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Sympathy for Stupak from J.C. Watts

NEW ORLEANS -- I talked briefly Friday with former congressman J.C. Watts about the retirement of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), and how the backlash against health-care reform encouraged the nine-term congressman to make his move.

"I wish him well," said Watts, who served alongside Stupak for four terms. "I would encourage him to go and smell the roses. He's been through a lot."

Asked about the tone of the health-care debate, and Stupak's claims that he has received threats since aa decisive vote for a health-care bill, Watts said he worried that some critics -- on both sides -- had gone too far.

"I surely think that people have the right to protest," said Watts. "I just hope that people do it in a civilized way, on both sides. I personally believe there's a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it, and both sides sometimes cross the line."

By David Weigel  |  April 9, 2010; 1:59 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Health Care , SRLC  
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