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. Michael New London Connecticut

    RIGHT ON!!! Tell me again how many chidren, brothers or sisters of Republican ChickenHawks are serving in Iraq??? Would it be zero or none? The Bush administration is top to bottom a bunch of draft dodging rat weasels. Too bad we don't live in the days when you could call a coward out to duel....there wouldn't be a person left alive in the Bush Camp. I suggest that the Republicans shut up or put up...send your kids to Iraq if you believe in this war. One thing you can be sure of...this war wasn't about cheap oil!

    October 18, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Mike Duncan, RNC Chairman and pinnacle of respect and honor in the political system today. Yeah Right...

    I get really tired of hearing this man complain when people are caught saying the truth! The Armed Forces are over there in Iraq at the "Pleasure of the President". Call it amusement or whatever. He is the person pulling the strings and the rest of American is not "amused" with this mess George Bush has wrought and continues to push. It's time the republicans learned the truth that this isn't funny anymore.

    Telling it like I see it,

    October 18, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Pam Dallas TX

    Bush didn't atart this war for his amusement. It was pure vanity and ego.

    October 18, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Edward, Easton, PA

    Good for him. It is the utmost hippocrisy for Republicans to get all hot and bothered by a comment like this, when the Bush Admin. lied to the American people and cooked the books for war, killing over 3000 Americans, with nothing from the Repub. Nat. Comm. about that.....Screw them...

    October 18, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. Tom Soppe, Portland, OR

    A congressman telling the truth about what the Bushies are really like, when the mainstream media never does. This is news.

    I'm sure he'll be attacked over and over by the pundits while they purposefully ignore all the bad things Republicans are doing. And they'll find some "nice" Democrats to talk as the token Democrats on the subject too, who will say they want to be "bipartisan" and not say "mean" things like this. Whatever. I'm glad someone's finally telling the not-so-nice truth about this awful president and his awful war.

    October 18, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. Connie, Tn.

    And "the truth shall set you free". Guess that doesn't work all the time.

    October 18, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. Thunderchild Flint, MI

    Truth hurts. Dosen't it Republiscum Dunkass?

    October 18, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. M. Saunders, Phoenix, AZ

    I do not think that Representative Stark's commentary is totally out of order, RNC chair Duncan's retort notwithstanding. Thought it may not be for his amusement per se, it is certain that it satisfies his pathetic ego and desire to be some sort of emperor. It also will enhance his bank account now that Hunt Oil wants to drill up North in Kurdish territory !
    We had no justifiable rationale – legal or otherwise – to engage in this mess and the RNC continues to defend this posture in spite of the huge amount of funds siphoned off from domestic issues to pay for it. So if not amusement, then what ?

    October 18, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  9. Kim, Peabody MA

    “Soldiers dying for Bush’s 'amusement'”?

    What an irresponsible statement coming from a party that has put our TROOPS at risk by alienating one of our most strategic allies – TURKEY.

    Check out: http://www.grassoforpresident.com/site/Viewer.aspx?iid=11945&mname=Article&rpid=3861

    By the way SENATOR, remember the “TREASON LAWS” ?? When “CODE PINK” traveled to Iraq and gave $600,000 to the families of terrorist insurgents who kill U.S. troops, had defaced and vandalized the U.S. Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley. And you DID NOTHING!

    You make theatrical speeches of blame when you also hold full responsibility for the end results. We need a President that will hold accountable these Rogue Partisan leaders who are protected behind the party name.

    We need a leader like Pete Grasso for President in 2008 - http://www.GrassoForPresident.com

    October 18, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Greg Roswell, GA

    Another dingbat politician making stupid statements on his pedestal so all can hear him. Not much differesnt from many others.

    October 18, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. Daniel, San Luis Obispo

    I really hate listening to the Dems placate us about "the children" when they keep trying to shove big government health care down our throuts. Ever call 911 in England? The ambulance comes in the morning.

    October 18, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  12. Karim, Irvine CA

    We should all support our troops the best way we can, and that's to bring them home. Enough is enough.

    We need to spend money on our own internal affairs, such as healthcare.

    That superbug mind you doesn't discriminate, Republicans or Democrates. Neither does rape, gang shootings or the lack of help where it is needed.

    October 18, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  13. Randy T, Lewisville, TX

    "Americans are dying in Iraq for President Bush's amusement."

    Well all the other reasons the Republicans and their president have given for this war have turned out to be lies. What is left?

    If it is not true, prove it and get our troops home – NOW.

    October 18, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. Paul, Kissimmee Fl

    How in the hell does this guy get away with this? The President's amusement? All we do is blow up innocent people? My big brother was over there and this guy is going to disgrace him and his fellow vets? I'm embarrased that this guy is in the United States. I'm sure his favorite color is the American flag burning upside down.

    October 18, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. jim harrigan, Redondo Beach, California

    Stark's comments weren't an insult to me...what's Duncan talking about?

    October 18, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. Domenick Long Island

    so True

    October 18, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  17. D. Endo, Honolulu HI

    Sounds to me that Rep. Stark is speaking the truth. The first thing the Republicans always do is to try to spin doctor the truth. The truth is that Republicans are "pro-life" until the fetus is born, then they forget about them. They deny the poor living decent health care, the vote for war to send the poor living to go and die. It sure as hell is not the rich living that are dying.

    Our soldiers are dying for Bush's amusement. So he can play being a "war president" and strut around in his cod piece and flight suit playing soldier. What happened to "combat operations are ended?" Right on Rep. Stark, keep speaking truth to power!!!

    October 18, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. Scy, Dalla, TX.

    He is correct. It's all for Bush's amusement and oil. And the cowardly Dems, except for a VERY few, are complicit in these crimes. Fortunately, some do stand tall from time to time against these criminals that have completely ruined a once great nation.

    October 18, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. KP, Virginia

    Sometimes, I really do question whether Democrats do "wish [the soldiers] the very best." It seems like it would be a political disaster for them to see success in Iraq. Do Democrats want to win the war in Iraq? This question should be obvious, but I have my doubts whether the answer really is "yes".

    October 18, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    I'm gonna have to agree with Stark's comments. Why else does Bush say no to hope at every turn? He won't let us out of Iraq, and he's against improving health care (remember SCHIP and the two stem cell bills?). And he'd prefer a billion dollars to go towards the inadequate training and deployment of millions of soldiers, rather than invest in bomb-proof vehicles. Yep, Bush has seen our plight and has done nothing to help. At least, all he's done about it is laugh at the problems facing the middle class.

    Tired of the outrage? Go here:

    Obama '08

    October 18, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  21. Cole Bolchoz, Goose Creek SC

    This issue of political bullying is below a state of democracy. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan was and is an issue of God like perpetual motion. The question America is simply this; make the hard choices now and earn huge dividends later. One, Stop or Censor porn over the net. Two, stop or limit the hands of special interest groups in Washington DC. Three, stop raising the interest rates for there are nearly 6 billion souls out there who have needs. Four, obey the Ten Commandments even when you think it does not matter. Five and this one is important unilaterally pull troops out of Iraq. Six, there is oil where the sea floors are rising and in places where we have not explored. Seven, if there are environmentally issues out there address them by transplanting the aquatic and mammal life to Anarctica. Seven, Buy my Book "666 vs. 777; An Average Human's Guide to Eternity" by Cole Bolchoz
    PS: As far as Iraq is concerned, give due Caesar what is due Caesar, but give due God what is due God. Let us all rememeber we began this enterprise as ONE NATION UNDER GOD! Our children deserve better than the lack of moral discipline we grown folks are foolishly flaunting in front of the youth of today. I am part of it too, but at least I am addressing it.

    Cole Bolchoz, author of "Dating Bytes: An Average Joe's Guide to Internet Dating!" via http://www.publishamerica.com

    Cole Bolchoz
    son of the late great ERB III
    avec JMJ
    Peace and love first always
    shout out to 1-41 Field Artillery Unit in Ramadi Iraq Go Medic Section

    October 18, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  22. David, Los Angeles, CA

    Give 'em h–l, Pete!

    Republicans, led by their pit bull Karl Rove, elevated personal attacks in politics to a form of high art. NOW they're shocked? Please. Where was their outrage when John Kerry was being swiftboated and Max Cleland called a traitor? Hypocrites!

    Conservatives are more interested in empty platitudes, stilted rhetoric, and political shenanigans than in the safety of our troops and the health care of our children.

    How many more American soldiers must die, how much further must the country be plunged into an abyss of debt, so that the GOP can save face?

    October 18, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. Greg Mission Viejo, CA

    Typical response from a member of the party of "tolerance." Congressman Stark should be ashamed for abusing his position to slander the President. I'm sure Pelosi and her minions will be quick to condemn what Stark said .... well, maybe I won't hold my breath.

    October 18, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. Aaron T., Memphis, TN

    We are sending troops to their death for no reason other than Bush's amusement. Mike Duncan may have been offended, but he has no right to speak on behalf of every American. As a matter of fact, supporting Bush is about as un-American as anyone can be these days. It is apparent that Bush hates America and what it stands for. If he loved America, he would listen to America.

    October 18, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. JF, San Diego, CA

    It's been said Amercians get the government we deserve but I can't fathom what we must have done to deserve this President and this Congress.

    October 18, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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