Entries in Arlen Specter (5)


Arlen Specter: Former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Dead at 82

United States Senate(NEW YORK) -- Arlen Specter, the former senator from Pennsylvania who stunned both parties on Capitol Hill in 2009 when he announced he would switch his party allegiance to Democrat after 42 years as a Republican, has died. He was 82.

Specter died at his Philadelphia home from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Specter's battle with cancer has been long. In addition to the removal of a brain tumor, he was diagnosed and underwent chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease in 2005, only to undergo treatment again when it resurfaced in 2008.

He published a book, "Never Give In: Battling Cancer in the Senate," about dealing with the disease after his initial diagnosis.

In August, Specter announced he was "battling cancer" again -- this time with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Last month, he was released from a Philadelphia hospital.

He is survived by his wife, Joan, and two sons, Shanin and Stephen.

The following statements have been released on Specter's death:

President Obama

"Arlen Specter was always a fighter.  From his days stamping out corruption as a prosecutor in Philadelphia to his three decades of service in the Senate, Arlen was fiercely independent – never putting party or ideology ahead of the people he was chosen to serve.  He brought that same toughness and determination to his personal struggles, using his own story to inspire others.  When he announced that his cancer had returned in 2005, Arlen said, "I have beaten a brain tumor, bypass heart surgery and many tough political opponents and I'm going to beat this, too."  Arlen fought that battle for seven more years with the same resolve he used to fight for stem-cell research funding, veterans health, and countless other issues that will continue to change lives for years to come.  Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Joan and the rest of the Specter family. "

President George W. Bush

“Arlen Specter loved our country and served it with integrity for three decades in the United States Senate.  Laura and I appreciate his contributions to America and are grateful for his many years of public service.  We send our condolences to his wife, Joan, and the Specter family.”

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)

“A man of sharp intelligence and dogged determination, Sen. Specter dedicated his life to public service and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His impact on our state and public policy will not be forgotten. My wife Kris and I send our thoughts and prayers to Joan and the entire Specter family.”

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
“I am deeply saddened to learn that my friend Arlen Specter has passed away. I had the honor and privilege of working with him in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania. Arlen was a statesman and a problem solver who was able to work with Democrats and Republicans in the best interest of our Commonwealth and our Country. Arlen fought cancer courageously and his enduring legacy of support for the National Institutes of Health will help countless Americans as they battle cancer and other ailments. My thoughts and prayers are with Joan, Shanin, Stephen and his entire family.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

"I was deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of Senator Arlen Specter. I served with Senator Specter in Congress for twenty-eight years. Senator Specter was a man of moderation; he was always passionate, but always easy to work with.

"I followed him through his previous illnesses, during the course of which he displayed great physical strength and great strength of character. Throughout his life, Senator Specter fought and won many battles, but this was one he could not win.

"America is better today because of Arlen Specter. He will be dearly missed."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum: My Support for Arlen Specter Presidential Bid a Mistake

Jay LaPrete/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Sunday morning that his previous support for former Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter’s 1996 presidential campaign was a mistake.

“I was his colleague in the United States Senate. He asked me to stand with him. That certainly wasn’t one of my prouder moments I look back on. But look, you know, you work together as a team for the state of Pennsylvania,” said Santorum. “I certainly knew that Arlen Specter was going nowhere. I certainly disagreed with a lot of things that he said.”

Santorum, who is fiercely against abortion, appeared on stage with Specter in 1995, who was vocally pro-choice at the time.

“I want to take abortion out of politics … and leave moral issues such as abortion to the conscience of the individual. That is a matter to be decided by women, not by big government,” Specter said in 1995.

Santorum said his support for Specter hinged partially on Specter’s support for him when he was running for office in 1994.

Supporting Specter “was something I look back on and wish I hadn’t done,” Santorum said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Campaign Highlights Santorum's Ties with Arlen Specter in Ad

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter left Capitol Hill more than a year ago, but Mitt Romney’s campaign is working hard to give the party-switching ex-lawmaker a political revival of sorts.

The Romney campaign released a new web video on Friday highlighting the alliance between Specter and Rick Santorum when the two were colleagues in the U.S. Senate.

“Rick Santorum supported Specter over conservative candidates -- twice,” the video’s narrator says.  “Santorum and Specter voted for liberal Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor.  Santorum and Specter both sided with big labor against right to work.”

But the most damning charge is the one that Romney, himself, made at Wednesday night’s presidential debate in Arizona: That Santorum’s continued support of Specter helped deliver the deciding vote for President Obama’s health care plan. Santorum endorsed Specter in his 2004 Senate race and again, six years later, in a Republican primary against the more conservative candidate, Pat Toomey.

The video juxtaposes images of Specter with President Obama and, separately, with Santorum.  It also includes a clip of a 2004 campaign ad paid for by Specter’s Senate campaign featuring Santorum’s public support.

“I’m proud to endorse Arlen Specter,” Santorum said in the old ad.

Romney raised the ties between the two Pennsylvania politicians at the debate, chastising his rival: “If you had not supported him, if we had said ‘no’ to Arlen Specter, we would not have ObamaCare.  So don’t look at me.  Take a look in the mirror.”

At the debate, Santorum suggested he cut a deal with Specter to support him in exchange for Specter’s support of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees.

Not so, Specter said in an interview on Thursday with ABC News.  He denied striking such a deal with Santorum and expressed surprise that he had become an issue in this year’s Republican nominating contest.

“There are a lot more important things to discuss than Arlen Specter,” he said.

But the Romney campaign is determined to keep the former senator front and center.

“If Rick Santorum couldn’t say no to liberal Arlen Specter, can you really trust him to change Washington?” the Romney web video concludes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arlen Specter on GOP Debate Reference: ‘Leave Me Out of It’

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Arlen Specter didn’t watch last night’s GOP debate, but he definitely heard about it.

The former senator from Pennsylvania was briefly mentioned on the stage in Arizona as Mitt Romney blamed his chief rival, Rick Santorum, for his 2004 endorsement of the senator. In a vain attempt to save his job, Spector became a Democrat and voted for President Obama’s controversial health care plan, which is the center of 27 state lawsuits on constitutional grounds.

Specter said Thursday that he’s happy to take credit for “ObamaCare” -- but that he doesn’t understand why Romney mentioned him in the first place.

“There are a lot more important things to discuss than Arlen Specter,” the former senator told ABC News. “I don’t care if he brings me up. I just think there are more important things to do than talk about me.”

Romney’s line of attack was his way of turning around the health care argument that Santorum has used against the former governor -- that the health program Romney signed into law in Massachusetts became a model for President Obama’s health care plan. Romney said last night that Santorum’s endorsement of Specter in 2004, when they were both Republicans, is “the reason we have ObamaCare.”

“If you had not supported him, if we had said ‘no’ to Arlen Specter, we would not have ObamaCare,” Romney said. “So don’t look at me. Take a look in the mirror.”

Santorum defended his endorsement by saying that Specter told him in a “conversation” that if Santorum supported him, Specter would vote for President Bush’s judicial nominees in his powerful role on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “He said, ‘I’ll support the president’s nominees as chairman,’ ” Santorum told Romney.

But Specter said he “never” made a deal with Santorum. He said Santorum’s defense wasn’t appropriate though it was, “equal to the attack” by Romney.

“I think in these debates, it’s standard to disregard the relevant or important things and bring in the kitchen sink, anything that comes to mind,” Specter said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arlen Specter To Campaign For Former Rival Joe Sestak

Photo Courtesy - Specter Senate dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- For the first time, Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., will campaign for Joe Sestak, the congressman who ended his hopes for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate after a hard-fought primary campaign.

Specter will appear with Sestak at an event in Philadelphia on Monday that will also feature Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Just a few weeks ago, the most that Specter would say about his former rival’s campaign when asked by a reporter was, “I’m late for the squash court." (Presumably Sestak will receive a more forceful endorsement from his erstwhile opponent on Monday.)

But with less than a month to go until Election Day, Specter -- an influential voice in Pennsylvania politics -- is closing ranks behind Sestak, who is trailing his Republican opponent, former Rep. Pat Toomey, according to recent polls.

Specter switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party in 2009, avoiding what would have been an uphill battle against Toomey in the GOP primary. But the Senate veteran went on to lose in the Democratic primary to Sestak in May.

News of Monday’s event -- a private fundraiser -- was first reported by the Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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