- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Democrat, said part of the reason he left the Republican Party last week was disillusionment with its healthcare priorities, and suggested that had the Republicans taken a more moderate track, Jack Kemp may have won his battle with cancer.

Mr. Specter, responding to a question from CBS’s Bob Schieffer over whether he had let down Pennsylvanians who wanted a Republican to represent them, said he felt his priorities were more in line with those of the Democrats.

“Well, I was sorry to disappoint many people. Frankly, I was disappointed that the Republican Party didn’t want me as their candidate,” Mr. Specter said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “But as a matter of principle, I’m becoming much more comfortable with the Democrats’ approach. And one of the items that I’m working on, Bob, is funding for medical research.”

Mr. Specter continued: “If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today. And that research has saved or prolonged many lives, including mine.”

Mr. Kemp passed away Saturday, after fighting with cancer. Mr. Kemp ran for the White House in 1996 with Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.