02/23/2012 01:05 pm ET

Arlen Specter Says Rick Santorum 'Not Correct' On GOP Debate Claims

Former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), took issue Thursday morning with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's claim that he made a deal to support judicial nominees, telling radio host Michael Smerconish that he would never make such a commitment.

Santorum said during Wednesday night's debate that he backed Specter only after the former Republican promised he would not block pro-life Supreme Court justices as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. The resulting confirmations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito vindicated him, Santorum said.

But Specter disputes that such a deal ever existed.

"When I listened to Senator Santorum, he is not correct," Specter told Smerconish. "I made no commitment to him about supporting judges. That would have been the wrong thing to do. As chairman of the committee, I supported Roberts and Alito because I thought they were qualified for the jobs, but I made no deal."

Specter also downplayed the value of Santorum's endorsement.

"Senator Santorum supported my candidacy in that primary pretty much as we had supported each other over the years," he said. "We have very different political ideologies but we worked very closely together in the interest of Pennsylvania. His support was helpful but hardly determinative, hardly that important."