“Senator Specter and I have had a long dialogue about his place in an evolving Republican Party. We have not always agreed on every issue, but Senator Specter has shown a willingness to work in a bipartisan manner, put people over party, and do what is right for Pennsylvanians and all Americans.
“I welcome Senator Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus, and to continuing our open and honest debate about the best way to make life better for the American people.”
- Senator Harry Reid.
"This is not a national story. It is a Pennsylvania story," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told reporters in a news conference following Tuesday’s GOP policy luncheon. - Link
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that Specter — who spoke at the lunch — had been “very candid to acknowledge that this was nothing more, nothing less than political self-preservation. - Link
Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said that the GOP hasn't been offering "warm encouraging words" about moderates. - Link
South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham suggested that the Republican Party risked becoming little more than the Club for Growth. "I want to be a member of a vibrant national Republican Party that can attract people from all corners of the country — and we can govern the country from a center-right perspective," he said. - Link
“I welcome my old friend to the Democratic Party. Senator Arlen Specter is a man of remarkable courage and integrity. I know he will remain a powerful and independent voice for Pennsylvania and the country.”
- Vice President Joe Biden
And Specter himself:
"I will not be an automatic 60th vote,” Specter said Tuesday afternoon. “I would illustrate that with my position on employee choice, also known as card check. I think it’s a bad deal and I’m opposed to it. I will not vote to impose cloture. … If the Democratic Party asks too much, I will not vote with them." - Politico