Noted Democrat-Turned-Republican Endorses Democrat-Turned-Republican Over Democrat-Turned-Republican for U.S. Senate

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Dick Morris, a conservative commentator who previously worked for the Clinton administration, has endorsed Tom Smith for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

“Tom is the real deal,” Morris said. Smith, “built his way up and now is a very wealthy entrepreneur – exactly the kind of business success story we need.”

In a video released by the Smith campaign, Morris lambasted Chester County entrepreneur Steve Welch, and Republican state committee for endorsing him.

“This guy [Welch] switched to the Republican party just to run for Senate, and the Republican state committee endorsed him,” Morris said. “This is the land of Senator Specter, Arlen Specter.”

“We don’t need another potential turncoat like Steve Welch.”

Ironically, Morris was advising the Clinton White House in the wake of its brutal defeat over ‘Hillarycare,’ which Specter played a key role in halting. Isn’t politics a funny thing?

Welch voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary. He says it was a vote against Hillary Clinton and that he voted for John McCain in the general. He switched back to the GOP in 2009, and shortly after pursued a bid for Congress against Joe Sestak.

Morris had previously been a fan of Tim Burns; Burns dropped out of the race last week.

He did a bit of preemptive damage control for Smith, when he explained that Smith, too, had been a Democrat.

“Now Smith also used to be a Democrat, but he was always a right-wing, conservative Democrat. And like me, you’re either a Pelosi-Obama Democrat, or you’re a Republican,” Morris said. “There’s no such thing as a conservative Democrat any more, so I became a Republican and so did Tom Smith.”

Smith was a lifelong Democrat until August of 2011. He served as an Armstrong County Democratic Committeeman for a few months in 2010 at the same time he was the leader of the Indiana Armstrong Patriots Tea Party group. He was ejected from the Dem committee for supporting Republicans. Over his adult life he has contributed over $250,000 to Republicans and conservative causes. He voted in the 2006 primary for U.S. Senate, which Casey won, but says he forgets who he voted for.

Morris finished off with a critique of Senator Bob Casey, who he characterized as insufficiently anti-abortion, and said a freshman Republican from Pa. could be the GOP’s 60th vote in the Senate.

As far as campaign surrogates go, Morris is an interesting choice for the party-switcher message. But his critique strikes at a key weakness of Welch’s campaign and a topic that will force him to play defense frequently over the course of the primary.

February 8th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Senate, Top Stories | 11 Comments

11 thoughts on “Noted Democrat-Turned-Republican Endorses Democrat-Turned-Republican Over Democrat-Turned-Republican for U.S. Senate”

  1. TRP says:

    I just had the chance to hear Sam Rohrer yesterday and he blew me away. The Q&A that follwed was an amazing thing to watch. He is a sold Constitutional Conservative and has a track record from his days in the state senate to prove it. Dick, you need to go listen to him and re-evaluate your analysis. The latest PPP poll has him in the lead right now also (he’s really catching on with voters who like his message):

    PPP: Rohrer leads Senate race

  2. Alex says:

    Oh yes, ol’ Sam ‘A pay raise in every pot’ Rohrer!

  3. Carlo Grilletto says:

    Has Morris been to a debate between Smith, Welch or Rohrer? If had been at the debate in Phoenixville on 2/8/12 he would have seen why Rohrer was the clear winner. The straw poll results were:
    Sam Rohrer— ——104
    Marc Scaringi——–24
    Steve Welch———18
    Tom Smith————06
    Welch was at a loss to explain his past Democratic history and his faulty logic and/or poor judgment for doing so. Smith is not articulate and has a problem in delivering a convincing presentation. Sam Rohrer displayed an articulate and convincing presentation. Besides agreeing with Rohrer’s honest brand of conservatism, I believe he is the most capable candidate to wipe Casey out in a debate.

  4. Tom Porter says:

    Thanks Gibson for you sarcastic headline. It drew my attention to this article and I now am thoroughly convinced Tom Smith IS the RIGHT choice for U.S. Senate.

  5. DGrant says:

    We do not need any former democrats nor RINOs … anyone sipping the progressive, socialist kool-aid always carry some of it with them … vote for a true conservative Sam Rohrer.

  6. Paul Indorf says:


    Tell him to go back and hire ‘some body who pretends to care’ to spill his guts to. I’m sorry, some people should just pack their stuff and go home….

  7. Lawrence Avignone says:

    what’s sad is that a lot of folks think that what this political buffoon thinks actually matters. Morris, your comments are laughable and bozo-ish. I have spoken personally with Mr Smith on two occasions, I asked him pointed questions on key issues, and he’s NOT “the real thing.” He does have $5 million of his own $ that he can run self-promoting TV ads with, and bully for him on his business acumen, but that doesn’t make him US Senate material. In fact, I’m going to attend another debate soon and ask him personally why he’s spending so much of his $ when he’s NOT going to win the primary. Finally, Mr. Morris, more and more of us simply DO NOT CARE what chameleons like you think or say. When you announce that you’ve realized the error of your ways and you’ve changed your endorsement to Sam Rohrer, then I’ll consider giving you the time of day.

  8. Judy Brown says:

    Great title Keegan. Add the redistricting mess and what happened at State Committee there’s chaos in the Republican Party.

  9. Jeff Morgan says:

    All these pundits and outside PA talking heads need to stay out of Pennsylvania unless they know better the players and the plans. This goes for Dick Morris or Freedom Works and the School Choice SB1 rah, rah effort. Either know the candidates, read the bill and know the issue or stay the heck out of it.

  10. Joe Goldberger says:

    I am a Pennsylvania voter and deeply disappointed the Dick Morris has overlooked the preeminent, prospective Republican candidate for the US Senate- Sam Rohrer. Dick, please print a retraction and support Sam, a really knowledgeable and experienced candidate. You won’t be sorry when Sam wins. By the way, you are right about Welch.

  11. Jeffrey Ney says:

    We have to stop letting Democrats and former Democrats to pick our candidates. Sam Rohrer is the best man to defeat Bobby Casey. Period. No one energizes the grass roots like Sam. Dick Morris is just another Clinton reject and his style and commentary are often so far off base that he has no credibility. It’s time to end this people. I am urging EVERYONE to get out on primary day and destroy the GOP stateist machine politics that has strangled this state for too long. Let’s have our own open primary and embrace the message in the 1975 CPAC speech given by Ronald Reagan and even God himself in the Book of Proverbs.

    Reagan: “A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.

    I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.”

    God: Proverbs 81:12

    “So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels…..
    16 But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

    Instead we get Corbett and Morris and Welch?

    We’ll see about that.

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