Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released a statement today in response to the string of announcements by several Democrats that they will not run for office in 2010. Here's the full text:
"In the past 24 hours, four major Democrat leaders, Michigan Lieutenant Governor John Cherry, North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, and Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, have announced their plans not to run for office in 2010, on top of the four House Democrats and the party switch of Dr. Parker Griffith in December. These should serve as a major wakeup call to Democrat leadership that members of their own caucus don't want to be held accountable to the voters they have ignored for the past year. Whether these Democrats want to admit it or not, President Obama's government-run liberal agenda and their foolish decision to wholeheartedly embrace it has increased Republicans chances of regaining the majority and we are working hard to ensure this happens. The successes in Virginia and New Jersey combined with the last month of Democrat withdrawals, retirements, and switches, show that the Republican Party is solidly gaining momentum and is going strong into 2010. The real question is whether Harry Reid, now the Senate's most vulnerable Democrat, will follow Chris Dodd's lead and step aside."