Ensign: GOP to Make Sure Specter Loses in 2010

Posted May 3, 2009 at 8:59am

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), the former head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Sunday that the GOP would pull out all the stops to try to knock off party-switcher Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) in 2010.Ensign, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,— offered few words for Specter, who last week announced he was leaving the Republican Party after more than 40 years and becoming a Democrat. Specter faced a tough primary challenge from conservative Republican Pat Toomey, a former House Member who nearly defeated him in 2004.“Good luck, that’s all I can say,— Ensign said, appearing on the program with Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).Ensign, now the Senate GOP policy committee chairman, said the party is “recruiting some great candidates— and expects to end Specter’s Senate career next year. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R) is said to be weighing a bid.“We want to make sure Arlen Specter isn’t in the United States Senate after this election,— Ensign said. “We’re going to work really hard to make sure that happens.—At the same time, however, Ensign acknowledged the Republican Party has lost ground in the Northeast and needs to broaden its appeal. “We need to address that as a party,— he said. “Obviously I am a conservative … but if you are going to be a national party and a majority in Washington, D.C., or in most states, you need to welcome people who vote differently and who think differently,— Ensign said.