April 28th, 2009
12:29 PM ET

Sen. Arlen Specter to become Democrat

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Veteran Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, intends to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party on Tuesday, multiple sources said.

A Specter party switch would give Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 seats if Al Franken holds his current lead in the disputed Minnesota Senate race.

Specter, a five-term Senate veteran, was expected to face a very tough primary challenge in 2010 from former Rep. Pat Toomey, who nearly defeated Specter in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary in 2004.

Numerous Republicans are angry with Specter over his recent vote in support of President Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan.

Specter was one of only three GOP senators who voted for the measure.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Democrats • Raw Politics • Republicans
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    It's a shame that we cannot beleive or trust that Spector changed because he is honest & stands on his convictions. But, I have to agree that his motivation is more of self survival than anything else.
    Also I agree on term limits. When you watch some of our senior elected officials it makes you wonder how they even get to work.

    April 29, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  2. Art

    Heads up Pennsylvania!!! Washington is still at it. I'ed keep an eye on him.

    April 29, 2009 at 6:27 am |
  3. Pete

    Good Riddance. The Republican party needs to clean house and this is as good a place to start as any.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  4. amit

    I hope that America realizes that our government has transformed itself into a serviing itself and its own agenda. I feel like "We the People" are simply just getting in the way. For the sake of our country, I hope the people of PA realize that Spector obviously more interested in self preservation than representing the people. A true servant of the people stands behind his convictions and his actions and is not afraid of being judged. Spector simply gave himself a BAILOUT when he felt the heat.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  5. David Lawrence

    I just heard the story, I dont think it's about (Rep) or (Dem), It's all about who's doing the rite thing 4 our country. People are hurting all over and troops are loosing there life's daily. David

    April 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  6. Ellepatricia

    Spector is the poster child for term limits.
    Two terms – no more.
    Get it done, or get out of the way so someone else can.

    April 28, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  7. William Courtland

    Who wrote the AIG bonus in the Stimulus bill?

    A party member! Likely not one truly elected and 'working' for a AIG bonus and not for the People.

    This is the type of behaviour you party brings into your capitol house!

    Switching sides? What side of the United States of America were you on as a Federal Servant? Switching parties: what you no longer dig the Republican scene?

    Parties make the Government duty a joke, the party undermines the whole federal Constiutional system: and was engaged only to defeat your Constitution. The President can not enforce it: such is the peoples duty: but when the public is duped into electing a party into majority control: the Federalist and their federation fall apart and eventually into civil argument then to nationally internal warfare. You only got over the argument by the complete destruction of the Amendment process and the further degredation of the Constitution with the practice of accepted majority political domination and the slightest need of the true party investors to keep the whole thing roling so to cross representationally tax the public good for their private greed.

    April 28, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  8. Lampe

    I live in Pa. Arlen Spector, just made the BIGGEST mistake of his political career. People in Pa, will think of him as nothing more than a Back-Stabber!

    April 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  9. Larry

    Its all about getting re-elected.

    April 28, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  10. Michelle Garcia

    It is a bit suspicious that there is now the magical number of 60 on the Democrats side now, but if the man wants to change, let him. If he has left wing ideals and beliefs, and tend to vote in that direction, what loss is it to the Republican party anyway? I do believe that Steele's comments on the situation were a bit juvenile and unprofessional.

    April 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  11. Michael C. McHugh

    It looks like the Democrats have another "moderate" who will vote with them about half the time. Better than nothing, I suppose. I wonder if someone will run against him in the Democratic primary in PA?

    April 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  12. Jim

    I say give the Democrats complete controll & see how fast They will make George Bush a saint by making the deficits soar higher than when he was president. Also when Gods Judgement falls It will be the Democrats that can bear the brunt of Gods wrath for calling what he calls evil – good & acceptable.

    April 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    All I can say, Specter looks years younger.

    April 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  14. Annie Lee

    He knows he won't get re-elected as a Republican. This is all about power grab, not about "We the People". Anyways, I'm glad he's gone.
    The Republicans don't need sleazy person like Specter.

    April 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  15. Mike, Syaracuse, NY

    One party rule can never be good. Hopefully balance will be restored in 2010. This is clearly more about Specter getting reelected than any philosophical differences.

    April 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  16. Travis

    This has nothing to do with him seeing the light and wanting to work for a better world. It has everything to do with him wanting to get reelected and stay in power. Remember this Pennsylvania, Specter will do what is good for him. Not what is necessarilly good for you.

    April 28, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  17. Heather,ca

    I guess you could say hes a survivor. Hes been fighting for his and now he found a strategic way to save his political life. Its about politics. He knows he wouldnt win reelection as a Rep.

    April 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  18. Jordan H. Poole

    Heck Yeah!

    April 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  19. Melissa

    I don't think its because he no longer values Republicanism, its because the Republican party has gone so far to the right that its almost fascism. I don't blame him. The Democrats are just better all around. The Democrats are actually working for the people.

    April 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  20. jen

    How likely is it that they would have the 60 votes, even if he did switch parties and Minnesota got their second senator? There are a lot of moderate democrats who will not back some of the President's agenda. And I cannot imagine that Sen. Specter would change how he stands on all of the issues.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm |