Republicans Play Blame Game Over Specter

Steele, Club for Growth in crosshairs
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2009 8:33 AM CDT
Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., sits on the Democratic side of the aisle during an emergency hearing on swine flu by the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry subcommittee, April 28, 2009 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Arlen Specter’s departure has set off a wave of finger pointing within the Republican Party, Politico reports. Some blame Specter for not having the ideological purity to stick with the party. But others single out various Republicans they claim helped push Specter out the door, from Michael Steele, who once said he’d support a primary challenge to Specter, to the Club for Growth, the group that championed that challenger.

The Club for Growth is a particularly juicy target. “I wish they’d spend their money going after Democrats,” lamented one Republican. “In blue states, we’re not going to get conservative Republicans.” But the Club’s vice president counters that a “big tent” is overrated, yielding the ideologically muddled Bush presidency. “People like Specter destroyed the Republican brand.”