National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John CornynJohn CornynSenate confirms first nominees of Trump era The new Washington elite schmoozes over lunch Top GOP senator warns of weekend work on Trump nominees MORE (R-Texas) said Sen. Arlen Specter's (Pa.) decision to switch parties was purely motivated by his facing a tough challenge in the GOP primary next year from former Congressman Pat Toomey.

In a release, Cornyn's quote is prefaced with a statement that Specter's "decision to switch political parties in the face of a seemingly insurmountable bid for re-election next year."

"Senator Specter's decision today represents the height of political self-preservation," Cornyn said. "While this presents a short-term disappointment, voters next year will have a clear choice to cast their ballots for a potentially unbridled Democrat super-majority versus the system of checks-and-balances that Americans deserve."

It is worth keeping in mind that Cornyn formally backed Specter's re-election bid as a Republican last month.

"As I survey the political landscape of the upcoming 2010 elections, it s clear we need more candidates that fit their states," Cornyn wrote in a letter dated March 26th. "While I doubt Arlen could win an election in my home state of Texas, I am certain that I could not get elected in Pennsylvania."

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com