Altmire engendered no such good will among fellow Democrats. Hoyer only got involved on Critz's behalf after Altmire attacked Critz for voting with Democratic leadership on a Republican budget vote. Leadership had urged Democrats to vote "present" instead of against the Republican Study Committee budget, forcing the GOP to put up the votes necessary to vote down their own budget. Critz "failed to stand up to the Tea Party and didn't vote against their budget that would ruin Medicare," an Altmire campaign ad said. Attacking a fellow Democrat for following Democratic leadership's wishes isn't a great way to win favor among your own party's establishment. Hoyer weighed in, criticizing Altmire for "negative advertisements [that] continue to mislead Pennsylvania voters." It didn't help that Altmire had voted against health care and cap and trade legislation, two of the three major Democratic initiatives in the 111th Congress. Cantor weighed in against a member who enjoyed at least some support within the rest of the Republican conference, and he took heat because of it. Hoyer weighed in against a member who occupied a small and unpopular corner of the Democratic caucus. Today, many Democrats are quietly patting him on the back.
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