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. Jack Culpeper Virginia

    Given that he also says that Bush keeps our troops in Iraq to "blow up innocent people," I must seriously question his "respect" for those of us who are fighting the war.

    October 19, 2007 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  2. Greg Hill, Tecumseh, MI

    Finally!!! A Democrat with balls!

    October 19, 2007 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  3. patj

    Thank you Rep Stark. It's about time someone told it like it is.

    October 19, 2007 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  4. Ellen Lawson

    I support every word said by Mr. Stark and, rather than Democratic leaders condemning what he said, they need to put their money where their mouths are and immediately CEASE kowtowin to the current White House occupant. They are in the process of totally blowing the support they got to retrieve the Congress. They are just disgusting – the people want ACTION, not more caving in to Bush.

    October 19, 2007 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  5. Jim Middleton, Battle Creek MI

    Mr Stark speaks for many citizens who are fed up with the simian inhabitant of the White House and his use of our troops as political fodder. Should he apologize? No, hell no.

    October 19, 2007 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  6. Robert, Houston, TX

    Go Stark! It's time someone up there told it like it is. Republicans need to put up or shut up. What's with all the retiring? They want to send our Americans to Iraq to die then retire to wash their hands clean of their mess? THAT Mr. Duncan is an insult to every American.

    October 19, 2007 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  7. Melissa Schneider Bellefontaine Ohio

    I think Mr Stark is a prime example of a politician trying to get re elected. He is so completly off base. If he took time to actually read the bill he is talking about he would understand it is NOT about health care for children. As for his comments about our soldiers, I believe he is the most disrespectful person I have seen for quite awhile. The brave men and women fighting our war made the decision to do so. Their honor and courage is only diminished by his disgraceful behavior. Mr Stark should be ashamed of himself.

    October 19, 2007 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  8. Tarryl Nunn East moline Illlinois

    why cant we get this type of passion towards ending this strategical war by all in congress, Its just crazy you could spend so much money towards a war but when it comes to the health of the future generation thats going to inherit this war you say no thats to much money. rep. starks you owe no apology.

    October 19, 2007 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  9. Pete, Dayton, OH

    Kind of like a swift boat attack–only with truth!

    October 19, 2007 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  10. Gravy, Charleston, SC

    Since when do Americans have to apologize for telling the truth? It’s about time we stopped listening to Bush's stuttering sentence fragments and hold him accountable for his actions. I am embarrassed everyday I wake up and find Bush still in office.

    October 19, 2007 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  11. Randy Kirchberg Walworth WI

    I hate to see so much division aired in public, but I do not believe he owes Mr Bush an apology. Mr. Stark was right on target. He was just voicing what so many of us are thinking.

    October 19, 2007 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  12. Steve, Annapolis, MD

    Wow! The left has gone completely over the edge. This man needs serious help as does the Democratic Party as a whole.

    October 19, 2007 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  13. Nick Pisani, Albany, Oregon

    Three cheers for Rep. Pete Stark. We have free speech in this country! Pres.Clinton was almost impeached for lying about his zipper. But it is ok for this idiot in Washington to kill 1000's of our young men (without proper body armor)in Iraq over "weapons" which never materized. Lets face it. Bush is sending our young men to die to avenge his daddy's unfinished war in Iraq!

    October 19, 2007 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  14. Don Rufty, Concord, NC

    Pete Stark should be commended for his courage in speaking up for our troops, not condemned.

    October 19, 2007 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  15. Wendy, Orlando

    He spoke the truth -is that the story.? That someone in Congress actually stood up and spoke the truth without thinking, "Oh my, how will this play in the media? How will this affect my run for office?" Congress has become a joke. It's like the "Emperor Has No Clothes Story." Their lack of action is destroying our country -no action on health care, education, lobbying reform, or ending the war. Good for you, Congressman Stark! Don't apologize, speak out more and encourage others to do the same. Our political system is a disaster that is hurting every American -we need the truth and people with the courage to speak out. A standing ovation from me for your truthful words Rep Stark!!!!

    October 19, 2007 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  16. Marc, Hudson, FL

    Pete Stark is wrong to suggest troops are dying in Iraq for Bush's amusement. He should have more correctly stated that Bush continues to defend his war policies so the fat contracts wont run dry for his business buddies. Let's not forget Blackwater, Halliburton, and others cashing in on Iraq.

    The Bush Administration destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan with our tax dollars, now we are paying Bushee corporate friends with our tax dollars to rebuild those countries. This is not a new tactic relating to our efforts in many countries, just a little more visible with this administration. Isn't that what's really going on here. After all, what are a few American lives sacrificed for corporate health. We should redesign the flag and sew on the stripes a large dollar sign. MJY

    October 19, 2007 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  17. Z.R. Higgs, Thomasville North Carolina

    I feel it is past time that a government official spoke up for the people and our troops against this seemingly endless war and redirected our focus on issues closer to home like our youth and their health care issues.

    October 19, 2007 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  18. Rory Chapman, San Antonio TX

    We expect our congressmen to smartly run the country, not to acutely attack their collegues. Congressman Stark is aiding and abetting the enemy abroad by lobbing verbal bashes akin to a schoolyard child. The lack professionalism in Congress adds has as much to do with our failures in policy as any action taken by executive branch. As a nation, we take great pride in our separations of power. Lobbing political bombs against this separation is not the way to go. Congressmen should understand the nation is not in favor of their childlike behavior. As they spew hate and venom against the country's elected officials, their poll numbers plummet faster than the dollar. We need your help congressmen, not your bad behavior.

    Respectfully,
    United States Citizen

    October 19, 2007 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  19. Moe Redding, Ca

    It sounds like Mr Stark is as frustrated with Bush's war spending frenzy as the rest of us and the fact that he is completely ignoring what the real crisis is in this country. I see many families struggling with their medical bills even with both parents working. I dont think he needs to apologize,because he's had enough of Bush's B.S. just like us.

    October 19, 2007 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  20. Marlene` Lukacisnky, Swoyersville, Pennsylvania

    If the news media are constantly dissecting what politicians say and asking the public to vote on only certain parts of what is being said. Then where does our constitutional right of "FREEDOM OF SPEACH" enter into this picture? You should do what is expected from the media, present the news as it is happening. Not dissect and give your take on what is happening. The viewers can listen, look and feel and decide for themselves. We are Homo sapiens.

    October 19, 2007 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  21. B. Lawrence, Lufkin, Texas

    the TRUTH is not always pretty, is it? Certainly no need for an apology from Mr. Stark for speaking out when it is vitally needed, and when the innocents (US soldiers) most need an honest spokesperson at home!!!

    October 19, 2007 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  22. Patrick, Minneapolis, MN

    Well, it's about time a Democrat stands up against the Republicans policies which do not represent where the American people want the country to head, only where the Republican policymakers/spinmachine want to head. Don't back down in the face of pandering attack comments by Republicans such as "an insult to every American", these comments are only meant to shut down any move by the Democrats to condemn the Republicans for not listening to the American majority. Good for you, Stark.

    October 19, 2007 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  23. Jerry

    I am glad that someone is finally telling the vivid truth about this president.

    October 19, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  24. bret, atl, ga

    He's got a valid point. Everybody likes to get real upset when they hear something like this, without taking the time to think about WHY it makes them upset. Could it be, because there is a grain of truth to it?

    CF Ron Paul. QED.

    October 19, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  25. Rebecca Kane, Richmond, Texas

    I do not think Senator Stark should apologize for his comments. It is time to get tough about the war in Iraq!

    October 19, 2007 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
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