Dems try to lure Specter to their side

March 17, 2009 at 8:59 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 17 (UPI) -- Heavy-hitters in the Democratic Party are taking their best shot to convince Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., to return to the fold, the state's top official says.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said he, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa.,have tried to get the centrist Republican to move across the aisle but so far no dice, The Hill reported Tuesday.

"We've tried to talk him into it but he's bound and determined to stay a Republican," Rendell said. "He doesn't want to see Republican moderates vanish from the Earth."

Specter began his career as a Democrat and was active in Philadelphia's Democratic politics before becoming the city's district attorney on the Republican ticket.

For his part, Specter said in a recent radio interview, "I'm prepared to say that I'm running as a Republican."

Biden's office declined to comment Monday, The Hill said, and Casey's office said the senator never lobbied Specter privately. Rendell's office confirmed the governor's comments but said Rendell could have been talking about a more informal lobbying effort.

Specter was one of only three congressional Republicans to vote for the $787 billion stimulus package.

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