Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whose political career has been battered by scandal surrounding lobbying and ethics violations in Congress, has said he will not seek re-election in November.
"My constituents don't deserve this. They deserve a Republican," DeLay told FOX News in an exclusive interview Tuesday morning.
While DeLay has not yet been implicated in the pay-to-play scheme that has brought several indictments and plea deals, many of his closest associates have been dragged into the fray. Tuesday, DeLay dismissed the idea that he would be implicated.
"The [Jack] Abramoff investigation has nothing to do with me," DeLay said.
DeLay said that he decided not to run after taking into account the "the interest of the conservative cause and the Republican majority," which he said he was more interested in than his own future. He said the campaign in his Houston district has become "very nasty." Read more.
Is DeLay's resignation "evidence that the Republican Party is a party in disarray?"
E-mail us at email@example.com and jump into the debate!
Here's what people in the news are saying:
"Simply put, Tom is one of the most effective and gifted leaders the Republican Party has ever known. He was a tireless advocate for his constituents, the state of Texas, and all Americans who shared a commitment to the principles of smaller government, more freedom, and family values." — Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
"Tom DeLay's decision to leave Congress is just the latest piece of evidence that the Republican Party is a party in disarray, a party out of ideas and out of energy." — Bill Burton, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
"I refuse to allow liberal Democrats an opportunity to steal this seat with a negative personal campaign. The voters of the 22nd district of Texas deserve a campaign about the vital national issues that they care most about and that affect their lives every day and not a campaign focused solely as a referendum on me." — Former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX)
Here's what FOX Fans are saying!
"Tom DeLay is not the entire Republican Party, and to say the GOP is in disarray just because he is in trouble up to his eyeballs, is silliness. Shake out the dead weight and carry on!" — Betts (GA)
"DeLay’s underlings are up to their eyeballs in corruption and he claims to be totally unaware? Sounds a lot like the excuses of Skilling and Lay." — Peter (Houston, TX)
"He was a back stabber even within his own party. His exit is the best thing that could happen to the Republican Party. I hope that whoever runs on the Republican ticket in his district, isn't one of his cronies." — Ellen (Diamondhead, MS)
"DeLay's resignation will be nothing more that a short, momentary blip on the political radar. If Congressional Republicans are in disarray its because they have no message, no anchor, and no vision. It’s an election year and it’s every man for him or herself." — Wince (Orlando, FL)
"I think he did it to help his party! That is sacrifice that will bring the party together, not apart!" — Marilyn (CO)
"He should have gone a long, long time ago." — Morris (Brooklyn, NY)
"DeLay's resignation is a sign that the Democratic Party is in total disarray and acting in desperation! Lord help us if the Dems were to gain control of the presidency and Congress." — Cliff (West Des Moines, IA)
"Thank God DeLay is gone. Now maybe we can get someone in there that actually cares about this district and not just his party." — Mike (Sugar Land, TX)
"The honorable thing was to resign to avoid stress on his family and friends. Quitting doesn't always mean guilty." — Patty (Newark, CA)
"Disarray is a mild word for the ongoing situation. It has been a great disappointment for me as a baby boomer that we did not have a better chance to make things work right under this administration." — Mary Anne (CA)
"If Tom DeLay were a Democrat, he would be considered a national hero." — Harv (Eastsound, WA)
"Republicans do the right thing. They do not march en masse to show that regardless of what someone does they are going to defend the right to do wrong things. It is a positively noble thing." — Wayne
"Goodbye, Tom. It's about time you resigned!" — EE(NC)
“Tom DeLay is a patriot who puts the welfare of his country and the GOP above his own. That’s more than can be said about a Democrat, and now they don’t have a whipping boy. DeLay’s outsmarted them again.” — Jim (Tampa, FL)
"To hear Representative Boehner, Roy Blunt and Chairman Mehlman praise Mr. Delay, shows that the Republican Party winks at the criminal acts that this man has done." — Anthony
"DeLay is not the problem. It was the left-wing media and the idealess Democrats who concocted this scenario. DeLay needed to take the bullet and get it out of the media." — Ed (Menomonee Falls, WI)
"The liberals are the ones who excel at the pot calling the kettle black. For every one Tom DeLay the Republicans have, the Democrats have 10." — S.R. (Los Angeles, CA)
"I am overjoyed: DeLay's decision was to be expected. He thought he could walk on water, even now he puts a self righteous spin on it. But he wasn't going to win re-election, and he knew it." — Robert (Abilene, TX)
"Absolutely not! This is yet another example of how the Democrats can't win in the arena of ideas and resort to eliminating those who pose a threat to them by crying foul, whether it is true or not. They use allegations and scandal as weapons to tie the hands of the Republicans. Our entire government is in disarray because of the constant backstabbing and fighting among all parties. Gridlock on issues is one thing, but when our government can't function because of power grabbing, it cripples our nation and makes us vulnerable." — Mike
"The Democratic Party's plan to demonize, demoralize, and take down the Republican Party is working. Like it or not, their message is getting out, and people are listening. If something doesn't change, we are looking at a Democrat controlled Congress, and a Democrat controlled White House in 2008. Hello, are there any Republicans out there?" — Jeff (Harrisburg, PA)
"His resignation illustrates one of the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. He is resigning, I believe, for the betterment of the Party, while most Democrats faced with similar circumstances would never think to resign. Even when found guilty of whatever it is they are charged with, they never admit to it and only blame 'the vast right wing of the Republican Party' for their woes." — Rick
"The Republicans may be in disarray, but they look like a well-oiled machine compared to the Democratic Party." — Ken (Irving, TX)
"Finally, the snake is leaving. Let's hope that the most crooked administration in the history of this great nation begins to crumble. 'The Hammer' is gone, let's hope King George is soon to follow." — Bennie
"The liberals and Democrats will paint this as a major victory. I say they should learn from this. Instead of holding out and damaging his party and country, Tom DeLay chose instead to step aside and make room for someone else. Remember when Clinton went through impeachment and totally embarrassed this country? At least Nixon had the guts to put his country first and resign rather than put us thru that. Maybe the Democrats can learn from both of them, but I doubt it. My hat's off to Tom DeLay!" — John (Maryland)
"I think I'm embarrassed to be a Republican right now. I think the Republican Party has turned their backs on DeLay and left him on the side of the road to die." — June
"DeLay's departure will strengthen the GOP. America will be more secure as well. DeLay is a divider. He is a prototype of partisan hate mongering. There will be one less distraction for those of us who truly love America and Americans." — Mike
"The resignation of Tom DeLay just shows how far the old fat cat Democratic Party will go to get back in power. I commend Mr. DeLay for eliminating such fodder for the Democrats to use this year. His effectiveness will be much improved by taking the time to clear his name, and then the nation by what corrupt means the Democratic leadership is willing to gain back their yellow dog style of partisan corruption." — D.L.J.
"No, it's more evidence that the Democrats are fighting dirty, as usual! Nothing new there." — Lovette (Atlanta, GA)
"It's not at all evidence of Republicans in disarray. It is evidence that at least one member of Congress places their constituents ahead of their own political future — an example that elected officials of both parties would do well to follow" — Brad (Lincoln, NE)
"Republican and Democrat parties both have more than their fair share of elitist crooks. What the Democrats have in their corner is a left-leaning liberal media that jumps up and airs the GOP dirty laundry while and burying that of the Democrats." — M.W. (Rockford, IL)
"So 'The Hammer' goes out with a bang. By withdrawing from the race, he effectively takes most of the wind out of the Democratic fundraising sails and strategy. Now we will see what the Democratic leadership has for ideas if they want to displace Republicans in 2006 and 2008. Tom DeLay was guilty of the most egregious crime in Washington D.C.: he was effective." — David (Oro Valley, AZ)
"DeLay, an extraordinary politician, shows himself to be a statesman as well, putting the country and his party ahead of any further political ambition he may have entertained." — Bill (Magnolia, TX)
"No, the resignation signifies that Tom DeLay is in trouble, maybe a lot more than we know." — Byron (Minneapolis, MN)