The mysterious clip in Joe Setsak's blockbuster attack ad of Arlen Specter saying "my change in party will enable me to be re-elected" -- the source of which Sestak's campaign had refused to reveal -- was tracked down by a Philadelphia TV station, and the Specter campaign says the clip was taken out of context. The full video, from Specter talking to reporters May 1, 2009, is here, and it shows Specter saying "my change in party will enable me to be re-elected, and I've heard that again and again and again from people on the street: 'Senator we're glad you'll be able to stay in the Senate and help the state and the nation.'"
Same sentiment, but he puts a little different spin with the full clip. This is the second time in recent weeks that the Specter campaign has gotten itself into a tizzy over what it claims to be an out of context quote: An Allentown Morning Call profile of Specter quoted him as saying "I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I'd stayed a Republican," and the campaign -- and later Specter himself -- complained that he was just talking about the health care debate, even though the story described the context in the next paragraph.
The Specter camp also pointed out that the photo used of Specter in Sestak's latest ad is the second time Sestak has used a photo of Specter without hair after chemotherapy -- much of it has since grown back -- in a we're-getting-beyond-subtle way of pointing out that Specter is old. "Has he no shame?" campaign manager Chris Nicholas asks of Sestak.
The camp also got supporter Cyril Wecht to comment: "The depiction of Senator Specter during the time he was clearly exhibiting the adverse effects of chemotherapy is truly reprehensible. Political differences and aggressive campaigning should always be pursued with in the bounds of personal sensitivity and basic decency."
The Inky's Tom Fitzgerald addresses the chemo pic and age issue here. And here's the report with the raw video, from Lancaster WGAL-TV's Matt Belanger: