Piers Morgan Encourages Arlen Specter to Take Out Some Tea Party 'Cannibals'

As former Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) railed against political extremists whom he termed "cannibals," CNN's Piers Morgan actually encouraged him to "start taking a few of them out for us" and "Bury a few more bodies." Specter had specifically referenced the Tea Party and the Club for Growth as "cannibals" he wrote about in his new book "Life Among the Cannibals" and repeatedly took shots at the conservative wing of the Republican Party, on Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight.

Just last week CNN's Piers Morgan condemned bigoted jokes and slammed conservative actor Kirk Cameron for his "deliberately inflammatory" rhetoric against homosexuals. However, he not only allowed Specter to label his enemies "cannibals" but joined in on the act.

After Specter had lamented the "buried" bodies of former Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), who lost to more conservative candidates in their respective 2010 senate primaries, Morgan engaged him with more gruesome rhetoric. He asked Specter about presidential candidates who are still in the running – "the bodies who are still hanging on in there, you know, dangling maybe, from the meat hooks."

And he lauded Specter's new book "Life Among the Cannibals" at the end of the interview. "If the book lives up to the title, I reckon you've got a best-seller on your hands," he flattered the former senator.

On Friday morning, CNN hosted Specter and again let him excoriate Tea Party "extremists" and "cannibals."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on March 27 on Piers Morgan Tonight at 9:32 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

[9:32]

ARLEN SPECTER, former senator (D-Pa.): Piers, this book characterizes and describes what is wrong with extremism in Washington, what has caused the gridlock, and has a suggestion on how to deal with it. This book is about cannibals devouring senators. And I'm very specific. Bob Bennett was devoured in Utah, couldn't win a Republican primary notwithstanding the fact that he had a 93 percent conservative rating. On the Democratic side, excellent senator like Joe Lieberman couldn't win a Democratic primary. The experience of Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska shows the way out. Lisa Murkowski –

PIERS MORGAN: Who are the cannibals?

SPECTER: The cannibals are the Tea Party, are the Club for Growth. I'm very specific in this book, led by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. They have – they beat Lisa Murkowski in the primary. She then ran a campaign on a write-in, unprecedented in American history, especially with a name like Murkowski. You misspell it with a Y instead of an I, the ballot is thrown out.

But she was able to demonstrate that if you acquaint the electorate with the problem and you motivate them to come out, they can take back the center. And you can get a Congress which will be functional. And –

(...)

SPECTER: The primary process on the Republican nomination, for example, has driven so far to the right, they're off the boards. And I know what goes on behind the scenes. I've been in both caucuses, Democrats and Republicans. I know where the bodies were buried. And there – and there is a way out. But people have to understand how Washington works. And this book is a description of the problem and a solution as to where we go from here.

MORGAN: Well, where are these bodies buried?

SPECTER: These bodies are buried in ended careers. Bob Bennett's body is (Unintelligible) at a Washington law firm. Mike Castle –

MORGAN: Let's talk –

SPECTER: Go ahead.

MORGAN: Let's talk about the bodies who are still hanging on in there, you know, dangling maybe, from the meat hooks. But what do you make of the Republican race in terms of, is it a done deal now for Mitt Romney, do you think? Is it time for Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul or Rick Santorum to throw the towel in?

SPECTER: I think it is plainly going to be Romney's as the nominee. What those other fellows want to do is up to them. It's a free country. What I'm concerned about is what we do beyond the presidency. That is one office. You can't run America if you have a Congress which is gridlocked, if you have a Tea Party where they run on a platform of no compromise, where you have people afraid to express themselves.

Listen, independence is a twin brother of integrity. And you don't have any independence in the Congress today. There's not a moderate in the Republican Senate caucus. We had a terrible decision by the Supreme Court on Citizens United, allows corporations and unions to have unlimited anonymous expenditures.

The Supreme Court left a narrow avenue for Congress to legislate on disclosure. If you're going to have these billionaires like Sheldon Adelson buy South Carolina for Newt Gingrich, at least let's know who's putting up the money. Fifty nine senators –

(Crosstalk)

MORGAN: Arlen, I've got to – I could speak to you all night about this.

SPECTER: Let me finish just one thought, one sentence.

MORGAN: Okay.

SPECTER: Fifty nine senators on one side of the aisle voted for cloture to move the bill ahead. Not one senator on the Republican side of the aisle, neither Snowe nor Collins, who had been moderates, would advance the bill. And that's what has led to the turmoil in the election process and to the gridlock.

MORGAN: Well, I think the secret, Arlen, is you're going to have to get into those cannibals and start taking a few of them out for us. Bury a few more bodies.

(Laughter)

SPECTER: Well, if – if my ideas are followed, if enough people will read the book, if enough people will show indignation, as the Alaska electorate did – we'll move ahead.

MORGAN: If the book lives up to the title, I reckon you've got a best-seller on your hands.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center