2011-10-27 / Local & State

Arlen Specter: Republican Party No Longer Moderate

HORSHAM, Pa. (AP) – Former U. S. Sen. Arlen Specter blames the tea party for removing moderates from the Republican Party and said political gridlock in Washington has become “like a war.”

“The gridlock in Washington is really more like a war,” Specter said in a speech Wednesday at a fundraiser at the Abramson Center for Jewish Life in the Philadelphia suburb of Horsham.

The 81-year-old Specter spent most of his life as a Republican, but became a Democrat in 2009 and failed in his bid for re-election the following year. He told about 150 people at the gathering that he feels the tea party movement has forced most moderates out.

“Today there isn't a moderate in the Republican Party,” he said. “The rise of the tea party has driven moderates out of Washington.”

The Republican legislative caucus has made it their mission to defeat President Barack Obama, Specter said. “I have never heard of a legislative agenda to defeat someone,” he said.

In his wide-ranging address, The Intelligencer of Doylestown reports Specter also spoke about the Wall Street protests in New York City and other cities around the country, which he said are clear signs that people are upset.

“It’s a sign of a lot of social unrest,” he said. “I think they have a message we have to listen to and respond to.”

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