In a February debate, Mitt Romney criticized Rick Santorum for twice endorsing Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania’s liberal GOP senator, despite primary challenges by conservative Pat Toomey. In 2009 Specter dumped the GOP and in 2010 the new Democrat cast the 60th vote needed to pass Obamacare.

Both Santorum and Specter have lost their seats as Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators, Santorum in 2007 to conservative Dem Bob Casey and Specter in 2011 to the persistent Pat Toomey. After his loss, Santorum played the lobbying game but suddenly, as St. Ricky, he is eschewing the D.C. rackets he played for decades. And Specter has written a candid book, “Life Among the Cannibals: A Political Career, a Tea Party Uprising, and the End of Governing As We Know It,” out March 27th. From a C-Span interview last night:

I know Rick Santorum very well, I worked with him for 12 years in the Senate, I helped him win his election back in 1994. In August his campaign was in the dumps and I gave him my organization, gave him my people, campaigned for him and helped him win. We had a collegial relationship, worked together for Pennsylvania …

But when he’s running for president it’s a different matter. Here you have his views – he doesn’t believe women being in the workforce, he doesn’t believe in contraception, he thinks that in the gay issue that it’s man-on-dog, he talks about bestiality, he criticizes very sharply the John Kennedy speech, famous speech in Houston, separation of church and state … next Santorum’s likely to attack Jefferson, who knows what’s next? I urge Rick to have some unexpressed ideas but he’s very dedicated to a very extreme position and I don’t think that’s right for America.

(Read more in Politico’s article, “Specter says Santorum ‘extreme,’ recalls Newt girlfriends.”)

Ready for some more fun Specter quotes? Huffington Post reveals more in “Arlen Specter’s Memoir: The Five Steamiest Passages.” Here are some samples:

Arlen Specter
Ted Kennedy In The Hot Tub: “I was in the whirlpool at the Senate gym in 2008, recovering from Hodgkin’s, when Ted Kennedy came over and climbed into the bath. Kennedy was one of the Senate’s giants, in many ways. It was as though a gigantic walrus had plunged into the sea, causing the level to swell. I’d never seen two men in the whirlpool before, but the tub was big enough for two or more. There was a sign that you had to shower before entering. I hadn’t checked that out with Kennedy, but I had neither an objection nor compunction about his coming into the bath. We chatted.” (p. 40)

Decline Of Senate Camaraderie: “Sometimes courtesy and camaraderie waned, even in the gym. Once, during lengthy waits for massages while we used a temporary gym in the Dirksen Building, I was walking undressed to the last table. Another senator, also naked, walked briskly, perhaps at a slight run, and slipped in ahead of me. That was something that senators just don’t do.” (p. 68)

Meeting Sarah Palin: “Still, she [Palin] was a total charmer, very friendly. The few things she said were intelligent. We were sitting virtually knee to knee in the cramped bus, and she radiated sensuality. Her skirt rode above her knees — not exactly short, but close.” (p. 156)

Working Out With John Thune: “[Sen.] John Thune, who looked like a movie star in or out of clothes, was constantly stretching. His lanky body seemed to have some kinks to iron out.” (p. 226) …

Okay. I sure hope that those massages aren’t paid for by the U.S. taxpayer. Otherwise, I got a kick out of Specter’s — well, uh wow — astonishing lack of reserve in his descriptions of his fellow senators and famous politicians. Although you’d never think so by looking at him, in his book Arlen comes across as one lusty guy! Who knew?!

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Here’s the fascinating excerpt of the heated exchange between Santorum and Romney, from the CNN transcript of the February 22, 2012 debate in Arizona, via Lynn Sweet’s blog at the Chicago Sun-Times:

SANTORUM: There was a study that just came out about 10 days ago, two weeks ago, that listed 15 ways in which Romneycare was the model for Obamacare, everything from individual mandates, everything from — from fines. Yours is different. You required businesses over 10 employees; Barack — President Obama’s is over 50 employees.

But there — there’s a — and even the drafter of your bill, when they were working on Obama’s bill, said in fact it was the model. So here we have, as Newt said, the real fundamental issue here is government coercion and government coercion when you give governments the right to be able to take your responsibility to provide for your own health and — and — and care, and give it to the government.

That’s what Governor Romney did in Massachusetts. It would be a very — very, let say it would be a difficult task for someone who had the model for Obama Care, which is the biggest issue in this race of government in control of your lives, to be the nominee of our party. It would take that issue completely off…

[…]

ROMNEY: That’s a — that’s a long — that’s a long — that’s a long answer. First of all, let’s not forget that four years ago, well after Romney Care was put in place, four years ago, you not only endorsed me, you and Laura Ingram, and said and this is the guy who is really conservative and we can trust him. Let’s not forget you said, that number one.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Number two…

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: …number two, under the tenth amendment, states have the right to do things that they think are in their best interest. I know you — you agree with that. But let’s — let’s point this out, our bill was 70 pages. His bill is 2700 pages. There’s a lot in that 2,700 pages I don’t agree with and let me tell you, if I’m president of the United States, I will repeal Obama Care for a lot of reasons. One, I don’t want to spend another trillion dollars. We don’t have that kind of money, it’s the wrong way to go. Number two, I don’t believe the federal government should cut Medicare by some $500 billion.

Number three, I don’t think the federal government should raise taxes by $500 billion and, therefore, I will repeat Obama Care. And let me — let me — let me mention one more — the reason we have Obama Care — the reason we have Obama Care is because the Senator you supported over Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, the pro- choice Senator of Pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed in a race over Pat Toomey, he voted for Obama Care. If you had not supported him, if we had said, no to Arlen Specter, we would not have Obama Care. So don’t look at me. Take a look in the mirror.

(Romney not only used this argument in the debate, he also used it in TV ads. Check out Politfact.com’s review of the TV ad.)

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What else is going on?

I’ve blown off coverage of the Louisiana primary today. But if any of you hear of something important, please share it!