April 9th, 2010
08:26 AM ET
5 years ago

Stupak to announce retirement

Bart Stupak will announce his retirement Friday.
Bart Stupak will announce his retirement Friday.

Marquette, Michigan (CNN) – Nine-term Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, will reveal Friday he is retiring from Congress, several Democratic sources close to Stupak tell CNN.

The anti-abortion Democrat has been facing opposition from both the right and the left for his 11th hour deal with the White House that he says bans federal funding for abortion. The deal ultimately led to his decisive vote in favor of the health care bill.

Stupak first informed Democratic leaders last week that he was considering retiring. He has received calls from President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others urging him to run again.

Democratic sources in Washington and Michigan say they fear losing Stupak, a historically popular Democrat in a sprawling conservative district, will mean likely losing his seat to the Republicans.

According to one Democratic source familiar with his plans, Stupak is expected to make the case that he is leaving because he has accomplished what he went to Washington in 1992 to do - pass health care reform.

He will also say he considered retiring several times in the past.

Responding to news of the retirement, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said: “After selling his soul to Nancy Pelosi, it appears that Bart Stupak finally found the courage to tell her no. The political fallout over the Democrats’ government takeover of healthcare has put the political careers of many Democrats in jeopardy thanks in-part to Stupak’s decision to abandon his alleged pro-life principles. Unfortunately for Pelosi, she was unable to strong-arm Stupak one last time as she becomes increasingly aware of the fact that her hold on the Speaker’s gavel is loosening by the day.”


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soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. dee takemoto

    So let's hope that the Democratic Party has learned from Massachusetts and takes the November election for his replacement seriously.
    It is a shame that such a good congressman has to leave because of one issue which is private.

    April 9, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. aw where's your sense of absurdity?

    Cool. Now all we have to do is threaten the lives of our elected officials, and they go away. I love America.

    April 9, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. twist

    ABC news is already giving credit to the Tea party activists who decided last week or so that Stupak was going to be ground zero. Of course this conveniently ignores that much larger swaths of the left have threatened to abandon him both fundraising rise and challenger wise because of holding up the healthcare bill for abortions language. No one seems to notice that before the tea party declared his district ground zero, women's rights activists did it first

    April 9, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. independent voter

    A skeptic would say he made a deal to change his vote then retire and will now enjoy a cushy job working for or lobbying Obama.

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Gayle Freeman

    Barney Stupak betrayed himself when he decided at the 11th hour, pressured by Peloski and Pres Obama,to vote for this health care bill.

    I think he just can't face the shame and would not win in the next election as a lot more democrats will not win.

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. damian

    It was pretty clear Stupak was going to retire once he threw out his principals to cave to party boss wishes. I hope Mr Stupak will someday be able to look himself in the mirror and admit he let down millions of live and unborn americans.

    This is just another sign that the democrats will have a hellish time come nov. I have said time and time again the Republicans will get close but not win the majority in either house. I have to revise that. The republicans will win the house and come close to winning the senate.

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Caron Speas

    Republicans are toxic and hazardous to your health. They disgust me with their lying to their constituents and their slavery to big business. It does not surprise me that yet another good man is unwilling to put up with the threats to his life and the venomous attacks from republican demagogues

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Jim

    This is a sad day. Here is a good man among very few good men, who helped the Democratic Leadership push through a bill as important as Social Security and Medicare, that remains a meal the American people don't want to eat. If they had passed this bill through historically "normal" rules, there would not be this outcry today, and this good man might still be in government. But they chose to use a technicality knowing the risk to their careers, and are now paying for that and will continue to pay in the future. Where are the celbrations for this great accomplishment? Let me answer that, nowhere, and that says it all. But, there will be people who will celebrate the retirement of this good man. Thank the Democratic leadership for this.

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Robert Dayton

    Another leaving the sinking ship. More to follow.

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Jim, San Antonio

    Read carefully what Ken Spain said. Do we really want people like him setting the tone in Washington?

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Joanne B

    He's just another DUMB congressman – cooked his own goose.
    We are fed up with the radicals and their puppets.
    Joanne B
    Mn

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. Fairfax Patriot

    The RNC just cannot positively represent Democracy or strength, no matter what the opportunity:
    Ken Spain goes off on a Pelosi triade and does not mention one word of positive acknowledgement for a fellow citizen who has served 18 years in Congress...geesh, what insignificant and fightened bullies...

    April 9, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Good. That leaves only 218 more traitors to get rid of.

    April 9, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. Dennis

    My sister lives in the district. I think he had little chance of being re-elected. For a traditional Democratic area, Obama is very unpopular there.

    April 9, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. Ron

    The remarks by National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain once again shows the hateful attitude the Repubcan party has developed. Rather than thanking Congressman Stupak for the many good things he did during his years of service, Spain has to take one final shot at a good man with a remark about him selling his soul to Nancy Pelosi. Such remarks are not a Christian attitude and they degrade the Republican party. But then again, sometimes scum is just scum and you have to ignore such remarks, wipe the scum from the bottom of your shoe and keep moving ahead.

    Thanks Congressman Stupak for all you have done for your country. The majority of Americans recognize a good man, and you are much more of an honorable man than someone who tries to dishonor you with ignorant remarks. You are a good man and we appreciate the many hours you have devoted to our country.

    April 9, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. tess

    when you sell your soul to the devil you pay the price! how does it feel mr. stupak?

    April 9, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Al Cotton

    All I have to say about Bart Stupak is: GOOD RIDANCE.

    April 9, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. irrison2

    Just like Judas, I guess the guilt got to him. He could not defend his vote neither could he look his constituents in the eye. He broke when he should have stood strong. He could have been remembered as a great congressman. Now, he becomes nothing more than a foot note and a disappointment. Good riddance Mr Stupak! We will think of you no more.

    April 9, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. K

    I'm not sure what to say. ummm....yup, that's it.

    April 9, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Four and The Door

    The Democrats, after their own self-focused spending binge over the last year, implemented by abuse of the rules America set down for governing this nation are now learning that there is a country outside of Washington DC. We are in the middle of a recession out here. They need to poke their heads out and see the unemployment and economic difficulties the rest of us are dealing with.

    April 9, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Bobby

    I am truly concerned that the republicans will win very large victories in November because we defeated the American peoples will when we passed a completely partisan bill. Why didn't we try to pass a bipartisan bill that a majority could support? We didn't really even try.

    April 9, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. El Gordo

    Well, he has a nice pension. He has great benefits Things are in a mess, of course, but when the going gets tough ...

    April 9, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. D. Tree

    It may also be due to the all the lowlife scum calling his home and threatening to kill his family because of his support of health care reform. I hope these sore-losers in the tea party don't consider it that a victory, because it would be a victory for bullying and terrorism, NOT the American way.

    April 9, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. ray munholland

    although i was not a fan of his position on women's right to choose how and when to get healthcare, i had to applaud his placing principle above all other considerations in the recently passed healthcare reform. this ultimate willingness concerning crucial federal legislation is the kind of action that more members of congress should exhibit.

    April 9, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. sickatheart

    Dear Lord! Please, please, Ken Spain– Give it a rest! Health care reform is here, thank goodness, so it's time to put aside your silliness and do what's right for the country! I used to be a Republican until Lee Atwater's politics disgusted me beyond anything I'd ever experienced. I see Atwater is alive and well and is still running the Republican Party. Shame on all of you!!!

    April 9, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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