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. wufpakmom, Chicago, IL

    Bravo, Representative Stark. Far from owing an apology to anyone, you should be commended for having the courage to speak an uncomfortable, inconvenient truth. If anyone doubts the veracity of Rep Stark's remarks, try to recall the smirk on the face of the Commander in Chief of our armed forces as he intimated, during his recent press conference, the advent of WWIII. Oh, yes, he was absolutely giddy over the prospect of starting (yet another!) pretextual, unnecessary war. Further, by refusing to respect the checks and balances embedded in our Constitution, blurring the lines of separation of powers and indeed, abusing the authority of his office, the President is not worthy of respect. He has disgraced the office he holds. He diminishes us all.

    October 19, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. Henry Tucker, Ga

    To all defending Pete Stark and agreeing with his outrageous comments:

    THIS shall be the new level of acceptance for political rhetoric?

    Great! I can't wait until that angry lesbian, Hillary, gets the nomination and American is reminded how she "stood by her man" against the cries of sexually assualted women! Anything which interfers with this power-hungry witch and the next rung on the ladder is "Fosterized".

    October 19, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Randi, Cedar Rapids, IA

    They are dying because of the Israeli lackeys we have in our political system. they wiill be still dying under a Hillary administration.

    October 19, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Jerry Dembski Belleville Wisconsin.

    The ONLY thing bush cares about is HIS war and the profits HIS buddies can make off of it. The Bush crime family cares as much about life as John Gotti. Applause for Rep. Stark!!

    October 19, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Jennifer, Shepherdstown WV

    ok, you know, i have no respect for the president nor any of his cronies and yes men. but i really do not think that bush is watching iraq war footage and chuckling.

    October 19, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Mophalen, Chicago, IL

    Pete Stark is absolutely correct. Bush himself said he wanted to be a "war president". He lied us into this war and our troops are dying for nothing. Read Justin Frank's book "Bush On The Couch" and you will see for yourself that it more than likely is "for his amusement". Bush is a sociopath and a sadist. He tortured small animals when he was young and felt great pleasure when he would brand his fellow fratboys. Wake up, he does not care about the American people. Remember, he calls the "haves and have-mores his base".

    October 19, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Doug, New Jersey

    On September 11th, 2001 I would have never believed you that a majority of liberal democrats in 2007 would be illogical, hateful, dishonest and completely against this nation as they are today.

    Check the net, the only people who are actually happy to hear about our soldier getting killed are liberal democrats. They would really get happy if we had another attack in this country. It really is the biggest downfall of the Bush presidency, not that he has had anything directly to do with it, but it is sad that so many people who have so much to thank this nation for, will hate against it and wish for negative things to happen to it, just so they can go on their little lie ridden, hate-based Bush bashing rants.

    October 19, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Pringle, Pennsylvania

    I completely agree with the fellow who said, "And I have no respect for an elected official who has to resort to half truths and intentional deceits to support his issue."

    That's exact what got us into Iraq in the first place – that and shameless exploitation of the 9/11 victims.

    October 19, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. RightyTighty

    Americans getting killed for the president's amusement? And you wonder why political discussion has become so rancorous in this country?

    The problem is that Stark isn't the only one who feels that way. It's just that his saying it gives the go-ahead to the other marginalized loony Americans, often posting on CNN, center stage with the same such hate.

    What is wrong with California? How can they continue to send foot-in-mouth, STARK RAVING MAD, buffoons to debate the country's security issues in Congress? I fear for America's future..

    October 19, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Joel Edinburg,Gilford, NH

    There are 2 issues....SCHIP and Stark's comments. Re: SCHIP, the Republicans are only compassionate to their cronies.

    Re: Stark's comments....when the administration apologizes for lying to the American people re: the whole Iraq thing, then Stark should apologize. When the Republicans apologize for swift-boating, jamming phone lines, etc...then Stark should apologize.

    October 19, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. Bill Danville Virginia

    If Bush were a CEO he would have been fired years ago, when it became apparent that the families of, and, the brave Americans fighting and dying in Iraq, were suffering due to HIS war.
    In actuality what he has done is far more an impeachable offense than cheating on your wife in a government office.
    And right wingers, get a grip, it's not just liberals that realize this war is a huge mistake, it's EVERYONE, except you!

    October 19, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Ann - Emporia, KS

    Rep. Stark's comments were blunt and unvarnished by the "political correctness" and caution that has stunted our objectivity and honesty during recent years. Before you blast him for having the guts to say what we've all thought, answer this question: WHO was Stark defending in his comments?

    October 19, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Alexander H


    Listen to the whining cry babies of the GOP. The Republicans are such cowards they can't even listen to accurate criticism without crying alligator tears. Well done Stark, keep the babies crying.

    October 19, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Renardo, Alexandria, VA

    To DS from FT Knox, as a 10 yr vet and gulf war vet I will agree this has gone on far too long, but I will disagree with you on the veto of the health care bill, based on the reasoning the President gave for the veto, he said that it would have middle class people giving up there health insurance to get government insurance, now that is utterly rediculous. As far as the cost 35-50 billion over 10 yrs, we spending billions in Iraq with the total to reach 1.2 trillion over the next few years, you are also right as a parent if you can't afford the basic needs for your kids don't have them. But there is nothing wrong with our/my tax dollars paying for health care for the children of America, I'd rather do that then spend another dime paying for the war in Iraq. What ever happened with Bush's words when he started this war"Iraq oil revenue will pay for this war, not the american taxpayer"

    October 19, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Wilson, Palo Alto, CA

    Stark is my new hero. Way to go congressman.

    October 19, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Dale, Oak Park MI

    I will never understand how people can equate criticizing the administration with being a traitor. That is a far reaching notion that smells of blind patriotism. Simple minds are easily led off of a bridge.

    I'm sorry but I have to say it. I think most of the people here at home that are criticizing the administration are the ones that are actually standing up for our country.

    October 19, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Steve, Barstow,Ca

    People have a constitutional right to speak freely,If our president doesn't like those comments by the Congressman he should openly discuss them with Mr. Stark.
    For the many citizens that do not know the dangers of wars, look to your child that have fought them and if you think they get their due? Then you can back the President, however if you know the truth.You'll agree with MR. Stark, no one is getting their due. Just ask a vet.

    October 19, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. Outspoken, Omaha, NE

    Way to Go!!!!!!
    I am not a republican, but I think no matter what group your in you should speak the truth and not be afraid of who may not like it, no matter who it is. I didn't think there were any politicians that had a back bone to stick up and speak the truth anymore!!
    I am very torn on this issue. I don't think we belong there, but since my brother recently died there, I don't want his death to be meaningless by not winning. I don't think we should have gone there in the first place. If were fighting the war on terrorism, we should have lined our boarders with our troops to defend our own land and told anyone against us to "Bring It On".

    October 19, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Pam J., Gary, IN

    Example of Bush's amusement: Remember when Bush spoke to the our US soldiers recently? He told our enemies to, "Bring it on!" I bet he really got a kick out of saying that! As a result, 28 US soldiers were killed that weekend. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And, why has Bush always got that stupid grin, or smirk on his face? Even when he's not talking about Iraq, he should not be grinning and smirking. It's a time of war, not a time for fun and games. It appears that he is the only one enjoying our involvement in this war.

    October 19, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Peoples, hollywood CA

    The Democratic Party and The Democratic Congress are like MUNCHKINS in the LAND of MUDGE, where the COWARDLY LIONS in the Democratic Congress are all wearing MAGIC PINK SLIPPERS which they click to have themselves absolved from the Peoples business everytime the MASTERS in the repuKKKan Party burp.

    October 19, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Kate, Aurora CO

    Maybe his wording was harsh but I am so thankful that someone finally said what the majority of Americans are thinking. Only 30% or less of this country support this President and even less support this illegal occupation of Iraq. The Repulican party has always been one of irony ex; against abortion but for the death penalty. Now they want to deny insurance benefits for children who may one day enlist. Then again after the deceit and lies of this Administration what parent would want or allow their children to enlist ever again?

    October 19, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Larry, Santa Rosa, Ca

    What kind of idiot would say something like that? What kind of "loyal" American would agree with what he's said? Whether or not one agrees with the war, for an elected official to give a visual on how some of our comrades lost their lives is truly the greatest disrespect of all. Semper Fi!

    October 19, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. deebee, clearwater florida

    It's another sad day for the country. The two parties are so divided that ordinary debating cannot take place. There seems to be no middle ground.

    October 19, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Ed, San Pedro CA

    The truth will set you free. Try it Republicans. Where did your poll go CNN? The people were speaking. Wasn't the President amused when they laughed at his funny joke about finding weapons of mass destruction. Or his record breaking days on vacation during a time of war. He is certainly amused by the prospect of helping oil friends and war profiteers. When he's out of office he will be well taken care of by a small group that has benefited by his war. That's amusing.

    October 19, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Eduardo, Los Angeles, CA

    Wonder what Rep Stark would "really" do if he were the Commander-in-Chief. Everyone wants our brave soldiers back from Iraq but doing so is not the only solution to the conflict in that country and/or region. What does Rep. Stark (and our Presidential candidates) propose besides bringing our soldiers home to bring a solution and peace to the volatile region?

    It's all about getting elected...one thing doing so, another while in office. Politics!

    October 19, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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