Massa to Glenn Beck and Larry King: 'I can't fight anymore.'

Former New York congressman Eric Massa went on Glenn Beck's show and 'Larry King Live Tuesday night, defending his decision to leave office and alleging a campaign to push him out for his opposition to healthcare reform.

Newscom/File
Eric Massa is seen in this 2005 file photo. The Democratic House Representative resigns his seat while under investigation for sexual harassment over comments he made to a male staffer.

Former Rep. Eric Massa (D) of New York was on the Glenn Beck show on the Fox News Channel on Tuesday evening, and two points stood out from the hour-long interview:

  1. Mr. Massa admitted that he may have inappropriately touched a male staff member, but denied that there was any intent beyond horse play. He then showed pictures of a ribald “crossing the line” ceremony from 1983, when he was in the Navy, to Mr. Beck to illustrate his point.
  2. Massa retracted his charge that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would tie his own children to railroad tracks to win a vote. Kind of. “He wouldn’t do that,” said Massa. “He’d tie my kids to the railroad tracks."

Massa, if you haven’t heard, resigned his office, effective on Tuesday, amid allegations of sexual harassment. He’s alleged in various forums that he was pushed out of office by a whispering campaign due to the fact that he had voted against healthcare reform legislation, and would likely do so again.

On the Beck show, however, he was somewhat more circumspect, saying that “I take full responsibility for my misbehavior.”

And what kind of misbehavior was that? Salty language.

Drinking too much and getting involved in some sort of physical roughhousing that involved tickling someone until they could not breathe.

“My behavior was wrong. I should never have allowed myself to be as familiar with my staff as I was,” said Massa.

So, why resign then? Why not stay and fight the charges? Beck pointed out to Massa that his honor is at stake.

“I can’t fight anymore. I don’t have it anymore. I don’t have the energy to get up at five in the morning and work until midnight, spending hours on the phone begging for money,” said Massa.

Massa expressed outrage at the US campaign finance system. He said that he is a supporter of unions – “a union guy” – but that representatives from an unnamed union had come to him and said that unless he supported President Obama’s healthcare reform proposals they would not donate money to his campaign fund.

“Congressmen spend between five and seven hours a day on the phone begging for money ... [political parties] have coaches that tell you how to make people more apt to give you money,” said Massa.

Show host Glenn Beck agreed with Massa that this was legalized bribery, but said that he was disappointed that the former New York lawmaker did not have more specific allegations of corruption to make.

“I think I have wasted your time,” said Beck. He was addresssing his audience, not Massa.

Later in the evening Massa went over much of the same ground on “Larry King Live.” He reiterated his contention that he did nothing wrong and that the administration’s push to pass healthcare is in some way involved in his problems.

“I’m collateral damage. I’m road kill and in 72 hours nobody is going to remember who I am nor are they going to care,” Massa told host Larry King.

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