Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) just hosted a conference call with liberal bloggers, and we used the opportunity to further question him about an allegation he made a few weeks ago against his former compatriots in the Republican Party -- that the GOP caucus decided early on to entirely obstruct President Obama, rather than work in a bipartisan manner.
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"Well, the pressure was tremendous on everybody not to participate, and the pressure was on me not to participate, and you know what I did," said Specter, who switched to the Democratic Party last April, in the face of a right-wing primary challenge. "We had sixÂ Republicans who were negotiating. Besides Collins and Snowe, we also had Mel Martinez, we had Voinovich involved, we had Lisa Murkowski. And one by one, those three dropped off. There was a concerted plan in the Republican caucus to stonewall the stimulus package. And when I voted forÂ it, and it took me to get the necessary votes, all hell broke loose politically, which I've commented on extensively."