Santorum Still Explaining His Specter Endorsements

By:  Jack Kenny
03/20/2012
       
Santorum Still Explaining His Specter Endorsements

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's interview on ABC's This Week Sunday appeared to be going well until guest host Jonathan Karl asked the former Pennsylvania Senator about another in his long history of wrong-way endorsements. Santorum, whose outspoken anti-abortion stand has helped him win the support of many of the GOP's socially conservative voters, had to explain why in 1995 he backed the short-lived presidential candidacy of fellow Pennsylvanian, Sen. Arlen Specter, an equally determined and outspoken "pro-choice" Republican.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's interview on ABC's This Week Sunday appeared to be going well until guest host Jonathan Karl asked the former Pennsylvania Senator about another in his long history of wrong-way endorsements. Santorum, whose outspoken anti-abortion stand has helped him win the support of many of the GOP's socially conservative voters, had to explain why in 1995 he backed the short-lived presidential candidacy of fellow Pennsylvanian, Sen. Arlen Specter, an equally determined and outspoken "pro-choice" Republican.

"This was a one-issue candidacy. He was a pro-choice candidate," Karl said. He then showed a video of Specter announcing his candidacy and taking an unequivocal "pro-choice" position.
 
"I want to take abortion out of politics, and leave moral issues, such as abortion, to the conscience of the individual," Specter said. "That is a matter to be decided by women, not by big government." A moment later, Karl showed another clip from the same event showing a beaming Santorum on the same platform shaking his colleague's hand.
 
"You were — you were probably his — maybe his most prominent supporter," Karl reminded Santorum. "Why did you support Arlen Specter for President?" 
 
"Well, you know, when your colleague is running for office, and you know, I was his colleague in the United States Senate. He asked me to stand with him," Santorum explained. "That certainly was not one of my prouder moments I look back on. But look, you know, you work together as a team for the state of Pennsylvania. And I felt that Senator Specter had stood up and supported me when I was running in 1994, and I did likewise. I certainly knew that Arlen Specter was going nowhere. I certainly disagreed with a lot of things that he said, and it was something I look back on and wish I hadn't done."

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Photo of Rick Santorum: AP Images

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