Politics

Santorum rips Ron Paul for Romney alliance, denies Specter’s claim of no deal

Jeff Poor Media Reporter

On Friday’s broadcast of Laura Ingraham’s radio show, Rick Santorum defended his claim that his endorsement of moderate Sen. Arlen Specter in 2004 stemmed from a conversation the two had about supporting President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees.

Specter had appeared on MSNBC earlier in the day and denied that he and Santorum had discussed Bush’s nominees prior to the 2004 election.

“We never had any such conversation,” Specter told the network’s Chuck Todd. “It would be improper to make a commitment on a vote before I knew who the nominee was and whether I thought the nominee was qualified. I’ve got a very strong reputation and a record behind that did not make deals like that.”

Santorum, however, told Ingraham that wasn’t the case and cited the confirmations of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito as proof.

“I would just say in response to that: Roberts and Alito,” Santorum said. “You look at Arlen Specter and what he did to fight and fight and claw, particularly for Alito at everything that was brought up. He knocked it down. He carried the water and carried I might add brilliantly and stood up and did exactly what he said he would do as chairman of the committee as long as he was consulted, stand up and fight for the president’s nominees.”

Santorum said that the conversation took place toward the end of Specter’s race in 2004 against conservative challenger Pat Toomey, who won election to the Senate in 2010.

“We actually had that conversation at the end of his campaign, when he asked me to go out and do an ad to help him,” Santorum said. “’Arlen,’ I said. ‘I need assurances that you know, if you win this election, you’re going to stand up and fight as chairman of the committee. That is  an absolute, you know — to me the thing I have to have assurances on before I get out and say anything publicly on television or radio about you.’ And he said, ‘As long as I’m consulted as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. That’s my responsibility as chairman of the committee to do that.’ That’s what he said.

“The proof is in the pudding, Laura.”

Later in that appearance, Santorum addressed the allegations that two of his rivals for the GOP nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul have formed an alliance.

“You explain to me why Ron Paul is running ads in Michigan,” he said. “He hasn’t even appeared at a campaign event in Michigan. And he is running ads in Michigan and he is attacking me. I mean, you figure that one out for me and you probably are a better political expert than I am. He hasn’t attacked him once in a debate. Look, I’ll take on all comers and I’ll take them on in pairs if necessary.”

Paul, it should be noted, will be making campaign stops in Michigan on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in the lead up to the state’s primary on Tuesday.

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