Specter Previews Primary, Hits Toomey on Social Security, Wall Street, Card Check

He attacks his rival on Social Security, Wall Street ties, labor bill.


By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Sen. Arlen Specter was on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning and gave a preview of his lines of attack against Pat Toomey in next year's Republican primary showdown.

Asked about the primary, Specter described Toomey as "a Wall Street trader" who was in the U.S. House for six years, where he "fought regulation" and wanted to create private Social Security accounts. "Social Security is supposed to have security, but if you follow Mr. Toomey's idea," Specter said, Social Security would be as devalued as 401(k)'s, which have half their old value. Then came (what Joe Scarborough identified as) the bumper-sticker line: Having pushed Social Security privatization in the House, Specter said of Toomey, "now he wants a promotion, he wants a bonus like those AIG guys."

Toomey as the political version of AIG. Zing!

Specter went on to paint himself as the last bulwark against Democrats run amok, specifically noting his recent avowal to vote against the "card check" bill that would allow unions to organize without the use of a secret ballot. Toomey would lose if nominated, Specter said (not an unreasonable position), so there would be 60 Democratic votes in the Senate. "I was able to stem the tide against card check," Specter said, holding out the prospect for Pennsylvania conservatives that a Toomey nomination would lead to passage of such bills (a dubious assertion, given that Blanche Lincoln weighed in against the bill recently).

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