Santorum: Backing '96 Specter run not ‘one of my prouder moments'

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


Video remarks begin at 16:38.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Sunday morning that his support for former Sen. Arlen Specter's 1996 presidential run "wasn't one of my prouder moments I look back on," and said he now wishes he never offered his support.

Santorum spoke on ABC's "This Week" after a clip was played in which Specter said he wanted to get the abortion debate "out of politics." Santorum could be seen in the background, applauding.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I was his colleague in the United States Senate, he asked me to stand with him," Santorum said. "That certainly wasn't one of my prouder moments I look back on.

"But, you know, you work together as a team for the state of Pennsylvania, and I felt that… Sen. Specter stood up and supported me when I was running in 1994, and I did likewise.

"I certainly knew that Arlen Specter was going nowhere, I certainly disagreed with a lot of things that he said, and it was something I look back on and wish I hadn't have done."

Thirteen years after running for president from the Republican side, Specter joined the Democrats in 2009, and later voted for the 2010 healthcare law supported by President Obama. Specter wrote in a book to be released this month that President Obama did not help him in his 2010 Senate reelection bid, and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not honor a promise to acknowledge his seniority when it came to committee leadership assignments among Democrats.


RELATED: Brokered GOP convention could energize base, say some insiders


Santorum also used his time on ABC to charge that GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney and President Obama have very similar records, and there are are few differences between the two on the big issue of government control.

"The same issues I'm out there campaigning on against Gov. Romney are the same issues I'm in a campaign against Barack Obama on, which is the government overreach in healthcare, and cap-and-trade, trying to control the manufactured energy sector of the economy, and of course the bailouts," he said. "All of these things are… unfortunately, Gov. Romney and Barack Obama are in the same place."

He added that he would love a chance to debate Romney on his own to point this out, and said Romney is on record as defending health insurance mandates, an element in the 2010 healthcare law.

"I'd love to be able to get one on with with Gov. Romney and expose the record that would be the weakest record you could possibly put up against Barack Obama," he said.


RELATED: Santorum: Obama DOJ favors 'pornographers over children'