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

Stupak to announce retirement

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/21/art.stupakord0321.gi.jpg caption ="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. Stan Goodman

    I do not have an opinion about abortion, although I believe it to be a more complex question than the content of the debate would indicate. Nor do I think it to be a matter that is suitable for government to either encourage of forbid. But if this congressman's departure will weaken the authority of the current occupant of the White House, and increase the probability of the President's eviction from that residence, I am grateful for Stupak's decision, and wish him great success in his future endeavors.

    April 9, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. ljburgher

    I think Stupak knew well in advance he was retiring after this term. However he was put in a no-win situation and decided to stay true to his party and vote for the healthcare Debacle. If Stupak would have voted NO, He would have been the black sheep of the democratic party. He voted yes and is still looked at in negative lights. I think he picked the lessor of two evils and was retiring anyway. people say he got bamboozled by Pelosi and the President. I dont think so, he knew exactly was he was doing and tried to save some face among his own party. The right thing to do would have been to thwart this healthcarfe fiasco and vote no. But he did not. He caved under the pressure and I'm sure he got the old college pep talk from Pelosi and Obama in the process. "The Party is counting on you Old Chum" lol Its comical to say the least. The democrats are a huge joke and will be defeated in the long term.

    April 9, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |

    Thank you Mr.Stupak, for helping Americans everywhere. We appreciate the fact that you supported a key issue, regardless of politics and stood up to the GOP.

    April 9, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Brian

    Will the Republicans EVER put these same talking points to rest? The health care bill does not even have a public option, so it is far from being agovernment takeover. And the original bill – not to mention the amended bill – established a stance similar to the one Stupak has always held. The bill has passed, Isn't it time for Republicans to move away from the same old tired scare tactics?

    April 9, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. b

    Good- I would have voted him out anyways.

    April 9, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Jayro

    Stopping this health bill disaster is simple. We will not fund it via Rep congress in 2011.

    April 9, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Shermani

    This is absolutely beautiful. Stupak finally stepped up to the plate, and made a choice. Now the $50K question will be if he follows through with this "promise". The democrats are folding like a house of cards, and this is great news for America. We will have two fourth of July's this year. July 4th, and November 2nd.

    April 9, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. Rajinder Goya

    Its very sad and unfortunate to see someone of Bart Stupak's stature taking this step. I would request him, most humbly, on behalf of millions of reasonably minded Americans, not to take this step, and instead, fight the republicans and expose their overheated rhetoric and dirty tactics. This is what the ultra right wing Repubs, with their tea Part sleep ins, want, and will exploit this situation to trunpet their opwn cause.Bart Stupak should show and porove that he cannot and will not be pushed around by the opposition radicals who are more baloney than substance. Come on Bart, lets not bow in to these cowards. raise your head high, walk tall and give a deserving reply to the palins, newts and limbaughs.

    April 9, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. KR

    Even more good news from November when the liberal stance at ignoring the voice of the people will be squashed and we end this regin of incompetent government take over and massive wreckless spending!

    April 9, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Joe

    this bill has ended a lot of carriers i hope it was worth it.

    April 9, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. akeina

    It is a shame that the tea party could be allowed to basically threaten a man out of office. It should be criminal, it should be illegal. I have heard the messages left on Stupak's voice mail. I have seen the hatred and anger over the healthcare bill. I have heard how his wife and kids have been threatened. It is horrible and the President has a duty to address this hate to the American people and to tell them to knock it the Hell off!

    April 9, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    Good riddance, Judas. Coward.

    April 9, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. lucy

    Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it. He wanted to be a big deal hero and get a lot of publicity. Now he can't take the pressure. Oh, well.

    April 9, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. tarheel2010

    By trying to please everybody, Stupak wound up pleasing nobody. In the end he was considered a traitor by both sides. Having a tough stance on any isue, especially abortion, requires you to be willing to go the distance. Unfortunately he blinked and caved in when dazzled by the President's charisma and persuasion and Nancy Pelosi's arm twisting. Like Ben Nelson in Nebraska, it was too late when he finally realized the enormity of his mistake. It's sad that this decision is all he will be remembered for.

    April 9, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. mar

    Thanks for standing by your principals Congressman. We are proud of you and are sad to see you leave.

    April 9, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Gordon Shumway

    ....with his tail between his legs!

    April 9, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. rufus

    The dirty work is done, Now he can move on to other activities.

    April 9, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  18. AndyBlue

    Oh well..... no loss there. These male politicians who want to have control over womens bodies are becoming irrelevent.

    Its not the teabaggers that are making quit. They are becoming more and more looney by the day.

    Stupak knows that people are sick of anti-abortion extremists and he just wont be re-elected.

    April 9, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Janine Smalley

    We need to get a better Democrat to replace him. To put an anti-abortion stipulation in the Health Care plan is irresponsible and UN-American for several reasons: 1) Family Planning should be a choice, not imposed on - most especially on those who cannot afford to raise a child and 2) to have an unwanted child is more of a cost burden on state than it is paying for an abortion. 3) Take the religious rhetoric out. Our country is founded on the belief of separation between church and state.

    April 9, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. alphonso

    with me being a democrat.i hate to say it the democrats r n trouble now.hopefully they will minimize the damage by november.i hate 2 say it .its getting worse each and every week!!!

    April 9, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. Joshua Ludd

    His 11th hour deal to... do what was already done by federal legislation and which wouldn't have been changed by health care reform legislation. I'd say about the time you start doing things like that which waste time and hold up legislation for NO REAL REASON, its probably about time you quit.

    April 9, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. mike

    Good! We don't any more sell outs in Congress.

    April 9, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  23. stevegee

    Good riddance you coward!

    You couldn't stand up for your own values and principles. Instead you caved like a wimp under pressure from Obama, Pelosi and all the Democrats (aka Socialists).

    Now our country has to deal with the abomination called ObamaCare. But, it will be repealed soon after - either through the conservative landslide victories that will occur across this great nation in November, OR through the numerous lawsuits from states' Attorney Generals and Governors (courts will rule ObamaCare unconstitutional).

    The American People have been awakened and the fight for freedom and liberty has begun...

    April 9, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Dave

    Is it just me, or does it seem like the democrats passed healthcare reform and in turn believe that they committed political suicide for doing so? Like they already believe they are done for, so they are not even going to try anymore..... This is hard to watch....

    April 9, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  25. Number 4456783

    Don't worry about Bart. Just watch where he ends up in 6 months. Whatever lobbyist job or think tank CEO position that was worked out for his vote will be a sweet setup.

    April 9, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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