Stupak negotiated with Democratic leaders down to the eleventh hour for stricter abortion language in the health care bill, but he ultimately voted for it after President Obama agreed to sign an executive order assuring the new laws will keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.
That prompted the conservative Tea Party Express to launch a $250,000 ad campaign against Stupak this week. The group also scheduled a handful of stops on its bus tour in Stupak's district.
On the left, the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America has been working to defeat Stupak and instead elect his Democratic primary challenger Connie Saltonstall.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd reported Democrats considered this a positive as they had anticipated losing 3 or 4 over the break to retirement. My head is still spinning from that one. I thought health care was going to save them after it passed, why would anyone retire? I wonder if Stupak took the offer of $700,000 from the Tea Party Express to retire. There was nothing left to sell out but his seat so why not collect his silver and run.
More from CNN:
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.Both Pelosi and Obama reportedly urged Stupak to stay in the race, which explains the reference to finding the courage to tell Pelosi no. No doubt Democrats fear losing this seat which was considered safe prior to Stupak's vote. There can be no argument there is room in the Democratic party for pro-life moderate candidates. Stupak's district is made up of socially conservative working class people who would have been open to the populist Democratic message. Ed Morrissey predicts the vote will now be a referendum on Pelosi while the left is hoping that a top tier candidate to replace Stupak might save the seat. No one could possibly believe a moderate Democrat won't do exactly as Stupak did.
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.”
Much more developing on Memeorandum
Sister Toldjah, Pundette and Michelle Malkin join in the chorus "don't let the door hit you on the way out."