Massa calls Rahm “son of the devil’s spawn” and more.
“Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill,” he said, “and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots.”
“I am sitting there showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel,” Mr. Massa said, adding that Mr. Emanuel poked “his finger in my chest, yelling at me at me because I wasn’t going to vote for the president’s budget.”
“You know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?” he continued.
Mr. Massa added: “I didn’t hit him. But we had words. And he hates my guts. He has hated me since Day 1. And now he wins. So he will get rid of me.”
Mr. Massa’s resignation leaves Democrats working to maintain their hold on a hard-won seat. The 29th District extends from Elmira almost to Lake Erie, and from the Pennsylvania border to Rochester. Republicans in the district outnumber Democrats by more than 45,000. Gov. David A. Paterson could call a special election for the seat as soon as next month, although he could also let it remain vacant until the November election.
A Republican who switched to the Democratic Party because of his opposition to the Iraq war, Mr. Massa lost in his first try to win the House seat in 2006. He was successful two years later, defeating the Republican incumbent, John R. Kuhl Jr.
He was a proponent of a single-payer health care system and was among 39 House Democrats to vote against health care legislation, saying it did not do enough to rein in costs.