum claimed his endorsement of his colleague, who was in line to become chairman of the Judiciary Committee, came after he sought and received from his Senate colleague a pledge that Specter would support President George W. Bush's nominees to the Supreme Court,

Specter narrowly defeated the Toomey challenge that year and went on to win his fifth Senate term. As committee chairman, Specter did support both of Bush's eventual nominees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, but has denied he made any commitment beforehand. Near the end of his term, Specter gave Senate Democrats the crucial 60th vote needed to break a Republican filibuster against the Affordable Patient Care and Protection Act of 2010. Romney brought up Santorum's support of Specter during Wednesday night’s GOP debate in Arizona after the former Pennsylvania Senator repeated the charge he has made repeatedly in this year's presidential primary campaign, calling the health care plan Romney supported and signed into law as governor of Massachusetts the model for the Democrats' national plan. That makes Romney ill-suited to campaign against "ObamaCare," in a race against the President if Romney is the Republican nominee, Santorum said, repeating a charge that has dogged Romney through the primary campaigns.

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Jack Kenny (photo)

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