Ousted Pa. Congressman Says No Room Left for Moderates

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 02:03 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Rep. Jason Altmire says his loss in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary on Tuesday signals that moderates are fast becoming a dying breed in Congress, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

“I don't see a role for them in Congress,” said Altmire after his loss to fellow Democratic Rep. Mark Critz in a newly drawn district that forced them to face off against each other.

Critz will go up against Republican challenger Keith Rothfus in the November general election.

Altmire was one of 30 House Democrats elected in 2006 who helped the party regain control of Congress. Only seven are left, and Democrats worry not only about their prospects for re-election this fall but also about 10 freshman senators, including Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey Jr., who are up this year as well.

Although Critz won 51 percent of the overall vote, Altmire still drew 70 percent support from his old home district’s constituents.

He blamed his loss not so much on his reconfigured district, but his vote against Obamacare, which angered Democratic leaders. Other Obama policies, including stimulus spending and Wall Street bailout legislation are making other moderates vulnerable as well, he said.

“You have to have someone who really is a moderate, not someone who is just perceived as one,” Altmire said. “You have to demonstrate that to your constituents. If you don’t have a voting record that fits the district, you lose the voters’ confidence.”







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