Santorum Backed Specter for Prez, Reminds Romney

Screenshot of CSPAN video courtesy of the Romney campaign

Unfortunately for Rick Santorum, over a long political career, even the most ardent champion of socially conservative values can accumulate some pro-choice skeletons in the closet. Now Mitt Romney is reminding voters of Santorum’s support for his former colleague, Senator Arlen Specter, when he ran for President briefly in 1995.

While some have started to talk about the possibility of an open GOP convention as the Republican presidential primary limps into the home stretch, the Romney campaign has gone on the offensive, happily using Santorum’s support of former Pennsylvania State Senator Arlen Specter’s bid for presidency in 1996 to attack Santorum’s conservative credentials.

It didn't catch on.

The problem is that Specter ran on the platform of challenging the same religious right that Santorum has used to resuscitate his 2012 presidential campaign. Specter even included “a woman’s right to choose” in his campaigns “10 Commitments to America”.

Santorum has been forced to answer questions about this inconsistency on the campaign trail, and his answers have provided plenty of ammunition for the Romney campaign machine.

He had already aces scrutiny for supporting Specter during the 2004 primary with then-Congressman Pat Toomey.

In a press release, the Romney campaign picks apart a Santorum interview with ABC’s “This Week” were the former Pennsylvania Senator is asked why he supported Specter for president.

“That certainly wasn’t one of my prouder moments I look back on, Santorum is quoted as saying. “But look, you know, you work together as a team for the state of Pennsylvania and I felt that Senator Specter stood up and supported me when I was running in 1994 and I did likewise.”

The Romney campaign characterizes Santorum’s comments as proof that he is “just another Washington politician”, attacking the Santorum’s successful campaign image of being the only candidate to truly represent conservative values.

Looking to maintain the pressure, the Romney campaign also released a list of Santorum’s “Falsehoods and Exaggerations.” Offering media written rebuttals to Santorum’s claims of Romney supporting cap and trade and federally mandated health care.

Adding insult to injury is a video gleefully promoted by the Romney campaign of Santorum back in 2008, endorsing Romney’s bid for presidency like he had done for Specter.

Puerto Rico

It has been a tough stretch for Santorum, who most recently faced criticism in Puerto Rico for insisting that in order for the territory to apply for statehood, their primary language should be English instead of Spanish.

Romney, however, said that he would not put such preconditions on statehood, a stance that may have helped in running away with more than 80 percent of the primary vote and all of Puerto Rico’s 20 delegates. In a statement after his victory, Romney made no mention of the language debate, instead focusing on his strongest point of being the candidate that has the most experience in job creation.

“We won’t get the economy going again by replacing one president with no job creation experience with another with no job creation experience,” said Romney.

The Santorum campaign wasn’t as prepared to let the matter go, blasting Romney for turning his back on conservative principles “in a desperate pander for a few delegates.”

“Mitt Romney says he supports English as the official language of America while on the mainland, but then says Puerto Ricans don’t have to learn English while he’s on Puerto Rico,” said the Santorum campaign.

Here’s the Specter 1995 announcement video:
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Specter

One Response

  1. And Romney voted for Paul Tsongas. It’s not really like I was ever inclined to support Romney, but every time he talks I just get… more discouraged about him. The man believes nothing.

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