by Harry Niska
"Bush Praises Specter Calling Him 'Incumbent'"
Campaigning for the re-election of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania yesterday, President George Bush called the incumbent Senator "the best so-called 'Republican' candidate who can probably win in November and maintain the appearance of a Republican majority the Senate."
It was strong praise for a candidate who opposes the president's own views on issues like abortion, tax cuts and USA Patriot Act, and counts among his supporters liberal financier George Soros and former President Bill Clinton's one-time deputy chief of staff, Harold Ickes.
Mr. Bush characterized Mr. Specter's opponent in the April 26 primary, Congressman Pat Toomey, as a "good, conservative Republican, but one who lacks the most important qualification: incumbency."
"Even though my personal views align more with Pat Toomey's," said the president, "I still find myself siding with Mr. Specter, as if drawn by some mysterious force that roves to and fro across the land, placing strategy above integrity."
In exchange for the president's campaign backing, Mr. Specter, the likely chairman of the Senate judiciary committee in the next session, promised to support "any judge Mr. Bush nominates who's not clinically insane or pro-life...which is a redundancy in my view."