April 13th, 2010
01:08 PM ET
4 years ago

Hoyer: Tea Party having an impact

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer admitted Tuesday that the protests and rallies by Tea Party activists across the country are having an impact.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer admitted Tuesday that the protests and rallies by Tea Party activists across the country are having an impact.

(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."


Filed under: 2010 • Steny Hoyer • Tea Party movement
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. shucks

    What idiotic logic. The democrats are less afraid of the Tea baggers than any middle of the road republican. Democrats who really want to run don't give a rats behind about the Tea Baggers, however, the republicans that want to run, but disagree with the ultra conservative message from the Tea Baggers don't want to be humiliated as has already happened to quite a few. Mr. Hoyer is very confused as to why so many republican politicians have decided to call it quits. He needs to look into his own parties disinegration.

    April 13, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Ellie

    AMERICANS are proving once again how STUPID they are. They are being lead by their ignorant and ill-informed noses by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, John McCain, etc. to guide them into another ECONOMIC DEPRESSION!!!

    Do you honestly think Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, John McCain, etc. CARES about you and your family? These folks are nothing but "ENTERTAINERS," they are focused on ONE THING and ONE THING only. GETTING RICH, RICH, RICH, RICH, RICH, RICH....They don't give a CRAP about the million of work-class families.

    Do you think Glenn Beck will give up his millions for YOU and YOUR FAMILY? HELL NO, at the end of Beck's Fox show, he goes HOME to his MILLION DOLLAR LIFESTYLE and doesn't give a CRAP about the millions of families struggling, uninsured, unemployed, uneducated, etc.

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    THEY FOOLED YOU TWICE UNDER GEORGE W. BUSH......I HOPE YOU'RE SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER!!

    April 13, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. Michael

    Tea Part members consist of John Birch Society, KKK, skinhead, and sons of confederacy members! They also consist of scared white people who racial fears have been stroked to flames by the Tea Party movement! Tea part has been effective with fearmongering among "Whites" mostly, and by the November election cycle this movement their effectiveness will be nullified! Repuglicans are foollish to think that Americans have forgotten repuglicans 8 year reign, which left this nation on the brink of depression and a economic collapse! President Obama's decisions have saved this country from a total economic disaster! His healthcare bill covered pre-existent illness, people not currentlt covered, took away caps for hospitalizations, and will cut the deficit over 20 years 1 trillion dollars! The stimulus bill has stooped the bleeding of this economy and brought it back from the precipice of collapse, where repuglicans left it! Its funny how repuglicans will support spending trillions of dollars on a War that was started on lies and deceit; and the reward for Americans is loss of life and 50,000 severe injuries, but they will not spend 1 trillion on healthcare! Repuglicans did not pay for nothing during 8 years of Bush administration, and left 8 trillion deficit and 1.3 trillion yearly deficit! They also spent or squandered Billions of the surplus left them by Bill Clinton; left 2 Wars, @ nuclear Conflicts, Wall Street, Banking, Mortgage, Auto, Education, and Healthcare crisis! The Tea Party has no resume, but spueing of hatred, vilolent threats, succession, anti-government rhetoric, racism and bigotry!

    April 13, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Ron in California

    The Negative atmosphere created by the Tea Party????. Senator, the negative atompshere was created by Congress. The Tea Party folks are just reacting to the stink.

    April 13, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Of course the tea baggers are having an impact. They are heavily armed, anti American secessionists who are incapable of independent thought. They are a group of lemmings led by the extreme media of Fox and Limbaugh. They are not well read, and easily misled. Some even say their love for carrying weapons is to compensate for their lack of manhood or their hideous appearance.

    April 13, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Ruth

    Tea party members are nothing but a bunch of sore losers who have litle or no intelligence and certainly no respect for this country. They are dividers and are not interested in the progress of this great country. They goal is nothing more than party lines at anybodies expense. Shame on you. In the past everyone pulled together for the betterment of this country–no matter who got to be president. Get a hobby and grow up!

    April 13, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. David from Wisconsin

    More Republicans are quitting than Democrats: does this suggest the Tea Party is knocking out the remaining moderates or moderate-right members of the GOP? This is a characteristic of extremist groups, not to target the opposite extreme, at least at first, but to target the closest competitor for the party mantle, people who might blur the distinctions between in-group and out.

    April 13, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Tom

    I agree – Stupak was not "forced out" by anybody. He was bribed out by Obama for his vote on health care. We're watching to see where he ends up after his resignation.

    April 13, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Brink

    Memo to Congress: Do not worry about the wingnuts and orchestrated nonsense of a few extremists. They are tools of a few right wingers who are desperately trying to shape public opinion. The voters will decide who is trying to help America and her citizens and it is not the party of "no" and its army of demagogues and simpletons. Dems keep the faith.

    April 13, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    Mob rule in the USA. Congratulations, Teabaggers.

    April 13, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    CONGRESS YOU ARE FIRED!

    April 13, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. samantha

    The dismal approval rating of Congress by the American people suggests that all the incumbents should withdraw or be tossed out. The American government is created to rule with the consent of the government and not in spite of them.

    April 13, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Name calling only demonstrates and further proves ones lack of intelligence and usually these kind of people are mentally challenged and suffer very low self esteem. But the good news is they can get help before they endanger their families and society.

    April 13, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. REG in AZ

    Whatever, it is a shame but true that there is a lot of anger fueled by biases, prejudices and emotions being excited by aggressive appeals to self-interests. The Tea Partiers, conservative groups and others from both sides frequently exhibit a distasteful side of American free speech and deserve criticism for their narrow self-focus and their costly blindness to being exploited ... but the real fault lies with those doing the exploitation. Their are those few who want to maintain status-quo and to return to 'more of the same' as it greatly benefits them, and as has been seen no one else, and they are putting every effort and all of their substantial power and capital into scare tactics and emotional appeals to self-interests to excite, control and manipulate public opinion. It worked for them and we paid the price for the deception when the cries in 2000 and 2004 were for focus on Christian values that just weren't there and the resulting exploitation of 2001-2008 was very costly. Both sides have faults and problems but the people really need to start recognizing that the subterfuge constantly being used to perpetuate the con and to continue the exploitation disguises a total neglect of responsibility and a concentration on benefit for only the few. It should be clearly understood and unacceptable that better than 90% loose while less than 5% gain when the subterfuge works and people’s emotions are manipulated with public opinion then controlled. Worrying about taxes may be futile when more real spending power is lost and the majority is then actually looking for some effective government spending/help. Simply avoiding the con should be a major concern, as has been drastically proven. One clear warning may be when they offer nothing constructive, only criticism and obstruction in an effort to justify returning to ‘more of the same’ that has already failed.

    April 13, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. hongli

    THE TEA -PARTY MOVEMENT IS ALL ABOUT "RACE". Think about it! Would a TEA-PARTY MOVEMENT been born if it was a WHITE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT? I don't think so. America has a far way to go.

    April 13, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. tess

    since when does telling the truth "lying, thieving, commies" become hateful rhetoric? i'll tell you, when it is applied to democrats – otherwise it is just informing the people!!! sorry dems, the america people are on to you and have had quite enough, thank you.

    April 13, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Well duh. But hey, let's look at this more closely for second, shall we?

    What he didn't say: "The Tealiban/Teatards are bringing such wonderful, fact-based rational analyses and substantive arguments steeped in empirical evidence to the table, that we just can't help but consider everything they have to say and allow it to influence our decision-making."

    Sorry guys, but that's the truth. Of course making people and their families miserable and afraid with threats and harrassment and ridiculous crap like calling people a Nazi is going to influence our public servants. Why the hell would they want to serve a public that behaves like the Tealiban does in the first place? I sure wouldn't. In fact, if you called my office with threats to my life and my family's lives, called me a Nazi for making honest attempts to help you and insulted my race, questioned my citizenship and generally misrepresented and maligned my motives in a completely and utterly baseless and irrational manner, well, I'd stay up at night thinking of ways to screw you and get rich doing it before I left office. The Teatards represent the Americans who don't deserve good government because they're not actually trying to contribute to it and make it better or have honest discourse. They are the antithesis of the informed and civil populace that Jefferson envisioned.

    April 13, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. www.usdebtclock.com

    Hoyer says the Tea Parties are creating a "negative" atmosphere? If opposing endless deficits and supporting limited government and the Constitution is "negative", we need a lot more of it.

    April 13, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. normajean

    Maybe if these "Tea Partiers spent more time reading and thinking they would gain a little more respect from society at large. Are they aware that the president that they make fun of is a former Senator from Illinois and was active in legislation on a number of bills to improve even their lives. As has been said, some people can have all the lights on and still be in the dark. Wake up people, if this country falls apart, you're going with it. Think before you act.

    April 13, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Dano

    When a group thinks the current GOP is too liberal, I think that shows just how extreme that group is. What this and similar groups are advocating is total anarchy. They want no laws, no restrictions, and little or no government oversight of anything (think wild west in 1800s). Most Americans have grown to like paved roads, government agencies to protect them from unethical business practices, and laws that ensure peace and tranquility. It takes money to have all these things, and that money comes in the form of taxes. I make a good salary and have a fair percentage taken away by taxation, but I feel it's worth it to have the relatively peaceful existence we Americans enjoy.

    April 13, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. normajean

    May we also point out that Michelle Bachmann is a "rabble rouser" that doesn't even make sense if you bother to listen to her. I can't imagine what kind of people would vote her into office and would think that the damage done to the state would be deadly. If ever impeachment was in order, this is the time.

    April 13, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. ATPP

    The T-partiers are morons lead by beck and limbo and sarah (a first-class moron). The tide will turn I'm sure, but the damage to the country from these idiots will be long lasting.

    Why these folks didn't have a problem with the person who brought our country down, W, shows how disingenuous they are.

    April 13, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Gary Smith

    I am sitting in the Boise Airport waiting for my flight to Washington, DC. It appears that the Majority Leader is still not listening to the American people so I will be on the Capital steps on the 15th so he can hear and see what we the people are up set about. For the record I an a 60 year old , city council member who served in the US Navy to protect my country and yes – don't with what Congress and the President are doing. God Bless America

    April 13, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Cosmo

    I think that it has the impact of more people wanting to raise the bar on education standards in this country. More aid for higher education would help to eradicate ignorance and simplistic answers to complex issues.

    April 13, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Bob in Pa.

    Excuse me Mr. Hoyer, you are entitled to your opinion, but I strongly disagree with you. The impact of the Tea Party is not creating a negative atmosphere it is 100% positive. Ask yourself these two questions to prove my point
    .
    When was the last time in our history where this many people were interested in the future of America ?

    When was the last time so many Americans demanded responsibility from their Representatives ?

    April 13, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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