Arlen Specter: "Santorum is too extreme"

(CBS News) - On CBS News" "Face to Face," former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter said his former colleague, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, will not be the Republican nominee.

"America is finding out what Pennsylvanians knew," Specter told CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante.

Santorum has been criticized by GOP front-runner Mitt Romney for supporting Arlen Specter's 2004 Senate re-election bid. Santorum recently said "that certainly wasn't one of my prouder moments." Santorum explained his endorsement was part of a deal with Specter about Supreme Court nominees.

Specter, who has a new book on the "extremists" in American politics, told Plante that is "laughably not true," and he had harsh words of his former Pennsylvania Senate colleague, noting that he lost his re-election by 18 points.

"You can't have a position, as Senator Santorum does, against contraception, saying that the woman has no place in the workplace. Saying that, with respect to gays, that it's bestiality, it's man on dog. John Kennedy's famous speech in Houston, separating church and state, is wrong for America. That's the basis of America." Specter said about Santorum. "Next Santorum's going to attack Jefferson."

"Santorum is too extreme to be the Republican nominee, let alone the president," Specter said.

However, Specter said the American people are not drawn toward former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney because he changes his position "for political expediency."

"I think that Bill Maher had it right the other day on his comedy show when he said that Romney has changed positions more often than a pornographic movie queen. So it depends on which Romney comes forward. We have to wait," Specter told Plante. "We have to wait and see how much the American people will tolerate on changes of position for political expediency."

Specter -- who left the Republican Party in 2009 shortly after Mr. Obama took office, but lost his re-election bid in the Democratic primary in 2010 -- did not hold back when talking about the Supreme Court either.

"We have an ideological court today," Specter said. "They've gone far beyond what they should do. They are changing laws, not interpreting laws."

Specter predicted the court would strike down the president's health care law, which hears arguments next week.

Plante asked Specter, who was head of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation of President Bush nominees Samuel Alito and John Roberts, if he was sorry he voted for "all of these justices."

Specter said: "No, just maybe some of them. I'm glad you didn't ask me which ones."

Plante asked which ones and Specter declined to speculate.

As for the legislative body where he worked for three decades, Specter said it is now overrun by "extremists" leading to gridlock and dysfunction.

"When you have people running on the platform that I won't compromise; When you have a Republican leader saying the Senate agenda is to defeat Obama four years from now; When you have a key leader of the tea party saying that we're going to make this Obama's Waterloo. Nobody cares about governing, all people care about is winning an election," Specter said.

His new book called Life among the Cannibals, is about what he calls right- and left-wing activists "cannibals" that are electing people that "took over the primary process" and he says are creating a dysfunctional government.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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