Taken from Glenn Beck radio show transcript Jan. 3, 2012.
GLENN: Yeah, Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey. What the hell is wrong with you?
PAT: (Laughing.) That’s about as direct as it gets right there.
SANTORUM: I like you know, when I was right after that happened in Pennsylvania, the question I got more than “how are you today” was “Why are you support Specter.” And the answer to that question is it’s a little complex but it’s I did it because I thought it was in the best interest of the cause I believed in.
As you know, Glenn, the most powerful branch of government unfortunately today is the is the judiciary and the Supreme Court and we were the 51/49 majority at the time in the United States Senate and President Bush was running for reelection and we believed there would be two and maybe even three Supreme Court nominees and Arlen Specter was slated to be chairman of the judiciary committee. Specter as you know from the days of Bork and Thomas was really the decider. If Specter supported the candidate for the court, he would pass. If he didn’t, they wouldn’t. That’s because moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats basically followed his lead.
And he came to me at the end of the campaign and asked for help. I had not been active in the campaign at all and he asked for help and I said, you know, Arlen, I’ve got concerns. I said, you’re going to be chairman of the judiciary committee, he said. I said, I’m not comfortable. He said, well, he says, I’ll support whatever nominee the president puts up as long as I’m properly consulted as chairman of the committee and I’ll make sure those nominations get through.
And for me two to three Supreme Court justices for 30 years on the court was probably the most important thing we could have gotten out of that election. We had a 51-49 majority. Specter would hold onto the seat and guarantee the Supreme Court. We got Roberts, and I all the folks listening, go and read the reports. Read the news stories when Justice Alito’s confirmation. There were repeated series of attacks on Alito. Every single time those attacks were waged, Arlen Specter was the first guy to jump up and knock them down. And I can say without question that Alito would not be on the court. It was a close vote. He would not have been on the court and we would not have a 5 4, well well, at least four and a half strong conservatives on that court right now and Alito being one of the best of them. So I
GLENN: Okay. All right. You’re pissing me off because I really
SANTORUM: I made a decision which I felt was best. And let me just say this, Glenn. I knew it would cost I knew people would question me saying, oh, you’re selling out, you’re being for the liberal guy. No, I was being for what I thought was in the best interest of our country and I was willing to take the heat and continue to take the heat for doing so.
PAT: But it was based solely on Supreme Court decisions? Because the guy is not a conservative like you are.
SANTORUM: No, he’s no, look, he’s not a conservative.
SANTORUM: That, you know, he did support some things and changed his opinion. He supported the partial birth abortion ban which he know he hadn’t in the past and, you know, I will say that when I asked him for his help and support on key issues, most of the time he did help us out. But look, I understand this was going to be a he’s not a conservative. I mean, I agree with that. I mean, he eventually switched to become a Democrat.
GLENN: He was a Democrat in the beginning.
PAT: I didn’t leave the Republican Party, Glenn. The Republican Party left me.
STU: Rick, this is interesting because I think I understand your point on the Supreme Court and I think it’s valid and Bush was fantastic
GLENN: It is.
STU: with Supreme Court justices. But isn’t the point that isn’t your point for endorsing Specter there because you believe he was more electable than Toomey who is the conservative, which is the same point people make against you with Romney now?
GLENN: No. No, he’s not making that.
SANTORUM: No, I’m not saying that. Look, I don’t know, Pat Toomey might have been able to won, he might not have been. Certainly would have been harder. You know, Bush lost the State of Pennsylvania that year in 2004. He lost it by 2 or 3 points. You know, Pat Toomey didn’t get elected to the Senate. But I was got elected in the Senate, a pretty good year for Republican which 2004 was not. And the gubernatorial candidates for Pennsylvania, our candidate for governor who led the ticket like Bush would have won by 10 and Pat won by 1.
So, you know, I don’t know whether he would have won or not but it would have been certainly a much harder race. I don’t think there’s any question about that. And with a one seat majority, I was looking for something where I could, if I could say, look, by supporting Specter, we could guarantee Supreme Court nominees, that’s a pretty good that’s a pretty good reason to support someone in my opinion.