Specter on Steele: ‘I wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to him.’

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"Specter on Steele: ‘I wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to him.’"

This morning, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) spoke to Pennsylvania radio show “The Morning News with Nancy and Kevin,” where he was asked who led the Republican Party. Specter replied that he was “trying to bring it back in a sensible, centrist approach,” and indicated that neither Rush Limbaugh nor RNC Chairman Michael Steele are worth listening to:

NANCY: Where do you stand with him [Limbaugh]?

SPECTER: Nancy, I think it’s a free country and we ought to let Rush Limbaugh express himself. I think that when the White House attacks him, they’re making a mistake for a couple of reasons. One reason is he’s got a right to say what he likes. And when you get into a fight with the White House, it elevates the guy who’s fighting with the White House.

KEVIN: Absolutely. What a mistake.

SPECTER: And National Chairman Steele, well he’s said so many contradictory things I wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to him.

Listen to it:

Twice, Steele has threatened to refuse to financially support Specter’s re-election and instead fund his challenger. When asked recently whether he would “pledge” not to fund Republicans who voted for the stimulus, Steele replied, “That is something that is absolutely on the table for me. I’m not backing down from that.”

Transcript:

NANCY: Let me ask you this now. Where do you stand with Rush Limbaugh? Because Rush Limbaugh has not said many pleasant things about you over the years, and I know you weren’t one of his favorite with the latest spending bill. But where do you stand on him, because it’s been interesting to watch what’s been going on with Michael Steele and other Republicans ho speak out against Rush Limbaugh? Where do you stand with him? Where do you stand with him?

SPECTER: Nancy, I think it’s a free country and we ought to let Rush Limbaugh express himself. I think that when the White House attacks him, they’re making a mistake for a couple of reasons. One reason is he’s got a right to say what he likes. And when you get into a fight with the White House, it elevates the guy who’s fighting with the White House.

KEVIN: Absolutely. What a mistake.

SPECTER: And national chairman Steele, well he’s said so many contradictory things I wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to him.

KEVIN: [Laughter]

NANCY: So what’s going on with the Republican Party? Who’s leading it?

SPECTER: Well, [laughs] I’m trying to lead it, Nancy. Moving more toward the center, which is where America wants to be governed. I’m trying to put up programs on health care, where I’ve got my legislation, to save the mortgage market, on ways to handle the economy, I’m trying to provide that leadership. But right now, it’s fairly well splintered. When you lose two big elections in 2006 and 2008, you asked about my opponent from the last election — his group the Club for Growth was directly responsible for defeating Sen. Chafee in Rhode Island. And had he been elected, we would have maintained control of the Senate during that two year period. So the leadership right now in the face of those two defeats is pretty splintered. There are a few of us trying to bring it back in a sensible, centrist approach.

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