Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter Switches Party, "my Party has not defined who I am" (Video)

Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, intends to become a Democrat.

In doing so, he has officially sold his soul for political gain. This switch has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with maintaining his seat in the Senate. Specter has placed self-preservation and political expediency above the good of the Country and the will of the people of Pennsylvania. Specter is currently trailing in Republican primary polls in PA and most pundits agree he would have lost next year's Senate primary to Rep. Pat Toomey.

President Obama called Specter to let him know Democrats were "thrilled to have" him. Of course they are excited! With the likely appointment of Al Franken to the U.S. Senate, the Democrats will have a filibuster-proof super majority. Combine that with the overwhelming majority in the House, and there is nothing anyone can do to stop the radical socialist take-over of America by Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

Congratulations, America! You have destroyed my country from within. Thanks for nothing!

Via Politico

Statement by Sen. Arlen Specter:

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the state, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for reelection in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for reelection determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for reelection because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania's economy.

I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords' switch, which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (card check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy's statement that sometimes party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.

Breitbart reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania disclosed plans Tuesday to switch parties, a move intended to boost his chances of winning re-election next year that also will push Democrats within one seat of a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.

"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Specter said in a statement posted on a Web site devoted to Pennsylvania politics and confirmed by his office. Several Senate officials said a formal announcement was expected later in the day or Wednesday.

President Barack Obama called Specter almost immediately after he was informed of the decision to say the Democratic Party was "thrilled to have you," according to a White House official.

Specter, 79 and in his fifth term, is one of a handful of Republican moderates remaining in Congress in a party now dominated by conservatives.Several officials said secret talks that preceded his decision reached into the White House, involving both Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden, a longtime colleague in the Senate. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell as well as Democratic leaders in Congress also were involved, added the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details.

With Specter, Democrats would have 59 Senate seats. Democrat Al Franken is ahead in a marathon recount in Minnesota, and if he ultimately wins his race against Republican Norm Coleman, he would become the party's 60th vote. That is the number needed to overcome a filibuster.

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