Washington, Apr.29 (ANI): Pennsylvania's Republican Senator Arlen Specter has decided to quit the GOP to join the Democrats.
The five-term senator's stunning defection puts the Democratic Party one vote from being able to crush any stalling tactics in the Senate, giving the White House a virtual E-ZPass through Capitol Hill."I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Specter said Tuesday, though he also acknowledged his partisan switcheroo came after polls showed him losing his 2010 GOP primary contest to conservative former Representative Pat Toomey."I have traveled the state and surveyed the sentiments of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania and public opinion polls ... and have found that the prospects for winning the Republican primary are bleak," Specter said.
"I am not prepared to have my 29-year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate," he added.
Specter insisted his philosophy hadn't changed, but that the GOP has become extremist and out of touch with his state.
"Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan big tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right," Specter said.
Still, Specter didn't promise to be any more loyal to his new crew than he was to the GOP.
"I will not be an automatic 60th vote," he insisted. But the fact Specter noted Obama would campaign for him next year will likely hand the President a pile of chits to cash - if needed.
Right-leaning Republicans said they were happy to see the defection of Specter, who often bucked his party and voted with Democrats this year to pass Obama's stimulus package."Good riddance," the National Republican Campaign Committee declared in a fund-raising letter. (ANI)