September 15th, 2009
03:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Congressman says some people aren't worth peeing on

Pete Stark is involved in his own classic YouTube moment.
Pete Stark is involved in his own classic YouTube moment.

(CNN) - Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, raised eyebrows last month when he told a constituent at a raucous health care town hall event, "Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table."

Now Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, is involved in a similar instant YouTube classic, telling a town-hall participant over the weekend that he wouldn't "waste the urine" to pee on the man's leg.

First reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and confirmed by a YouTube clip of the event, the longtime congressman made the remark after the participant launched into a long, but calm, litany about government inefficiency when it comes to nation's health care system. The man concluded his remarks with warning Stark not to "pee on my leg and tell me it's raining."

As the audience cheered, a calm Stark responded: "Well, I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg. It wouldn't be worth wasting the urine."

There was a mixture of laughter and boos as Stark motioned for the next question.


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soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Peace

    Well done Dems. Anyone asking for salt must not be given sugar. Give them what they ask for.

    September 15, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. tony

    The town hall participant did impugn the integrity of Congressman by suggesting the congressman would be someone who would pee on his legs and telling him it's raining. Now, Republicans will tell you there is truth in what he said. That is not the point. Most people will react negatively when another person says that they are less than honorable people. Just imagine if a Democrat calls you a racist. Even if the Democrat believes what he said about you is true, you will be offended by what he said. I will also say that the Congressman overreacted himself and should not have said what he said.

    September 15, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Erik in Iowa City

    That's hilarious! And it's the only logical response to the public's insulting and uninformed comments/questions at these meetings.

    September 15, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Scoobydob

    You usually get the same amount of respect you give. So it would appear neither deserve any respect. Acouple of real classy guys.

    September 15, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Foreigner that watches? CA

    Disrespectful... Boo.

    September 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Hal

    Wow what's going on with the beautiful america I knew. The rotten is really showing at the top! where's the moderates its time you back your president what the world is seeing is the racists, the right wing red necks and its very very ugly.Wake up the moderates,show the world that your country is great and beautiful, back support your president.
    God bless america and its people and president.
    Hal

    September 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Steve from Florida

    Let's censure Barney Frank and allow Joe Wison to move along without a reprimand. Those republicans are slimy weasels!

    September 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. T

    Jeez, what a horribly misleading title.

    And this isn't the same situation that Rep. Barney Frank was in. The woman was asking why Rep. Frank supported Obama's 'Nazi policies'. Obviously she was being irrational or preventing a rational discussion from occurring by making such a claim, and Sen. Frank was frank in his reply to her.

    In this case, it seems Rep. Stark crossed the line. The man speaking hasn't been reported as being illogical or hostile. But, even if he was, Stark insulted his humanity, not his information or views.

    September 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Cindy PA

    The American people are already tired of the Democrats / liberals who are in Congress. We are going to clean out the Democrats / liberals in Congress in 2010 and the community organizer / social worker president will be out in the November 2012 election, we will welcome in a new Congress and new president in January 2013.

    September 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Gary

    Perhaps Rush Limbaugh and the other republicans are right! Cancel Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security! These programs were all started by those Commie, Pinko, tree-hugging gays like Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson! That would save America billions of dollars!

    September 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Gypsy

    At last two Democrats with strong spines, tell the crazies to get of the bus.
    I bet that guy is on Government MediCare and Government Social Security.

    September 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    I think that the title of this post is misleading. Really, this town hall garbage was a waste. These events are meant to be informative discussions, but some devolved into shouting and hateful diatribes where no one cared to lend an ear to listen. I wrote my congressman and expressed the need for a public option, but he wrote me back and basically told me to take a long walk off a short bridge. He takes money from the lobbyists, and I get a letter telling me to pound sand: Representative Democracy at its best.

    September 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Mike

    I think Republicans should have the taste of their own medicine and see how it feels.

    September 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Ann Lord

    Republicans have pushed and pushed and pushed with their fear and hatred that I don't know how things haven't gotten worse. Where were these people for 8 years while the country was totally screwed by Cheney and Bush? They don't even care that the insurance companies have had "death panels" for years, denying coverage for millions.....Geez, it's unbelievable to me that so many people can be so ignorant.

    September 15, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. therealmarie

    Pete Stark tells it like it is. I would'nt want to share the same air with these half dead morons.

    September 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. DianeR PC FL

    Looks like the constituent receives Medicare. Is he complaining about his government-run healthcare? The better response for Rep. Stark would have been to guarantee he wouldn't pee on the man's leg, but I would have advised him to see me after the meeting so the man could be removed from the Medicare program since he thinks it's so inefficient and wasteful.

    September 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. patrick

    Lol finnaly some one tells these crazy people the truth preach on congressman the time for action is now we all need health care reform this is coming from a young man if I need to pay higher taxes in the future so be it it a price me and many of age are willing to pay for the greater good go obama

    September 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Lubbock Progressive

    Seems like a perfectly rational response to a very rude and irrational statement.

    September 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Reagan was wrong

    I applaud Rep. Stark for his razor-sharp with, but I know that I'd be saying the exact opposite if he had an (R) after his name.

    September 15, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. PatC

    Typical of what everybody from the President on down in Washington think of US Citizens. We are just waste of "urine" to these people. Somebody needs to run against this guy that really has concern for the citizens there. This is also proof of what happens when these people get elected over and over. They believe they are above their citizens. Washington is pathetic right now. Don't believe me then look at this and so many of the other videos.

    September 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. John Williams

    In order to know if Rep. Frank and Stark were aggravated into making such a statement, one would have to know the whole story, not just what the Rep.'s said. Unfortunately CNN just reports the snip-it to sensationalize the story. We have a first amendment right in this Country to free speech. That freedom applies to everybody. There is a far right lunatic fringe in the Country that thinks free speech means you can lie about everything and people should believe you. The lunatic fringe said that over a million people showed up in Washington, DC last Saturday to protest Healthcare Reform. Truth is that only about sixty thousand people showed up. But the real scary part is that we have sixty thousand conservative, racist morons in this Counrty.

    September 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Angela in Denver

    The headline is deceiving. After reading the entire story, the Congressman was on point. If only more of our leaders would keep it real, there would be less foolish spinning of every issue.

    September 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. PatC

    Better yet this person needs to run against Stark.

    September 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. ekryspin

    Barney Frank needs to remember who pays his check and how good his life is because of having the job he has and not to smart mouth
    the hand that is feeding him.

    September 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Jack

    Good for Mr. Stark

    September 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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