Rep. Steve LaTourette Leaves Congress, Sits Down with CBS SUNDAY MORNING, 11/4
Rep. StEve Latourette (R-Ohio) is walking away from Congress after nine terms on the job because he feels he's lost the ability to have an impact, he tells Tracy Smith this weekend on CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH Charles Osgood.
A moderate, urban Republican, LaTourette has run into trouble with colleagues on Capitol Hill because he believed it was possible to reach across party lines and work together. When he did, he tells Smith, he was penalized by others in his party.
"I think my brand is damaged in terms of being effective enough to do the things that needed to be done here and get 218 votes on something," LaTourette says. "I don't think I have that ability."
LaTourette was a county prosecutor from Cleveland when he won a seat in 1994. Since then, he's never struggled to be reelected, though the job is a challenge for the married father of six. There's a personal cost of being in Congress, he says, and he can no longer justify the impact on his family.
"I always love it when I turn on the TV and they say, 'Congress has gone home for a three-month vacation,'" he says. "Well, that's a bunch of crap. I mean, we work from the time the sun comes up until the time the sun goes down. And, so, that's time away from soccer games, recitals, ballet – everything."
He says, the decision to leave wasn't sudden, nor did he take it lightly. Ultimately, he grew weary of the process.
"It's a pox on both houses, both parties," he tells Smith. "And they need to say, 'You know what? This is dysfunctional.' I mean, if this was a family, we'd be in a psychiatric hospital, because we are just not getting along in the way that we have to."
Smith's full interview will be broadcast Nov. 4 on CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH Charles Osgood (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.