Specter: Obama Deserted Me After Healthcare Vote

Monday, 12 Mar 2012 04:14 PM

By Dan Weil

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Former Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., writes in a new book that President Barack Obama abandoned him in the 2010 election after the Republican-turned-Democrat provided one of the crucial votes to pass Obama’s healthcare plans.

Specter sees betrayal elsewhere too, The Hill reports. In “Life Among the Cannibals,” he says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid didn’t honor his pledge to credit Specter's seniority for his 28 years in the Senate as a Republican after being elected in 1980.

Specter switched parties in April 2009 to avoid having to participate in the 2010 GOP primary, which he likely would have lost. Instead, the former senator lost the Democratic primary to former Rep. Joe Sestak by a wide margin — 54 percent to 46 percent.

Specter, who also supported the president's stimulus legislation, has a culprit to blame for that defeat – Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, whom he feels gave him insufficient help. He says Obama didn’t want to campaign with him because the president’s advisers were worried he’d look weak if he appeared with Specter, and then the senator lost.

“I realized that the president and his advisers were gun-shy about supporting my candidacy after being stung by Obama’s failed rescue attempts for New Jersey governor Jon Corzine and Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley. They were reluctant to become victims of a trifecta,” he writes.

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