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Will Jason Altmire Retire? Asks Semi-Coherent NRCC Release

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

We’re not really sure what to make of this. Is the NRCC rooting for Mark Critz?

“Will Jason Altmire follow Shuler’s lead and just retire now rather than face the embarrassment of being unelected in the primary?” The release asks.

Altmire has $852,292.22 on hand. His prospective GOP opponent Keith Rothfus, who he defeated in the Republican wave year of 2010, has $196,086.20 on hand.

He’s facing fellow Democrat Mark Critz in the primary. They share a career party loyalty vote rating in the neighborhood of 80 percent.

Update 2:00pm: Altmire’s CM Angela Ruslander responsed to the NRCC release.

“The message is clear: the NRCC believes they can beat Mark Critz. Unfortunately for them, the NRCC’s wishful thinking is all for naught. With a 16-point lead in the polls and a nearly two-to-one cash advantage, Jason Altmire is going to win the primary. Having failed 3 times to beat Altmire in a Republican-leaning district, it should come as no surprise that the NRCC is openly rooting for Critz.”

Update 4:30pm: Before the Altmire camp runs too far away with the release, it is fair to note that he is an official, card-carrying member of the Blue Dog Coalition. Critz is not. He voted against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House:

“Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania was the first Democrat to cast his vote against Pelosi, and did so loudly and with a defiant expression, adding an element of suspense to the usually boring roll call vote for speaker and minority leader, which goes member by member, calling the name of all 435 lawmakers.”

Here’s the whole release image included:

Happy Friday!

Heading into the weekend, consider the following.

Yesterday, Congressman Health Shuler in North Carolina became the latest “Blue Dog” Democrat to announce his retirement, a move that his own colleague Congressman Kurt Schrader described as a “crushing blow” to the vulnerable group.

The Blue Dogs’ ranks are rapidly diminishing, as voters in their districts realize they have been fraudulently campaigning as moderates only to turn their backs on constituents by voting with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama back in D.C.

Today’s Roll Call lays out how bad things are for the Blue Dogs: “The once-mighty fiscally conservative group was a thorn in the side of Democratic leaders while the party was in the majority following the 2006 elections, but the Blue Dogs lost scores of members to the bruising 2010 midterms, a trend that will continue as a wave of retirements has hit them.”

So, will Jason Altmire follow Shuler’s lead and just retire now rather than face the embarrassment of being unelected in the primary?

“Altmire has played a game of wag-the-dog for too long, scamming voters by campaigning as a moderate and then rolling over for Obama back in Washington. Voters need a watchdog, not a lapdog. It’s time for Altmire to follow the lead of his Blue Dog colleagues and retire before he finds himself in the doghouse come primary day.” – NRCC spokesman Nat Sillin

5 Responses

  1. Steve: You are right. But there is more to this story. When top tier candidate Turzai withdrew from this race, the NRCC tried to recruit Altmire through Roger Ailes and Fox News. At the end of the day, Altmire couldn’t make up his mind and they had to take Rothkus. Candidate recruitment: win some; lose some. Party switches are tough, but Steve there were very serious discussions.

  2. I’ve been hearing that the NRCC and Altmire have been in serious discussions for months about switching parties. It would make sense since he abandons his party on any tough votes. But I also heard the NRCC got tired of his flip-flopping positions and inability to make a decision on switching, so they gave up on him and just took a shot him here. The fact is, Altmire is not a true Democrat and voters will come to see that in this upcomimg Primary.

  3. Blue Dog Democrat = In the Closet Republican

    Great news on Shuler retiring because he was a drag on the Democratic Caucus. Now its time to get rid of Jason Altmire and metaphorically-speaking put down all of these no-good Blue Dog idiots who are undermining the good people and progressive values of the Democratic Party!

  4. Altmire retire? Are you kidding? The new district has much more of his constituency than of Critz’s. The suggestion, after all, comes from a GOP national committeeman. I think Altmire will still win in both April and November. Critz might not be able to beat a Republican from Allegheny County due to the political geography.

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