UPDATE, 7:53a: More from the Associated Press:
But Stupak tells the AP the attacks didn't influence his decision and he could win re-election if he tried.
He plans to announce his decision at a 12:30 p.m. news conference at Northern MI University in Marquette....
He says he wants to spend more time with his family and start a new career after 18 years in Congress.
7:46a: From CBS News this morning:
MI Rep. Bart Stupak, the congressman who led anti-abortion rights Democrats in the House during health care negotiations, will retire this year, CBS News has learned. He is expected to announce his plans later this morning....
Had Stupak sought re-election, he would have faced challengers from both the left and the right backed by interest groups angered by Stupak's health care vote.
Stupak negotiated with Democratic leaders down to the 11th hour for stricter abortion language in the health care bill, but he ultimately voted for it after President Obama agreed to sign an executive order assuring the new laws will keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.
That prompted the conservative Tea Party Express to launch a $250k ad campaign against Stupak this week. The group also scheduled a handful of stops on its bus tour in Stupak's district.
On the left, the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America has been working to defeat Stupak and instead elect his Democratic primary challenger Connie Saltonstall.
On 1 hand my anger at Stupak is heightened by this announcement. He created this huge mess and now is walking away. I smell chicken. On the other hand, I feel a sense of vindication.
I expect Stupak will play the martyr when he makes his statement.
I also expect Stupak's announcement will put the fear of God into the other 19 pro-life Democrat turncoats.
[Photo via the Associated Press]
CBS, you've already typed "anti-abortion." That's accurate. Why add the word "rights," if not to advance the view that abortion is a right?
I know it's a little thing, but things like that make me wonder if news coverage separate from an agenda even exists anymore.Posted by: Kelsey at April 9, 2010 8:00 AM
Good. I did not want to have to go to Northern MI to campaign against him.Posted by: Susie at April 9, 2010 8:01 AM
I'm still of the belief that he's a good man; just either stupid or simply couldn't take all the pressure after awhile.
As long as he is replaced by a pro-life candidate, then all is well. He's certainly better for us than a lot of the other possibilities out there.Posted by: Alex at April 9, 2010 8:14 AM
Politico is reporting: "Friends said Stupak was not leaving because of the health fight but because of the exertion that would be required to hold his sprawling Upper Peninsula District."
Once again, he is talking out of both sides of his mouth -- he's not leaving because of the health-care debacle, but the healt-care debacle is what will make his running for office so difficult. Who does he think he is kidding?Posted by: Tom Ambrose at April 9, 2010 8:21 AM
My cynical side says look for him to receive some convenient ambassadorship to like the British Virgin Islands or some such nonsense. I have no doubt he was "paid off" for his cooperation in some way.
You know, at LEAST Kucinich is consistent. Consistently wrong, but none the less.Posted by: Rachel at April 9, 2010 8:28 AM
Rachel, I believe you hit the nail on the head. The Dem party wants him to move on and will promise him a cushy assignment someplace so they can concentrate on putting a fresh untarnished face in there.
They are not above throwing him under the bus Chicago style though just like he threw the babies under the bus for staying in Pelosi's good graces.
CBS News should not say "abortion 'rights'" and "anti abortion 'rights'".
They really should say "unborn human rights" and "anti unborn human rights" (or "foes of unborn human rights").
They should at least say "abortion 'rights'" and "unborn human rights" if they want to be neutral.
But who in the media wants to be neutral? They want to promote on a subconscious level the idea of an abortion "right". This is absurd considering that we long ago proved that abortion violence is a violation of rights and therefore a crime, not a "right". In fact, the abortionist mentality leads to contradiction and paradox and once you accept it you destroy the foundation of all rights and thereby destroy the child killing "right" which you are promoting.
So, an abortion "right" is absolutely logically impossible. It is time the media and the abortionists faced this reality.Posted by: Joe at April 9, 2010 9:02 AM
Time with your family, eh?
Convenient.Posted by: carder at April 9, 2010 9:06 AM
Yep, whether he admits it or not, ol' Stu has seen the writing on the wall.Posted by: Marauder at April 9, 2010 9:11 AM
Bottom line is he's gone, great news.
He would have certainly worked to block any future efforts of conservatives to undue the mess the liberals have created.Posted by: Ed at April 9, 2010 9:19 AM
By their works ye shall know them. Stupak is pro abortion. He said he was pro life. His behavior tells which claim is more accurate. Pelosi says she is a catholic. Her record says she is against the church and what it stands for. I am not confused.
Obama claims to bring new commitment to the health of Americans.
Obama smokes cigarettes.
Would it be crass to say that Stupak's career was aborted by his craven decision? Hmmm.....
Look, the "middle ground" is no place to make your stand on abortion. If Stupak had stayed true to his pro-life claims, pro-lifers would have supported him. He would have had at least a few friends. (And he probably wouldn't have been targeted by the Tea Party Express!) On the other hand, if Stupak had caved right away, then he would have had friends among the pro-abortion-choice Democrats ... which is the vast majority of their party. Instead, Stupak stood his ground long enough to enrage the Party of Death, and then he enraged pro-lifers with his last-minute surrender. At the end of the battle, he didn't have any friends left.
Choose your side and stick to it. As Moses warned the ancient Israelites:
"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live...." (Deuteronomy 30:19)
That verse describes a choice between paganism and the worship of the One True God, so I'm taking it a bit out-of-context to apply it to Stupak. (And I'm not trying to question his faith; only the Lord knows Stupak's heart.) But the basic principle remains solid: Make a choice and stick with it. As much as people claim to like the "middle ground" on most issues, it's not a good place to make a stand. And there really isn't any viable "middle ground" on abortion anyway....Posted by: Naaman at April 9, 2010 10:16 AM
I don't trust any politicians as they all seem to have an agenda. With that said, I am especially glad to see Bart go bye bye. If only Ben Nelson would step down now.Posted by: abortion pros and cons at April 9, 2010 10:17 AM
Good riddance. May his fellow anti-choice Democratic colleagues follow his lead, and may there never be another anti-choice Democratic Congressman again.Posted by: Anne at April 9, 2010 11:23 AM
Stupak may change his mind. You can't be too sure with him.Posted by: Janet at April 9, 2010 11:59 AM
"and may there never be another anti-choice Democratic Congressman again.
Posted by: Anne at April 9, 2010 11:23 AM"
I wouldn't bet good money there...BUT any so-called "pro-lfe" Democrat would have a hard time convincing/fooling pro-lifers again and the same would not be trusted by their pro-abort colleagues in the Democratic party.
In the end, they will succumb to party pressure and throw the unborn and their so-called principles under the bus...just like Stupak.
A true "Pro-life" Democrat is a myth.
Is this the same Anne who posted the other day about being personally ambivalent about abortion, but 'you know in my opinion and everything, I don't think we should tell others what to do...you know'? If so, your position seems to have solidified at a remarkable pace.Posted by: CT at April 9, 2010 12:57 PM