03/04/2011 05:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Arlen Specter Reinforces GOP 'Cannibalism' Criticism

Former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) reinforced an attack this week he thrust upon Republicans for party infighting in his farewell address on the Senate floor last session.

In an interview with the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Current published online on Thursday, the Republican-turned-Democrat addressed his characterization of politics within the GOP as "cannibalism." He discussed the remarks in the context of moderates like former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) being purged from the party.

"I called that in my speech sophisticated cannibalism, and I made a mistake," Specter said of his remarks on internal Republican party politics. "I called that in my speech sophisticated cannibalism, and I made a mistake; I should not have called it sophisticated. It's just raw cannibalism."

Specter was defeated in his quest for reelection in the primary stage of the 2010 midterm election cycle. Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) swiped the Democratic Senate nomination from the longtime lawmaker, marking an end to his 30-year career in the upper congressional chamber.

The Senate seat once held by Specter now belongs to Pat Toomey, a Republican who secured the post last November.

The New York Times recently reported that Specter will become a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania next fall.