October 23rd, 2007
01:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Stark apologizes for saying troops die for Bush's 'amusement'

Watch Stark's apology on the House floor Tuesday..

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, apologized Tuesday on the House floor for his recent comments saying troops in Iraq were getting "their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

The apology came shortly after House Republicans failed in their effort to formally censure Stark for the remark.

"I do apologize, and for this reason, I think that we have a serious issue before us, the issue of providing medical care to children, the issue of what we do about a war that we are divided about how to end," Stark said. "I hope that with this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be and that we can return to the issues that do divide us, but that we can resolve in a better fashion."

Democrats successfully blocked a resolution by a 196-173 vote to censure Stark for "personally abusive language toward the president and members of the House" and "despicable conduct."

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Stark "dishonored our soldiers" and said the House can't "afford to let these kinds of remarks go unanswered."

Stark made the controversial comments during a debate over President Bush's veto of children's health care legislation last week.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Rodney Dallas TX

    Well isn't that why the troops are still over there? For Bush's amusement? Why is this guy apologizing. He's only saying what the majority of the country is thinking.

    October 23, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    Democrats successfully blocked a resolution by a 196-173 vote to censure Stark for "personally abusive language toward the president and members of the House" and "despicable conduct."

    What is more outrageous? Stark's remarks or Congress' giving Bush a carte blanche to go to war with Iraq in the first place?

    In the wonderland that is Congress, strong but misspoken words matter more than actions. What posturing! What hypocrisy!

    October 23, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    Democrats successfully blocked a resolution by a 196-173 vote to censure Stark for "personally abusive language toward the president and members of the House" and "despicable conduct."

    Surprise surprise. The Democrats close ranks around one of their own even though the remarks made by this fool were beneath contempt and a disservice to all Americans.

    October 23, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. James, Phoenix AZ

    Starks apology,

    "I do apologize, and for this reason, I think that we have a serious issue before us, the issue of providing medical care to children, the issue of what we do about a war that we are divided about how to end,"

    Hmmm – he didn't apologize for mischaracterizing the President, rather he rationalized his comments citing how important the debate is. He apologized for taking the attention off the discussion of Iraq and SCHIPS – NOT the offensive words he used.

    Nice little tap dance, Pete.

    October 23, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Emily, DC

    Could the politicans in our government get back to actually doing things instead of monitoring every two sentences that come out of people's mouths, maybe they could actually legislate. It is a complete waste of time, energy, and tax payers dollars to pass legislation censuring someone for a comment, I don't care if it comes from a republican or democrat. Do our politicans really have nothing better to do? How about instead, they pass legislation on health insurance, immigration, education, the war, anything of substance! It has become a joke how every little comment, on either side of the aisle, is blown out of proportion. It makes our politicans look like petty children. Remember, actions speak louder than words. If you want to prove your patriotism, actually do something!

    October 23, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Me, Fullerton, CA

    Mr. Stark, it was not a good example from a Congressman to behave like that. We the citizens chose you to represent us. If you behave like that, it won't make you become popular, instead people will know the quality of the Congress representative they have chosen. Even if you don't agree with something, stay cool and talk like a wise man. I hope in the future all the elected congressmen and women will behave like professional wise people. May God keep with us.

    October 23, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Christian, Tampa FL

    It is commendable of Rep. Stark to apologize, something that is extremely difficult for most politicians.

    At the same time, the Republicans are incredibly adolescent and ridiculous...

    October 23, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Carmen, Miami FL

    Another useless resolution? Republicans are wasting time with false outrage, all the while this country has so many more problems to deal with, and that is the truly despicable thing about this story.

    October 23, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    He shouldn't have apologized. George Bush thinks of war as a game and has said that he'd be a "war President" months before he was even elected.

    Why is it that Democrats always apologize and Republicans never do?

    That's frustrating.

    October 23, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Moe, NY

    Stark has no reason to apologize. Stark told the truth...just because he came out with the truth and did not varnish it in political correctness is no reason for him to apologize. I just wish other politicans had the gumption to tell it like it is! The Republicans will never be accused of telling the truth, they cannot even recognize the truth.

    October 23, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. RAINIE FT MYERS, FL

    I DON'T THINK HE NEEDED TO APOLOGIZE
    BUT SINCE HE HAD THE GOOD GRACES TO DO SO, I THINK HE IS A GENTLEMAN WITH ONLY OUR COUNTRY'S BEST INTEREST IN MIND.

    October 23, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Mike A, (Miami, FL)

    I just don't get why Starks is apologizing for this comment. And I don't get why the House Dems don't grow some you-know-what and start talking more like this. We all know the Repubs do it! These kids DID die for Bush and Cheney's amusement!!!!!!!

    October 23, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. therealist

    Nancy's liberal Democrats successfully blocked a Stark censure resolution and yet here is Stark apologizing to the American people.

    I now expect the rest of the Democrats that voted to block that censure to apologize too..

    October 23, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Bob Portsmouth,NH

    Agreed. What a cop out. Stand by what you believe, Mr. Stark. Apologizing to Bush is a waste of time.

    October 23, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    It takes a big man to admit a mistake & a little one to hide behind the troops.

    October 23, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Doc, Providence, RI

    Hey,"Anonymous"! Old enough to have kids? Any of them serving in Iraq? Then just shut up!

    Anyone who can make a statement like "Mr." Stark's, should not be representing the men & women of this country and a whiny drip like you should not even be allowed to comment on such a thing!

    Try giving YOUR life for your country, or worse, that of your child! Now you apologize for being a dolt!

    I can stand our current adiminstration! But we can change that through votes. Our kids are there dying for people like you who never risk anything. Boy I wish I was close enough to spank you ya spoiled brat!

    October 23, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Why is it that Democrats always apologize and Republicans never do?

    That's frustrating.

    Posted By Anonymous : October 23, 2007 2:25 pm

    Because in order to apologize, you have to have a functioning mind, feelings, and a sense of right and wrong.

    Three things that are sadly lacking in most GOP officeholders.

    October 23, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. r schier norwalk,ct

    "House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Stark "dishonored our soldiers" and said the House can't "afford to let these kinds of remarks go unanswered."

    Yeah, but it's quite ok for 7 years of wreckless policy making to "go unanswered" John Boehner: 1st class idiot.....

    October 23, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. A Democrat

    Sorry to say but Democrats give in to easy. They must learn to stand firm in their beliefs, no matter what the consequences. In the long run you will get the respect from the people.

    October 23, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Steve, Sumter SC

    A democrat saying something crazy! Say it ain't so!

    October 23, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    I'm sorry the troops are getting killed for Bush's amusement as well.

    That and to line the pockets of the war profiteers.

    October 23, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. JDS N.C.

    If it were a Republican that made a comment like this he would lose his seat. The media would have been all over this. But you know what the real feelings cant be kept at bay with the libs. It pops out and is further fodder for the Republican base in '08!

    October 23, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. t. west, atlanta

    I totally agree that he shouldn't have apologized. Everything he said was true. Too bad the Republicans can't muster the courage to admit their idiocy and apologize for the trauma they have delivered not only to the country of Iraq and its citizens, but to us as well. Our bloody occupation of Iraq can only be for their amusement.

    October 23, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Frances Christopher, Dallas Texas

    More and more we loose our right to free speech. My heart aches for the parents of those lost in this lost war but even more I already hear the cries of those who will pay for this war...we are not leaving a free country for those who manage to return.

    Please vote these unamericans out of office and salvage what we can for the future.

    October 23, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Russell, Greenville SC

    Its funny how you can get 40 Senators to go after a talk show host. But when it comes to censuring such a blatant and repugnant remark from one of their fellow USA haters, they can't seem to get a consensus.

    October 23, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.