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. Mike, Goffstown, NH

    The Liberal Democrats say ,"Bush has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians"

    Well, are they not saying that "American military men and women killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians" ? Bush isn't physically in that combat zone.

    The hatred of the Democrat Libs towards our military fighting personnel is disgusting ! I was there, our people DO NOT target civilians.

    October 19, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Ken, Houston, TX

    Every single Repub comment on here pretty much says the same junk: Dems attack our troops. That is the biggest problem with these closed-minded idiots...they think that to actually have a debate is "attacking our troops." There isn't a single American who does NOT support our troops; let's get that part straight to all the Neo-Cons out here. Maybe we should ship those fools over to Iraq and let the brave men and women over there have a break. If Bush and Cheney and Limbaugh and Malkin and Coulter and all the other shrieking harpies on the right think this is SUCH a "noble cause," why is it that NONE of their relatives are over there fighting? Bush has several young nieces and nephews that could be there, but NOPE!! Like Bush, they sit at home, blasting folks who have actually served their country (like Congressman Murtha, for example); shame on every single one of you who blindly support Bush/Cheney and their band of merry thugs...

    October 19, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Tom Dedham, Mass

    As a active duty member who has been in the Air Force for 28 years I'm kind of tired of listening to blowhards like Rep Starks who speak on behave of us in the military. We joined the military to defend our country. THAT IS WHAT WE are doing in Iraq, Afghanistan and world wide. If only during the Clinton years we would have taken the fight to the terrorists instead of sitting back and let them continue to kill Americans in the US and across the world we would be better off. But no, during the first World Trade Center bombing, Khobar Towers, Embassy bombings, USS Cole, and eventually 9/11. I fully support President Bush for taking the fight to the terrorists.

    Posted By CMSgt John Sledz currently in Iraq : October 19, 2007 3:03 am

    John, from one veteran to another, thank you for your service.

    You have more insight than any of these kumya singing, lets hold hands and love each other losers will ever have.

    And you point about Billyboy is "dead on".

    A yakmeister like Rush, Ann Coulter or Stuart Smalley saying stuff that is outrageous is part of their "schtick", but for an elected official to say something like this about a sitting President, this is treasonous.

    Bush is an idiot in many regards, but this is incredible.

    Realizing I have many friends in Cally, including good buddy Jon from Sacramento, I am not stunned that this was someone from that totally out of touch group of "politicians".

    Mass is out there also, but I help elect NONE of them.

    I want to hear the Democrats running for President to not denounce this, but just to speak on it, so we can get Starks and them on an AD spewing this stupidity.

    October 19, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. brad, Montclair NJ

    This is directed to all you libs. Congress with full support of your Democrats, authorized this war and continue to fund this war. So why dont you all stop calling it Bush's war, its America's war wether you still support it or not.

    October 19, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. Michael Beusch, San Mateo, CA

    Where was all this mock outrage from the right wing when Karl Rove accused liberals of sympathizing with the attackers after 9/11? (a total lie)Right wingers can spew out all the hateful, slanderous garbage they want, but when a Democrat or a liberal speaks the harsh truth, look out! Right wingers have stuck us with the worst President in the history of the United States and all the phony indignation in the world won't change that fact!

    October 19, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Lynne, Salem, NH

    Rep. Stark has guts! He must have been pretty angry to say what he said, and he spoke for me and many others who are just as angry with the hypocracy of this administration. They spend money on the Occupation of Iraq, which had nothing to do with Sept. 11, but which is making them and their friends millions, if not billions. But they won't allow tax dollars to be spent to help the middle class, who are becoming poorer by the day. Soon there won't be a middle class because of loss of jobs, loss of health insurance, etc., etc. Good for you, Rep. Stark!

    October 19, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. RAYMOND STRINGER

    In this current state of polotical dyslexia where liers
    are not identify as what they are,"LIERS", it is so catholic
    to hear Pep. Peter Stark. Hopefully, other Congress menbers will be inspired to stand up and disgard their kneedpads!

    October 19, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Kenneth Marciniak

    I commend Congressman Stark for his comments regarding the Chickenhawks on the Childrens Health Care Bill and his assesment of the President. We need more representatives who are not afraid to speak their minds.

    October 19, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Jim Hahn, Santa Rosa, California

    Pete Stark should never apologize for speaking the truth.

    October 19, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Dwight

    What a joke, I applaud Rep Stark for speaking his mind. Let's hope the rest of the idiots can do the right thing and support the People of the United States and not the Coporations of the United States.

    October 19, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Ryan Indianapolis

    As much contempt the republicans held for Bill Clinton they would never act in this childish manner more less on the floor of the congress. This man is an embarrassment and should be held accountable for his reckless remarks. Bush more than an president in the last 50 yrs has shown his love for his country and fellow citizens. Does he have to make tough decisions ? You bet. Does everyone agree with them ? Of course not. But that is what good presidents do, they make decisions based on principle not poll numbers. If you remember there was a man that made alot of unpopular decisions during a time of war and many people in his own party wanted to impeach him. This mans name was ABRAHAM LINCOLN, people stop being so short sited and look at the big picture. Bush is not the enemy.

    October 19, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Ed, San Pedro CA

    It didn't sound like Pete Stark hates the troops. What I do see is facists painting another lie. We put the war on the backs of poor kids with few alternatives. If the GOP would support college funding. Who would be fighting the George Bush war.

    October 19, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. GARY IN MORRISTOWN, TN

    PETE STARK FOR PRESIDENT '08. Then he, as commander in chief, can call up the Texas National Guard and send dubya to Iraq to get his head blown off.

    October 19, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. John New York New York

    I guess that Bush's plans are backfiring. Well he'd better get his act together because now the Iraq's voted us OUT, no more military. They want Iran and China to build them power plants. I guess Bush wasted more money on that HUGH embassy he had built. I told you that our troops will be coming home! I Love My Dems!!!

    Laurinda,
    Please catch up on current events. Everytime you post you sound more and more clueless and ignorant. God I never knew america especially the democratic party is this incredible ignorant and illiterate. Almost comical

    October 19, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Manuel Sousa Attleboro, MA

    Thumbs up for Rep Stark. Bush and the Republicans has the nerve, after adding 5 TRILLION DOLLARS to the national debt, to now pretend to be fiscal conservatives. Spend how much on this Iraq folly and how much to take care of American children? Hipocrites!!

    October 19, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. J. Ana Collins

    Thank YOU! You are absolutely correct.
    Politicians will push their agendae through to support war and killing sprees but not to support a legitimate health care proposition which could and will actually save lives!
    Bravo Stark!!! Bravissimo!!!

    October 19, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. RAINIE..FT MYERS, FL

    AHHH..FREEDOM OF SPEECH..JUST LOVE IT. THIS GENTLEMAN IS RIGHT ON THE MONEY. AND THE COMMENT ON SOCIALIZED HEATH CARE...WHAT DO YOU THINK OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE?? TOO MUCH FOR THE WORKING MOM AND DADS BUT SURE GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM. WE NEED A REALLY BIG CHANGE IN THIS COUNTRY

    October 19, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. John Chicago

    You sick democrats on here are really messed up in the head to not only not condemn this crazy mans statements but to AGREE with him. If you idiots really think bush get delight in american soliders dying you people are plain IGnorant hate mongers that are absolutely crazy and downright un-american. You people make me sick and wonder why your party has only one the white house twice in the last 30 yrs.. Sick sick people

    October 19, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Karl, Taunton, MA

    Sure his comment was nasty, but, who really cares? He's just an unknown Looney Left flunky from California La-La Land. I mean, he can't be all THAT intelligent – after all, he forgot to mention Halliburton!
    I wonder if this is the same program that's funding the birth control pills for middle school girls in Maine?

    October 19, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Steve, Lyons, CO

    When Duncan is ready to apologize for the way his far right idiots attacked a 12 year old boy, then he might have relevance.

    Otherwise, Duncan you worm, lay off the emerging American hero, finally ready to tell the criminal Bushies what's what.

    He's a hero, Repubs. Eat it and love it.

    October 19, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. George Toledo, Ohio

    Until the US invaded Iraq, I had been a life long Republican. Now I am ashamed of the Republican Party who rises in self indignation when a Democrat speaks the truth.

    This is GW's war and is strictly revenge for his father's failings.

    I would have rather Rep. Stark said that Bush started the Iraq War, rather than go on testosterone replacement therapy. The Pres. has no feelings for the thousands of innocents that he has ordered killed by this unjust war. He is as much as war criminal as Saddam Hussein. Impeach both Bush and Cheney and send them both to the Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity.

    October 19, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Sam, Lincoln, Nebraska

    Although I thought that part of Stark's comment about our young men and women dying for "Bush's amusement" was a tad harsh and certainly not true, the rest of it was right on the mark and needed to be said for quite some time now. Moreover the Republicans are hardly in a position to criticize such remarks, however intemperate they might have been. And in answer to the dumbass from Dedham, it makes no difference if hateful speech comes from a member of Congress or a right wing water carrier like Coulter, Hannity, Malkin, or Limbaugh. And there's certainly no shortage of Republicans saying outrageous things about Democrats. Just examine the public comments of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and even Bush himself. If Rep Stark's constituents have a problem with what he said about Bush they'll let him know next November if they care at all.

    October 19, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Jeff, Orlando Florida

    Thank God for Bush/Cheney. They liberated the people of Iraq from Saddam, after 13 years of successfully liberating them from clean drinking water. Now the Chinese can liberate them from an oversupply of crude oil while the Iranians get paid billions of dollars (gee, where'd that money come from?) for building electrical power generation. What Stark said is outrageous. I disagree with the term amusement, that gives the president too much credit, and Stark's clearly got a schip on his shoulder. I can understand his frustration, Bush/Cheney have accomplished more for AQ in six years than OBL could have in sixty years of his worst. By the way, just how many bases do we have left in Saudi Arabia?

    October 19, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. M, NY NY

    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."

    The best comments are the ones along the lines of 'the troops are not targetting innocent people'. Starks is not saying that at all, the innocents he's referring to are the American kids being sent over for bush's amusement. It's interesting how when the word innocent is used, even republicans will sometimes think of Iraqis.

    October 19, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Larry, Philadelphia, PA

    Just change the word "amusement" to incompetence and Stark's viewpoint is sound. 3 billion dollars a month to subsidize a failed, flawed policy, and the President says that Health Care for the children of working families (amounting to the cost of 41 days in Iraq) is a bit too pricey. How can someone who initiates pre-emptive bombings, continues to promote the glory of war, and veto health care for needy children call himself Pro-Life?

    October 19, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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