October 19th, 2007
08:00 AM ET
7 years ago

Democrat: Soldiers dying for Bush's 'amusement'

Republicans quickly condemned Stark's comments Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, is facing fire from Republicans for comments on the House floor Thursday suggesting Americans are dying in Iraq for President Bush's amusement.

Sharply critical of Bush’s veto of the children's health insurance legislation, Stark said Republicans are spending money "to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough … to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan quickly condemned the comments, saying in a statement they are "an insult to every American, Democrat or Republican."

"The leaders of the Democrat Party, including Nancy Pelosi and their presidential candidates, need to stand up and make it clear that this kind of attack is unacceptable from any elected official," Duncan added.

Stark later issued a statement saying, "I have nothing but respect for our brave men and women in uniform and wish them the very best,” said Stark. “But I respect neither the Commander-in-Chief who keeps them in harms way nor the chickenhawks in Congress who vote to deny children health care."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Iraq • President Bush
soundoff (587 Responses)
  1. Darko, New Orleans LA

    Pete who?

    If the Democrats really wanted to pass the bill, they'd make the necessary ammendents to get it passed.

    When asked if the Democrats would negotiate with the President, Harry Reid replied simply, 'NO'.

    October 18, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. Nathan, Columbia MD

    Rep. Stark is a member of Congress, and he can say what he believes. There is a double standard that the right can attack what it likes, and take all manner of extreme positions on health care, education and foreign policy, but the left is for some reason expected to stay moderate and restrained.

    October 18, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Amen to Stark!

    Cue the false outrage from the right.

    Sending the troops into Iraq without a proper exit strategy?

    Sending the troops into harm's way without providing them with the necessary body armor?

    Multiple redeployments with multiple tour extensions?

    Inadequate healthcare/psychiatric services provided to servicemen and women?

    You don't hear the Fox news circuit and the hyperventilating harpies on the right shrieking about these insults to the troops, but omg, someone calls a spade a spade and they're frothy and ready for action. WTG Malkinites and Dittoheads! Now if only you could direct your rage to where it PROPERLY belongs, the President and his cronies, well we'd might actually get something accomplished.

    October 18, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. J, Western North Carolina

    I can see the political commercials now with Starks rant. Libs look unhinged not getting thier way.

    October 18, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Republicans are spending money "to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough … to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

    ~ Pete Stark, Democrat-California


    Pete Stark – you're too vile for even Moveon.Org to find acceptible. I sincerely hope the voters in your district remember your wreckless accusations and choose to fire you at the next election.

    The vote today did not deny children healthcare – schip STILL exists. The vote today simply did not EXPAND the program to the extent you Democrats demanded.

    Washington politics brought to you by the Democratic Party, folks!

    October 18, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. RA Walker, Virginia

    Truth Hurts, at least a politician has the guts to speak what many politicians
    feel and afraid of to say. Fredom of Speech, is Bush going to take it and do what he wants to do and screw the written law of the land as been displayed many times prior.

    October 18, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. Mike, Denver, CO

    There is no justification for Stark's comments – none whatsoever. It's amazing how much these guys hate Bush. They are so hateful that they don't engage the BS filter before they flap their jaws.

    October 18, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Steve, Lyons, CO

    Can't take the truth, hmm, Repubs?

    Here's the facts: Bush has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, he's turned off key portions of the Bill of Rights, he's made a mockery of fair taxation by insisting the rich and corporate don't have to pay, he's wasting how many billions a week on an illegal war started by lies, continued by lies and a colossal failure.

    Yet he vetoed child health care insurance.

    Bush is useless garbage. The lightweight wuss is a puppet of Dick Cheney, who could've given Goebbels a run for his money.

    Your continued support of this loser shows the increasing irrelevance of the Republican right in this country. What fun this all is!

    October 18, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. s

    One of the most insane comments ever!

    October 18, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Seekster, Arlington, TX

    How dare this man say such a thing and on the House floor no less. To accuse our soldiers of blowing up civilians, to suggest that it is all being done for the President's amusement. Stark should be censored at the very least. To do any less is an outrage!

    October 18, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. laurinda,ny

    I guess that Bush's plans are backfiring. Well he'd better get his act together because now the Iraq's voted us OUT, no more military. They want Iran and China to build them power plants. I guess Bush wasted more money on that HUGH embassy he had built. I told you that our troops will be coming home! I Love My Dems!!!

    October 18, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. chili

    he needs to apolegize

    October 18, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. Vote them-GOP-out miami fl

    Good for Mr. Stark!
    The white house is so full of blood that their thinking has been impaired, of course, their attacks will start right now as we write.
    Of course, every republican WHICH voted against the S-CHIP bill and their families enjoy the best Government funded health insurance. Trash, that´s what they are.

    October 18, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    Way to go Rep Stark. Keep brining up the ugly truth.

    October 18, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    Yet another 'Publican hissy fit to distract from the failure of Mr. 24% Popularity (and falling). The GOP need to get relevant, and quit being idiots – their sound and fury signifies nothing.

    And you folks at CNN need to quit allowing them to create "controversies" like this at the drop of a hat. Unless, of course, you're going to give equal time to Rep. King's slur of Hillary Clinton during the same debate?

    Politics ain't beanbag, GOP – man up, already.

    October 18, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. Tim L, Fremont, CA

    He's just telling the truth so of course everyone will bash him. Bush doesn't care one iota about all the deaths in Iraq. This is about securing oil and funding corporations like Blackwater and Haliburton with unlimited no-bid contracts for decades to come.

    October 18, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. M. Stein, Seward, AK

    Stark is probably right. How sad.

    October 18, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. LB, Franklin Lakes, NJ

    I for one am not insulted. The Republicans get all blown out of shape when they're attacked but it's okay to attack a 12 year boy and two year old girl because their parents received help from S-Chip. The Republicans have a new label to lay on people who don't agree with them. It used to be "liberal", now it's "socialist". Ooo.

    What they don't seem to get upset about is how everyone in Congress gets free health care from the government and we know they all make more than $82,000. Let the members of Congress pay their own health care before they vote against or sustain a presidential veto against a bill they would help kids get the care they need.

    After five years of spending billions of dollars on an unnecessary war they now decide to put the hold on spending. Aren't those Republicans just wonderful?

    October 18, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Coach Haughton

    That may be a little overboard.

    October 18, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. Mac, Severn, Md

    Was this guy drunk or what?

    October 18, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. Cynthia Ward Santa Rosa, CA

    I may have not used the word "amusement" however, not sure exactly what word to use since Bush, has so little feeling for or about anyone but himself, his cronies and his greed and being "right" – when he's SO wrong about everything. He lies, cheats and watches families, going to the poor house and he couldn't care less! He's responsible for their losses, under "his watch" and for the death of every service man, woman in Iraq and as someone that does believe in God, the Iraqi's have died in the 100's of thousands, leaving behind orphans often also maimed, emotionally 'just' for their entire lives or physically, maimed as well. God IS watching. It's LOVE that is dead.

    October 18, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. Sternberg, Mauldin, SC

    And I have no respect for an elected official who has to resort to half truths and intentional deceits to support his issue.

    October 18, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Privatized health care and privatized insurance making things better for the poor is absolute rubbish. The only reason the Bush administration is against this is because of the "possibility" of leading people away from privatized insurance. Or in simplified terms: so that all the corporate crooks who run the privatized options can reap the benefits while the people on the bottom have their standard of living decreased even further. The fact that he would veto this legislation is the height of hypocrasy. Rep. Stark concisely made this observation while also highlighting the irony involved with this: the Cheney-Bush administration is more concerned about the corporate profits that they and their CEO buddies will reap from this absolutely horrendous war. Nothing will get better with the Bush presidency...it will only get worse.

    October 18, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. John Chamberlain

    Duncan needs to re-evaluate how Americans define what is insulting to cognative thinking Americans. What is insulting is GOP members who continue to back a war that is based on false intel. The false intel is not in dispute by officials inside both the bush administration, and the pentagon. Can Duncan explain where the insult is really being initiated from, GOP members talk big, but the intellect behind his accusation is weak.

    October 18, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. Lara, Clearwater, FL

    Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan quickly condemned the comments, saying in a statement they are "an insult to every American, Democrat or Republican."

    Duncan can feel insulted all he wants. I happen to agree with Stark's comments.

    October 18, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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