April 9th, 2010
02:53 PM ET
13 years ago

If I'd run again, I would've won, Stupak says

(CNN) – On the same day that he announced his decision not to seek re-election, Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak sought to downplay the influence of the Tea Party movement, the conservative grassroots movement that has targeted him since the recent passage of health care legislation.

Stupak, who is staunchly anti-abortion rights, led a group of like-minded House Democrats in negotiating a deal with the White House on the issue of federal funding for abortion which allowed congressional Democrats to secure sufficient votes to pass the legislation. His prominent role in the health care debate coupled with his ultimate decision to support a bill which many Republicans and conservatives read as potentially allowing federal funding of abortion made Stupak a top target of the Tea Party movement - so much so that a Tea Party group was rallying in his congressional district earlier this week.

But, in his first one-on-one interview after announcing his decision to retire, Stupak told CNN that he is confident he would have won re-election later this year. And he suggested that many of the Tea Party activists who oppose him are strangers to his congressional district
"This district is independent," Stupak told CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. "It's one-third independents, one-third Democrats, one-third Republicans. You have groups come and ago."

He added, "I got along with these folks. And even if they were from my district, they're my friends. And, there's no doubt in my mind, I'd win re-election if I chose to run again. I've chose not to."

Stupak was elected to Congress in 1992 and said Friday that he had decided not run for another term because he had fulfilled one of his original campaign promises from 18 years ago – passage of a comprehensive health care reform bill.

Related: Conservative group targets Stupak, 19 other Dems

Filed under: Bart Stupak • Tea Party movement
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Dean

    If I'd run again, I would've won, Stupak says------Just more proof that our people in Washington DC have no sense of reality.

    April 9, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Sugar

    Don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you. Have a great life.

    April 9, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Laura, Boston

    I don't live in Michigan but am an independant and most people like myself are furious for the passing of the health care bill. Obamacare is going to break the piggy bank not only for me but for my son and future grandchildren.

    I don't know what the congressman was promised but it obviously backfired.

    April 9, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. WrongKindofChange

    Yea, keep telling yourself that. As long as it helps you feel better. Just like a Dem...can't handle the truth and would rather run instead.

    April 9, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Hammerer

    Yeah he would have won, but he chose to take the money and run home. Will he ever know the true price he got for his soul. Probably not but I hope it will soothe his conscience, if he has one.

    April 9, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. m Peck

    Why isn't anyone making a fuss about the violent threats being sent to Stupak.... and all others receiving violent threats, and indeed, acts of terror!?

    Seems strange that nobody remembers that this is supposed to be a Democracy. AND THAT APPLIES TO ALL PEOPLE AND PARTIES, regardless of their views.

    Think, stop criticizing other countries that use violence to solve a problem, that don't consider themselves democratic, if we can't be true to the philosophy ourselves.

    This country has become a laughing stock!

    April 9, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. KansasGirl

    This shallow man is whistling past the graveyard. (; >)

    April 9, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Real American

    Good riddance quitter. His district needs to elect a Real Democrat focused on jobs and keeping working people from being hosed by Wall Street.

    April 9, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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