(CNN) – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer admitted Tuesday that the protests and rallies by Tea Party activists across the country are having an impact on lawmakers' decisions about running for another term.
"Do I think that negative atmosphere that's been created by the Tea Party and by others certainly goes into the thinking of Members? I think it does. I think you honestly have to point out that it does," Hoyer told reporters at his weekly pen and pad session in the Capitol.
But Hoyer maintained that Tea Party activists had nothing to do with Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak's announcement last week not to run for re-election. "Bart Stupak is a very courageous Member; he wasn't forced out by anybody." Hoyer said he took Stupak at his word that representing a large rural district made it tough to spend time with his family.
The Majority Leader said "I would urge all the members who are here to run, to seek re-election." He noted that currently more House Republicans have decided to retire than House Democrats, and argued that if the atmosphere was a big factor then the opposite would be true.
Hoyer spent part of the recess campaigning for several fellow House Democrats, including those in Florida and Pennsylvania and observed that the political atmosphere was "somewhat toned down" since Congress passed health care before the recess. Hoyer said Democrats who supported the bill reported positive feedback on health care. He said Pennsylvania freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, "indicated that her phone calls had turned around very substantially, from substantially negative to substantially positive."
But the Maryland Democrat said protests would continue, saying one man in his district held a sign calling him "a tyrant and a traitor" and that "there are obviously still some people who are angry out there."
Hoyer singled out Chris Baker, a radio talk show host who spoke at a Sarah Palin-Michelle Bachman rally last week in Minnesota, who referred to Democratic members of Congress as "lying, thieving, commies." Hoyer said that kind of rhetoric "creates an atmosphere and a debate that is neither constructive and can sometimes be dangerous."
I credit the tea party for obstruction and hate...........nothing more.
Yep, they have made an impact. The impact is that they are NUTS.
if you were a coward in the first place then i guess you would quit weather its a stupid tea party or a pot party, good going.
The teabaggers are fascist goons and they aren't even aware of it. they're being used and controlled from the top for very unsavory purposes. the only good i see coming from their existence is that it might split the republican vote and allow more Democrats to be elected. there's much more Mad Hatter than boston Patriot about them.
The teabaggers have given the everyday Americans a good look at what the extreme right wingers really look like and where their thinking is. And for that we should thank them. There are almost as many of them as there were gays in the closet. It is good for the country to have them out in the light so we can determine how they fit into our democracy.
the people are tired of the lies,,, the back room deals,,, paying taxes just to be given to there rich freinds,,,amen to the tea party ,, clean house both parties...
I love it. " negative atmosphere that's been created by the Tea Party ".
How about the negative atmosphere that's been created by the self-serving crooks that are supposed to be representing the best interests of the people who elected them.
Show this moron the door.
When you have a political movement that is propped up by the major TV media outlets., of course they are going to have an impact.
The Tea Party is all about no government; all free market. With that message, of course you're going to get all the corporate support you desire in this country.
What does anyone expect?
The first smart thing a Democrat has said.
Gee... A DemocRAT with his extracted from his backside! The "negative atmosphere" as you call it is the stench from all the backdoor deals, bribery and threats you perpetrated to jam a huge government entitlement program down the throats of a majority of Americans that did NOT want it. Trust me Hoyer... if it is quiet is only because people have now made up their minds on what they need to do. THROW ALL OF YOU OUT IN NOVEMBER.
You ignored us in Virginia, dismissed us in New Jersey and closed your eyes and ears completely after Massachusetts. Come November you will not be able to avoid our shoe at your backside!
Little by little, the congresscritters are getting the message that people are angry about how they are being governed, and that they need to respond to the wishes of their constituents, not govern over them. It's the will of the people, man!
We want TERM limits.
Bachmann's rhetoric has lessened her chances a great deal with her base here in Minnesota. Lest anyone think that the Palin/Bachmann rally was an impressive feat in what otherwise is a very blue state hasn't quite grasped the fact that 3/4 of those attending were participants in the Tea Party Express II and as such were bused into Minnesota for the rally along with Palin and Hannity.
Unfortunately for the T-P crowd, they aren't Minnesota voters.
why is it negative comments because we don't agree with you and the big government and big spending. People want this country to be what are forefathers wanted. Our forefathers left europe so they couldn't be told what to do, what religion to practice, what job to do. America has a constitution lets live by it not end it.
Tea Partiers are nothing but the right wing of the republican party. They're not independants as they claim they are.
Hoyer, you, the democrats in congress and RINO’s acted like we the US taxpaying legal voting people didn’t exist when we warned you all not to ram stuff down our throats. We come from all sides of the isles so prepared to rammed out of office via the ballot box in November 2010. The only negative or anger is coming out of the planned union thugs you people try to stuff between the tax payers.
If the founding fathers of this country got a load of the so called Tea Party Express they would try to have them burned at the stake. I have never seen such an ill informed unarticulate group in my life. If they are the future of the US, then we have no future.
Of course the Tea Parties are having an impact.... now if only the GOP will listen and stop trying to coopt them..... if they had done their jobs in the 12 years when they had a majority in Congress, we wouldn't need a Tea Party.
The Tea Party is DEFINITELY having an impact on the Democrats whether they want to admit it or not. November can't come soon enough.
"there are obviously still some people who are angry out there."
Obviously there are still some people who are very ignorant out there, as well.
Hoyer is a joke...just look at who he's standing next to in the picture. Listen to the people and do what's best for the country next time Steny!
I don't know what you mean about positive feedback on the health care bill increasing. Almost every major poll shows an increase in people against the bill. It's time to repeal and replace it with a good health care reform bill that actually focuses on lowering costs!
More excuses from politicians. Evry group and person in this country is entitled to their poinion and has the right to roganize groups to promote those ideas. I think the Tea Party is a fringe group that is making a lot of noise and has mastered the media to get their message out. Personally I do not agree with them but they and all the other groupps have a right to expressthemselves.
To use any preassure from any group as an excuse to not seekl re-election is a cop out. If you represent what ALL of your consituents want, not just the squeky-wheel fringe, you will be reeelected. Give your constituents the benefit of knowing what's best for them.
We elect our officials to represent us and make good decisions for us. YOU should not be influenced by groups such as the Tea Party or lobbyists.
To my fellow Democrats:
Now is the time for courage. Stand tall and turn your face to the wind that is the Tea Bag movement. True patriots are behind you in support. The strengthof the Republic is at stake. We can not let the loudest, cruelest and most outrageous demagogues in a two generations set the future path of the United States.
It's time for the dems to get out there and shout the truth louder than the rethug/tea party screams their lies.
To quote Chris Baker, you sir are " a lying, thieving commie"