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. Steven, Randolph AFB, TX

    He may respect me, but I no longer respect him. He should appologize to the Soldiers. We are there for a reason and its people like him that lead people to believe we arent.

    October 19, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. Norma Harris, Knoxville, TN

    Regarding Congressman Stark: Hell no, he should not apologize for speaking the truth!

    October 19, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  3. Ben, Baltimore, MD

    Slowly read what this guy is saying and then take a few minutes to think about it.

    Comments like these are ridiculous and quite frankly im ashamed that he has a leadership position in this country.

    He is basically saying that the war exists because Bush has nothing better to do and wanted some action. He then took it farther by stating that he doesnt have any respect for the President.

    I hope the Dims start using their brain, their comments are getting worse and more absurd everyday. Incredible....

    October 19, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  4. Thomas Palmer Deford, Michigan

    Ya for Stark, he is saying what most people are thinking. CNNs pole said 89% of the people poled said not to appologize. I too support out troops,and I am a vet. Ms Pelosi seems to forget, Freedom Of Speech. It is about time someone sticks up for us little people. Bush and the majority of the Federal Government seem to care more for the welfare of other countries over there own people!

    October 19, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  5. Patricia Hunt Savannah, Missouri

    I am in total agreement with Rep. Pete Stark, Democrat from California. Thanks for one who has the backbone to speak his mind and have concern for the "Amaracan" people, as Bush says. Bush and his cohorts have no idea how we common people live. Thank God I am one who has feelings for others and do
    not feel that I am so important that I
    must take the country to hell in a hand-basket as the Republicans today are doing. If Bush is in office long
    enough, I'm afraid his "concern" and love for we Americans will cause him to have us in a nuclear war, just to have his way. God, please help us all.

    October 19, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  6. Robert Cadalso NYC, NY

    Don't you dare apologize, Mr. Stark! Just remember Mr. Cheney's "3" words to Senator Leahy on the Senate floor. Did he apologize? Were the Republicans outraged?

    Bunch of freaking hypocrites.

    October 19, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. Joe Merchant LaGrange Texas

    Thank You Rep Stark, finally a democrat saying what needs to be said and out loud. Lets get tough with the religous right minority that is obviously a facade. Senator Craig and the Duke Cunningham.
    Joe Merchant

    October 19, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Chris Haynes, Winston-Salem, NC

    Mike Duncan, you are incorrect. I am not offended. If you would quit playing politics for one second, you would realize that comments like this come out of frustration for this quagmire. Do something about the quagmire instead of manipulating comments for personal gain.

    October 19, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  9. Jeff, Newark, NJ

    Thank GOD a Democrat finally has the balls to step up and speak the truth!

    October 19, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  10. Denny Brown Huber Heights, Ohio

    We are right now dealing with the flesh eating virus in our schools in and around in Ohio.


    !!YOU GO MR. STARK!!
    Rep. Pete 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." I'm not going crazy..someone else... sees and hears... What Evil These Animals... Are Doing To "WE THE PEOPLE's CHILDREN"
    God Help Us All... AMEN
    Sincerely, Just one who cares

    October 19, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. Justin Beagle, Grand Coulee, WA

    I believe that Mike Duncan does not have the right to label anything an insult to the American people. Sometimes the truth can be insulting. But it's still the TRUTH! Whats an insult to the American people is the George W. Bush is still president. Great comment Pete Stark!

    October 19, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Jim Dolan Belvidere, IL

    Buffoonish statement by a man known for sticking his foot in his mouth. How does this guy remain in office? Is there any way we could ask California to go away and never return? As a side note , I also sent an e-mail directly to the great senators office expressing my concerns over these blatant liberal ramblings, I am sure I'll get the standard auto response from this hard working guy.

    October 19, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Angela, Alexandria, VA

    God Bless this man.

    October 19, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. RightyTighty

    Another liberal buffoon. Nancy and Harry must be so proud...

    October 19, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. Kevin

    If what this guy is saying bugs you, then maybe deep down you believe it could be true? Repub's and chickenhawk Demo's turning this arguement to attempt to say "he doesn't support the troops" is one of those stupid "tells" Americans are catching on to, like like those Terror Alerts from a couple years ago. Meanwhile, the grinder keeps eating American soldiers in Iraq...

    October 19, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. Jim Dolan Belvidere, IL

    My mistake, it is Representative Stark, not Senator.

    October 19, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. Ben, Columbia MO

    I commend Rep. Pete Stark's comments. More Democrats need to stand up and call this war what it is: a farce.
    Thank you for standing up for your own beliefs Mr. Stark.

    October 19, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Hooligan, Everywhere, America

    Remember Osama bin Laden and WMD's?

    We do; and don't let Bush forget about it, either.

    By the way, as Jet-Pilot attended the funeral of a soldier yet?


    Good to see him breaking the tradition, because other than Harrison and Garfield (who both died shortly after taking office), Bush is the only sitting president not to attend the funeral of a soldier who has fallen on his watch.

    Of course, I don't blame him; he might actually be confronted by an average American with an average question for him, and if it's not in his "notes," he has no answer!!!

    Very Presidential!

    October 19, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  19. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    I would substitute "ego" for "amusement" as regards the motivation for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and the other Republican chickenhawks who so studiously avoided serving in Vietnam while callously and cooly sentencing nearly 4,000 of our troops and 1 MILLION Iraqis to horrifically violent deaths in their quest to expand both empire and wealth. Let's impeach Bush and Cheney now before a "convenient" 9-11 or "Gulf of Tonkin incident" is used by them to fan knee jerk "patriotism" into our wanting as a people to attack Iran, which, like Iraq, ALSO sits atop a LOT of oil. End this illegal and immoral war NOW.

    October 19, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  20. r sisk, nevada

    Mr. Stark has just become my favorite California congressman. It is time to start speaking out against this joke of a president and his failing policies. The GOP "brown nosers" who continually stand behind this loser have no conscience. They are neither listening to their constituents or the general public. How can that be?

    I am fearful of what may happen in the last months of Bush's presidency. God Help us.

    October 19, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. Fred Hermans, Neshanic Station, NJ

    This is yet another example of the Hatred the so-called democratic party has for our President and Commander And Chief.

    The good people of California deserve better representation that this out-of-control hate monger can ever provide.

    Shame on all the Democrats who do not speak out against this type of behavior from a elected official on the house floor!

    October 19, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. HomeoftheBrave

    Yes Stark, and we now share that same contempt for you too.
    Oh btw..., don't expect much in the way of bipartianship on any of your issues.

    October 19, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Matt, Chicago

    finally, a D-congressman with "a pair."
    I guess GOP don't like it when the other side speaks the truth in straight-forward language. (See Al Gore.) Stark is right on.

    October 19, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. Leon Ubly Michigan

    Stark represents all that is wrong in Washington today. I believe he is STARK REVING MAD.

    October 19, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    In Iraq an action of Arrest, and currently the follow-up.
    When arresting criminals in a Nation, are there ever enforcement officers shot; should criminals be allowed to just be because of this fact that enforcement officers do get wounded.

    October 19, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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