Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to switch parties and pursue reelection as a Democrat was "pitiful," one former Republican Senate colleague said Wednesday.

"He came to lunch yesterday and gave his farewell," Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) said during a radio appearance. "It was a fairly somber time and he didn't get much applause."

"Here's to me the pitiful part," Martinez continued, maintaining his respect for Specter, "To reach the age of 80, to have been in the Senate for 30 years and to have to compromise your principles and change parties for the sole purpose of getting to to it until you're 86 -- that doesn't make a bit of sense to me."

Martinez concurred with the host's characterization of Specter's move as "selfish," and echoed GOP talking points that the Pennsylvania lawmaker had only left the party for the purposes of self-preservation.

"God bless him, but that's not the way I do business," added Martinez, who has elected not to seek a second term in the Senate.

Listen to the audio of the interview here.