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. ken schwab, Springfield, mo

    Representative Stark should apologies for his comments. This type of retoric is sypmtematic of the disrespect of many democrats for the office of president.

    October 19, 2007 07:28 am at 7:28 am |

    Good Morning CNN. This is about the first time someone has told the real feeling about how most USA feels. MY GOD NO THE FACT IS THE FACT. Why don't he send those twins over there and then he will see the lost, hurt, and pain we all feel. TAKE CARE OF HOME FIRST.

    October 19, 2007 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  3. Sal, Kapaa, HI

    As far as I'm concerned there is just one party in America and is called "Demoblicans". They are both the same and it's the reason why nothing gets done in Washington. I support Mr. Stark for having the guts to say the true. I would say this to Congress; " Take care of the American children and bring our troops back from Iraq!!!

    October 19, 2007 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  4. Pablo, Shippensburg, PA

    Finally, we hear plain, and truthful, talk in congress.
    Some Democrats are growing a backbone and speaking truth to power.
    Congratulations congresman.

    October 19, 2007 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  5. H. Talbert, Charlotte, NC

    Thank God, someone finally stood up and told the truth!

    October 19, 2007 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  6. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    Finally, as inactive military member, I pretty agree what he said considering what I had to deal with and all the information that we now know about the this administration. Wake up people! He should not say sorry at all! Someone needs to stand up to these neocons! Also, I didn't Mike Duncan spoke for all Americans considering more than 70% oppose this fiasco, there I said it. ITS IS TRUE!

    October 19, 2007 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  7. Carole & Vito Mascari, Glen Burnie, Maryland

    Starks words were harsh but to most of the concerned American citizens, they hit the nail right on the head! The president is acting more and more like a dictator. He and the vice president should be impeached for putting the USA in harms way, and sending so many of our young people to their death!

    October 19, 2007 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  8. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    corrected version, sorry its early.

    Finally, as inactive military member, I agree with what he said considering what I had to deal with and all the information that we now know about the this administration. Wake up people! He should not say sorry at all! Someone needs to stand up to these neocons! Also, I didn't know Mike Duncan spoke for all Americans considering more than 70% oppose this fiasco, there I said it. ITS IS TRUE!

    October 19, 2007 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  9. David, Stafford, VA

    How to win friends and influence people? The continued name calling and insults from both sides only serve to widen the gap for any chance of a meaningful solution to ANY issue. Apparently he's lost the power of persuasion.

    October 19, 2007 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  10. Charles Poston Bedford, TX

    Give'em hell Pete!

    October 19, 2007 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  11. Susan Dimmett, Marietta, Georgia

    I agree with Rep. Peter Stark and I don't think he owes anyone an apology for standing up for children and soldiers.

    October 19, 2007 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  12. Peter

    If only more of our senators and representatives were brave enough to stand up and speak out like Rep. Stark.

    October 19, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  13. Benny G. Seals, US Army Retired, Grant, Alabama

    This "jerk" should resign. It is a shame that he can breathe the same air as a good soldier. Probably never spent a day in the military, and uses emotionalism by calling our soldiers baby killers....another Jane Fonda and John Kerry "wannabe".

    October 19, 2007 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  14. Jason, Roscommon, Mi

    I actualy agree with the Senator. What ever happened to the times when our leaders led their troops into battle. It is way to easy to let other people die for your ideals. We should be focusing on the problems here at home such as helath care and infrastructure instead of tombstones and artificial appendages.

    October 19, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  15. Allan Moss, York, SC

    Representative Stark certainly has a right to his opinion, which is no more valid than mine. For example, I believe the modern Democrat party is rooted in Marxism and seeks to circumvent the Constitution in order to power grab. I see that every single effort made by Democrats is designed to centralize power by growing gov programs and generating checks that make citizens dependent on the gov dole, make citizens beholding to the government so as to garner their vote. I see America moving to a USSR Soviet style country under the leadership of Democrats. I see Democrats as dangerous nutballs, like Stark. They display the willingness to be overly aggressive in their actions and rediculous in their ideas. Would my comments require an apology if I were an elected official?

    October 19, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  16. Ben, Minden NV

    Thank you congressman for speaking out.

    October 19, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  17. Lorraine Jester, Tappahannock, Virginia

    For Rep. Pete Stark to smooth the ruffled feathers of the republican chickenhawks by apologizing for his remarks should not be condemned, but applauded.

    October 19, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  18. Ross Meriden, CT

    What is unacceptable is a broken health care system. Broken for what might be considered 8-10 yrs or more. Maybe Hillery had the right idea as first lady.
    What is unacceptable is a broken Social Security system. Broken for more yrs than I can count. Workers who pay in shouldn't have to work longer or take less at the same age of retirement. That is unacceptable.

    October 19, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  19. Diane Wedler, Vienna, VA

    How dare you Stark! How about a little respect for the highest office in our country? You owe this proud American citizen an apology as well!

    October 19, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  20. Marigold Marsh, Cambridge, Ohio

    I totally aggree with the Congressman's remarks, and applaud him for his courage in speaking for the American people.

    October 19, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  21. George

    Mr Pete Stark is oviously right. Every American patriot knows that. It's only matter of time, I believe ,G.W.Bush and part of the Republican Congress will be brought to justice for a crimes against our country and the crimes against humanity. I believe Bush should be impeached before he got to the office.Nobody from Bush's family should be ever allow to serve any public office. We people of America must save our country from a total destruction. It's our patriotic duty, unless you're a traitor.

    October 19, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. gale maxwell, keota ok

    He is correct as hell, why does voters deny anything truthful about joke bush as anti american/ bush is as anti american as anyone I can remember and i am 64 yr. old. voters be honest, look at the facts, he has lied about everything from purging voter rollis in Fl., swift boat details, National Guard enlistment,duties and time served, WMD's, Oh yes he does not want to bail out the sub-prime lenders,says not Govt. job, does anybody remember SILVERADO SAVING AND LOAN, WHAT WAS THAT GUY'S NAME? WAS IT BUSH? WHY DON'T WE HEAR MORE ABOUT HIM.
    hang in Rep. Stark

    October 19, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  23. brandon, charlotte, NC

    Pete Stark is 100% correct. The GOP will whine and cry foul, but that does not make it any less true.

    October 19, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  24. Tony, Ashburn VA

    Rep. Pete Stark is totally right, we spent over 600 billion in 4 years based on lies, and anybody criticize Bush the Republicans try to twisted to say that they criticize the troop, and the right wing media(CNN) pick on the that and keep repeating it.

    October 19, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  25. Rob Williams, Ft. White Fl

    Three cheers for Rep. Stark telling the truth about Bushie's spending habits and his lack of concern over human life.

    October 19, 2007 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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