4:18 PM ET -- Rep. Stupak on progressives: You can't be crying wolf all the time because you lose your wolfiness.
HuffPost asked Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), the lead Blue Dog negotiator, why he succeeded and the progressives failed.
"Because I didn't threat[en]. These are the facts," he said.
But you did threaten, a reporter pointed out.
No, Stupak said, it wasn't a threat. It was a promise. "No, they know I'll vote against the rule," he said.
Stupak said the Blue Dogs have gradually been sending a message to leadership and that much of it goes back to a previous vote involving an appropriations bill that Blue Dogs wanted to include pro-life language.
In July, the House considered a Financial Services Appropriations bill that would allow publicly-funded abortions in the District of Columbia. Stupak and allies were not allowed an amendment, so they sought to "take down the rule" -- in other words, round up enough votes to deny he bill a chance to get voted on on the floor. When time expired, the pro-lifers had prevailed. But Pelosi held the vote open for extra time and persuaded four members to switch their votes.
"Now, I have not threatened that every time that we went to Rules Committee and we didn't always get our pro-life amendments, I did not try to take down any rules. You have to pick your fights at the right time. You can't be crying wolf all the time because you lose your wolfiness. You lose your credibility," he said. "So I'm not going to lose my credibility. So you use it at certain times when it's appropriate."