The Strange Specter Wars

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 24 2012 @ 5:21pm

The Romney camp is still slamming Santorum for his 2004 endorsement of Arlen Specter, who is now retired. Alec Macgillis is in awe

[C]onsider just how absurd this attack is. Santorum is being pilloried for having endorsed against a primary challenge a sitting senator from his own party and his own state who was also endorsed by the Republican president at the time. The senator he endorsed was pro-choice and went on to vote for universal health care legislation. Santorum is being attacked for this endorsement by a man who himself was pro-choice and signed into law universal health care legislation. So Santorum’s crime, in Romney’s eyes, is to have endorsed someone whose moderation resembled that of … Mitt Romney.

Steve Benen piles on. Specter weighs in on the controversy:

On his vote for Obama’s health care reform bill, Specter offered no apology. “If Romney wants to make me responsible for ObamaCare, I’ve said I would be proud to be responsible for it,” he said. And on Santorum’s contention that he’d promised to support Bush nominees, Specter said he’d never made such an assurance: “I never made any deals with Santorum about supporting — any blanket commitment to support Bush judges. I said that I would not apply a litmus test on pro choice, pro-life.” (Social conservatives never fully trusted Specter because of his own pro-choice position, though he did support many pro-life judges.)