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. flagship, Hartford, Connecticut

    I agree:
    ...This is the type of guy I want as President! STARK FOR PRESIDENT! I don't need someone pandering to what's politically correct or what the moral majority thinks is "acceptable." I need someone to tell me the truth in no uncertain terms and let the chips fall where they may.

    October 19, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. Matt, Reading PA

    David from Arlington:

    You're missing the point. No one said the members of Congress cannot yell and scream at each other over a particular issue, much like they do in the Parliament, but to claim that the President is "Amused" by the killing of our soldiers is absurd..do you really believe that Bush has a little chuckle to himself each time he hears of another soldier killed? these comments are over the top in a time of war.. the fight is between us and the terrorists, not us vs. bush!!

    October 19, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Allen Osborn, Redlands, CA

    Like some cheese with that whine Mr. Duncan?

    October 19, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Beatrice, New Rochelle, NY

    Mr. Stark speaks the truth. If the chickenhawk Republican pissants can't handle it – too bad.

    October 19, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. matt, coppell, tx

    Stark is absolutely right! and Mike Duncan needs to look in the mirror and see that it is him, and his party and his support of the presidents failed policy in iraq that is an insult to every american.

    The GOP is the biggest bunch of closet case hypocrites i have ever had the displeasure of sharing a country with.

    October 19, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Gene Crouch Wedowee, Alabama

    Pete Stark was way out of line with his comments. I find it hard to believe he has not apoligized and even harder to believe the democartic party has not stepped in and asked for his apology. This demonstrates the character of both this man and the democratic party leadership.

    October 19, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Dave in Indy

    I support everything he said. It's true, we can't afford a childs health care but we can afford to pay for a senseless war?

    Our Govt needs to get it's priorities straight.

    October 19, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Brian Wessels Rohnert Park, CA

    Well said Pete, couldn't agree more! Bush should run for president of Iraq since he seems to love the place so much. Bringing democracy to Iraq is just a modern day version of missionaries bringing Jesus to the poor savages. Before we build other nations, we better fix our own!

    October 19, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Gary, Dallas, OR

    GOOD for Rep. Stark !
    Since Bush avoided his military duties
    during the time I was crawling and
    slogging through the Mekong Delta, he
    has never been in combat. Had he been,
    I doubt he would have sent our soldiers
    into this no-win situation in Iraq.
    We should have gone after Bin Laden in
    Afghanistan and not wasted lives and money on Bush's Iraq fiasco.
    Too bad the rest of the Dems don't have
    the guts to stand up and stop funding for this war !!

    Combat Vet
    9th Inf Div
    Vietnam, '68-'69

    October 19, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Max, Boston, MA

    I'm an American that is not insulted.

    I'm more insulted by being told that I'm supposed to be offended when someone is saying what he really believes.

    October 19, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Jim Sanchez, Canoga Park, CA

    May be Stark's comments are little too harsh. But, afterall Stark is a true patriot who has the same feelings of frustration when nothing is get done by the obstructionist republicans and Bush's adamant policies. Mr. Stark or Pelosy should never oppologize. This is exactly what a true patriot feel about Bush

    October 19, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. David John-Szith

    I strongly support the congressman, Hon. Pete Stark's statement and he should not under any circumstances appologise to the heartless hypocritical republicans who claim to be the rightous, but they do not know why Our LORD JESUS CHRIST came to die for mankind. To me voting against Insurance bill for children whiles voting for war to go and kill innocent Iraqian people is one of the most heinous thing people of any integrity can do to mankind. I hope, comes the November 2008 Election day, christians who are the true followers of christians and do understand Our LORD compassion for mankind and will vote their christian conscience and vote these hypocritical pharases out of congrsess.

    October 19, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Jimmy, Chatfield, OH

    These comments are amusing. I am sick and tired of people being sick and tired of comments. People who don't like someone speaking their mind are Un-American. Publicity is for kids

    October 19, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. James, Phoenix AZ

    CNN Moderator,

    Your Ticker is a joke!

    You care little that idiots (like fake-james, Phoenix) post repeatedly to simply disrupt the authenticity of your blog.

    You take HOURS to update comments. You randomly delete comments without any seemingly consistency of WHY.

    You take a small poll of 1212 people and spin 7-8 articles – defining how the "American People" feel.

    No worries... I don't expect you to post this – and if you DID have the courage to allow participants to call-out your failing effort.. I won't expect to see it before Saturday, 10/20.

    October 19, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Robert, Columbus Ohio

    I completely agree with Sen. Stark's comments on Bush.Not only he is right,but he should also get a medal of bravary for standing up for our American soldiers who are dying for Bush's stupidity.of course the Republican party officials are going to make a lot of noise, however; they even know deep down that Bush should be prosecuted for war crimes.

    October 19, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Angela, Alexandria, VA

    You people need help! Bush started a WAR based on a LIE. Because of him thousands of our soldiers are dead. Because of him Iraq is a terrible mess, to the point where a little girl gets her head cutt off, and a dog's head is SOWN onto her body and delivered to her family's, yet STARK is the bad guy here for speaking the truth!?!? No wonder the EU and Canada are starting to do better than us! The day Bush was elected was the day the downfall of the US started.

    October 19, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Mo, NY, NY

    If there were more people like him, who stood for the truth, we wouldn't be in this Iraq mess to begin with.

    October 19, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Bob

    How can any of you support this disgusting comment? Your illogical hatred of Bush is really clouding your judgement. My only hope is that most of you are 19 year old college students who dont know any better or 55 year old hippies who still think you are at Woodstock. No serious, intelligent person would condone this speech.

    October 19, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Danny Casolaro Martinsburg, WV

    How dare this man say these things?

    He should be put in jail for saying these things.
    War is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to the human race. We need more war, not less. Global capitalism cannot survive without finding new markets and new resources, and the only way to do that is more war. More war means more prosperity for those who win.
    And in America, we always win.
    The president is not amused by war, Mr. Stark. He is aware of how serious a business war is. He has one eye on the shareholders' and one eye on the board of directors at all times. It is not amusing for the president to see his stock go down. He must protect his assets and the assets of his fellow investors. The war must be continued at all costs.
    Mr. Stark belongs in jail with everyone else who disagrees even remotely with the president and this administration. Because this is America, land of the free!

    October 19, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Trevor, Austin, TX

    As an Army veteran with two tours in Iraq, I believe that his comments are an insult both to the American military and the the office of the President. I believe that both sides of the political fence have become little more that children calling each other names without really caring about the issues anymore.

    October 19, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Tom, Dayton, OH

    We should just call the democrats communists instead, but that would be an insult to the communists. Individuals such as Stark are A+ nutjobs.

    October 19, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. Sandi Tanco, Auburn, WA

    Anyone who saw "Our President" giggling about starting World War III the other day can definitely see that while Bush & Co. are in Iraq for the oil, he's finding amusement at the same time. Stark is 100% right. It's time to impeach our psychopath-in-office.

    October 19, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Tim, McLean, VA

    Good for him. This President is a joke. Wake me up when the nightmare is over.

    October 19, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Frank

    For those people commending Stark for saying this, you actually think that President Bush is amused by our soldiers being killed???? If you do, seek help now!

    October 19, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. L. Hawkins - Hartsville, SC 29550

    This person speaks the truth, if you don't like it, then don't read it. I had no idea there were so many stupid people in the US, to continue to believe the crap the Bush/Cheney cabal is inflicting on this nation. People you need to rise up, get the matts out of you eyes and look around. It will to late when bombs fall on American soil. Ignorance and stupidity make me sick. How can someone continue to believe in this administration considering what's happening. This is why we are in the mess we're in, it's dumb people that turn their heads. But; that's a republican for you. Will not, cannot not admit it when you're wrong. And you were about this entire administration. GET OVER IT.

    October 19, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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