Tea Party Express targets Bart Stupak in Michigan rallies against Obama health-care plan

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

The Tea Party Express added Rep. Bart Stupak, the Democrat who has become the target for opponents of the health-care bill for his last-minute yes vote that enabled the bill’s passage, to its “Just Vote Them Out” tour.

The group that takes bus tours across the country will hold three rallies in Stupak’s Michigan district — more than any other district in the country.

“We’re trading votes with Bart Stupak,” said Joe Wierzbicki, coordinator of the Tea Party Express and a Michigan native. “He sold out the American people and voted for that awful health-care bill, so now we’re going to repay the favor and vote him out of office.”

The rallies will take place in April in the Michigan towns of Ironwood, Escanaba and Sault Sainte Marie. The Tea Party Express has also launched a fundraising drive for an Independent Expenditure campaign against Stupak that will include TV and radio ads calling for his defeat.

Obama signed the health-care bill into law Monday after negotiating with pro-life Democrats to vote for the legislation. Stupak was the face of the pro-life group who held out until the negotiated deal where Obama agreed to sign an executive order mandating that public funds in the bill cannot be used to pay for abortions.

Stupak and the 12 other pro-life Democrats who voted for the health bill are invited to the executive order signing ceremony Wednesday at the White House.

Stupak spokesman Nick Choate did not return a request for comment.

In an interview with The Daily Caller yesterday, Stupak blasted Catholic bishops and pro-life groups for their hypocrisy in their opposition to him. “So now President Obama’s going to sign an executive order protecting life and everyone’s condemning it. The hypocrisy is great,” Stupak said.

After Stupak’s vote for the bill on Sunday, one sign-waving Tea Partier from Georgia protesting on the Capitol grounds told The Daily Caller that Stupak was “history” and that she’d send some money to his challenger — whoever it may be.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that Stupak has received death threats since the vote saying, “You’re dead; we know where you live; we’ll get you.”

And political novice Dr. Dan Benishek — a Republican challenger to Stupak who didn’t have a Web site or fundraising capabilities until the RNC set up a PayPal account for him late Sunday — was overwhelmed after raising more than $20,000 from people across the country angry at Stupak.

Email Alex Pappas and follow him on Twitter