Rep. Eric Massa told reporters today that as he enters the “final phase” of his life he will not seek reelection to Congress, adding a rebuke to the press. Massa said charges of sexual harassment being publicized by blogs are “unsubstantiated” and are an example of what’s wrong with Washington.
“I do not have the life’s energy to fight all the battles all the time. I will now enter the final phase of my life at a more controlled pace,” Massa (D-NY) told reporters on a hastily arranged conference call. “I’m a very salty guy, a very direct guy and I run at about 100 miles an hour.”
He said that after being briefly hospitalized due to his third major cancer scare in December his doctors “made clear” he couldn’t keep up his current pace of work.He said the reports of harassment by a male staffer are “unsubstantiated without fact or backing” and “are a symptom of what’s wrong with this city.” He said Washington is filled with “intense partisanship without rational thought.”
“Do I or have I ever used salty language especially when I’m angry, in the privacy of my inner office or at home? Yes I have and I’ve apologized where it’s appropriate,” Massa said.
Massa said it’s “only fair and right” he announce that he will not seek reelection now so that others can jump into the race. He read the brief statement and did not take questions.
Late Update: TPMDC’s Brian Beutler waited outside Massa’s office to try to get more information. Massa flatly denied the allegations, saying he’s a “salty old sailor [and] that’s that.”
Additional reporting by Evan McMorris-Santoro