GOP Strategist Offers Up Party Advice on Specter

By Kate Barrett

Apr 28, 2009 4:16pm

ABC News’ David Chalian Reports: Moments after news broke that Sen. Arlen Specter had announced he was switching from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, ABC News’ Karen Travers and I sat down with Republican strategist Kevin Madden on "Top Line" to get his instant analysis on how the GOP should react to the political earthquake of the day.

"Obviously the first item that you have to put out there is just your supreme disappointment in the fact that you are losing Arlen Specter and he’s made a choice to throw his lot in with tax and spend Democrats and that right now the people of Pennsylvania are gonna have a clear choice between a Republican who believes that we ought to be a government that is more focused on the taxpayers’ rights than they are on growing the size of government, and I think that’s where you’re now going to have that clear contrast with the Republican messaging that has been developing over the last years," Madden said.

"Well, now we’re going to road test it and see if it’s gonna work against somebody who’s as formidable and somebody who has as long a history in Pennsylvania politics as Arlen Specter," he added.

Madden also explained the impetus for Sen. Specter’s decision was most likely one of political reality. "I think he looked at a lot of the numbers for an inter-party fight on the Republican side and just realized that he couldn’t win and the path to victory for him and another six years in the Senate went through the other party’s line," Madden said.

Check out the whole interview here: We also had the Pulitzer prize winning Bill Adair of the St. Petersburg Times and Politifact.com as our guest.  He took us through his "Obameter" on President Obama’s "promises kept" and "promises broken" as he approaches his 100th day in office.

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