Senator Arlen Specter Defends Stimulus Vote on CNN

CNN Anchor John Roberts: Talking about bricks and bats, Senator, looks like you are going to be facing more than a few in 2010. You’re going to run for re-election. You’ve had a tough primary in 2004. Looks like this one is going to be even tougher. You’ve got the powerful National Republican Trust threatening to pour millions of dollars into a challenger, whatever it takes to defeat you.

Sen. Arlen Specter: Well, I understand the peril. But I didn’t run for the United States Senate to further my political interests. I think when you have a decision like the one that we are facing now, I think there is only one way to respond. And that is to respond with action. If someone else in the Republican Party had stepped up to do the negotiations and to handle it, I would have been glad to step aside.

But when they called the ballot and you face the situation that there could be an economic catastrophe, the only responsible thing to do is to support the package. And bear in mind the Republican moderates program got a 110 billion dollars cut. We’ve got the backing of the United States Chamber of Commerce which is a very conservative Republican organization. They know the economy better than perhaps anybody because they are in touch with so many thousands of businesses.

And they say the economy requires it. And that it’s a good plan, not a perfect plan, but a good plan. And I’ll take my chances.

Roberts: Well, certainly Senator nobody could ever accuse you of not being up for . . .

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