(Host) Senator Patrick Leahy was one of the people that Arlen Specter called early Tuesday to share the news that Specter was leaving the Republican Party.
Leahy and Specter met when both were prosecutors and have been friends for close to 40 years.
(Leahy "We have a particular friendship. … It’s a close personal relationship and he wanted me to know before it came in the press."
(Host) Leahy and Specter serve on the Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the chairman and Specter had been the top Republican.
Leahy says he believes it was difficult for Specter to make the switch.
(Leahy) "Frankly, in talking with him, I got the impression that he went through much the same that Jim Jeffords did from Vermont in feeling that the Republican Party, a great party in this country, had left him and not the other way around, and he’ll be more comfortable here."
(Host) Specter says he won’t be an automatic vote for Democratic issues. But he says he’s more comfortable running for re-election as a Democrat than facing a Republican primary in Pennsylvania next year.