Phila. Mayor Michael Nutter on Specter's party switch

The full text of Mayor Michael Nutter's remarks:

Welcome home, Senator Arlen Specter.


I was very excited to hear that news today.


He’s sharp, he’s on his game. This announcement today by Sen. Specter I think is an obvious, very public example that the Republican Party is in complete disarray. They’re out of touch with mainstream America. Sen Specter clearly understood that as he made his important vote with regard to the Recovery Act because he did put people over party, he put principle over politics, and just did the right thing. But he’s clearly gone through a process for himself before he came to this conclusion. So I’m very, very, excited.


He absolutely, quote unquote belongs in the Democratic party. He’ll be very comfortable in the Democratic party. This is the thing about Sen. Arlen Specter: he has his views, he has a set of principles and an ideology that, I think, you know often has just transcended party. For him it’s been about the service, it’s been about doing what he thought was the right thing and again putting people first and party second. I think that’s been the hallmark of his career. You can agree with him, you can disagree with him but the one thing you always know is where he stands, why he stands in that place, and that it’s based on strongly held beliefs and principles.


(In regards to Specter's vote on the stimulus plan:)


Tremendous amount of pressure coming from all sides. I’ve heard him talk about this publicly and privately and the conversation doesn’t change. Sen. Specter felt that with regard to the Recovery Act, to not support it would have literally damaged the entire econonmy, Not just of the United States of America, but he can also speak with great intelligence on the impact to the global economy… He full well understood the policy implications as well as the political implications of his vote and still did the right thing. You don’t find that a lot in American politics.


He has been a regular, consistent and large deliverer of services and programs and support for interests that are vital to this city, this region and this state. That’s what I know of the record of Senator Arlen Specter.

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