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. Stefan, Raleigh, NC

    Bush may be a lot of things(ie: a dishonest moron for example)but I don't think he gets amused when soldiers die. Stark's rant is what I would expect from Anne Coulter. We really don't need this kind of trash. We hear enough of it from the GOP.

    October 19, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Riggs, Lyons NY


    Not that you need my approval but Bravo on those comments! I wish more people we thought like you and were able to communicate thier thoughts like you. Thank you for that comment.

    October 19, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Steve, Sumter SC

    Time for a reality check:
    The Congress has a democatic majority, they won last year on the "Get out of Iraq" platform. One year later and no change. Not only that, but Democrats keep approving the war budget! Isn't Pelosi and Reid just as guilty? No guts, no glory!

    October 19, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. A real Republican in more than name, Kansas

    I hate to say it, but the greatest thing that happened to Gerorge W Bush during his administration was an occurance that permitted him to proclaim him self a War President. Up until that time he was destined to be a lackluster one term Presidednt who spent most of his time in White House Texas cutting wood and being a cowboy.

    I am an American, I am a vetran and the only thing that insults me on a daily basis is what this so called adminstration proclaims to be doing to make me safe. Stark spoke the truth as he sees it and owes no one an apology. But there are a great number of members of Congress that do owe apologoies to the American people, and they are the ones that have backed this administration as if it were a church prayer meeting and never once questioned the actions of the administration.

    We seem to have a misconception of Commander in Chief and President. Just because one is the Commander in Chief it does not mean he is not responsible to answer for his actions and just because one is President of the United States does not mean he does not have to answer for his actions. We are not a kingdom with a supreme leader. And Congress needs to get off its bottom and start doing its job, that means Republicans.

    October 19, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Fred, Unadilla, NE

    It's about time a Dem grew a pair! OK – "amusement" probably wasn't the best choice of terms – but other than that he's square on. "Politics is a full contact sport" as one politician once told me

    October 19, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Ed, San Pedro CA

    The President of the United States talks about the situation in Iran rising to the possibility of starting WWIII and it's a blip on the political radar. But a Congressman from CA speaks about GW's amusement with the war and the propoganda machine kicks into gear. CNN (Corporate News Network) Your doing a heck of a job.

    October 19, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Wayne, Greenville, TX

    Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan has insulted every Democrat by referring to us as the "Democrat Party", and he know it. It's "DemocratIC Party".

    I call upon Mike Duncan to issue an apology to each and every Democrat he insulted.

    October 19, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Joe Ossai, Bedford,. NH

    Bravo Rep Peter Stark, somebody had to speak the truth. This monkey in the WH enjoy seeing people die ...Period.

    That is part of his history. The man is mentally unstable.

    October 19, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Becky Missouri

    The scum bag repugs can dish it out, but they can't take. After attacking a 12 and a 2 year old and their families, they have some nads getting their nickers in a knot. WHAT A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES.

    October 19, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Bob Cummings, Omaha NE

    It is such a shame that the Dems hate Bush so much...just when I was thinking of seriously looking at some of their candidates they go off in the derangement zone again. I guess I'll just have to look for the best Republican since the Dems seem so hateful and clueless.

    October 19, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. John, Dallas, TX

    I too am glad that someone in Washington has the nerve to speak the truth. Pete Stark is a patriot. Thank God Bush will be gone in 15 months!

    Shame on CNN for bending to Republican political pressure.

    October 19, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Margaret Stevenson, Franklin, MIchigan

    Stark should apologize-from the Senate floor. He should respect the office of the president. He should not attack the person. His words are terrible,his party should reprimand him. His words are almost those of a traitor, we lost 3000 people, our country was attacked-I cannot fully express how despicable I think he is.

    October 19, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. elmerg, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Pete speaks for this American, loud and clear!

    Keep it coming Pete!

    October 19, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. John San Diego

    Question all you idiotic demoRATS that keep claiming bush never served so he isnt fit to be commander and chief. DID HILLARY EVER SERVE? SO IS SHE FIT TO BE COMMANDER AND CHEIF?...Your hypocrisy oozes out of your worthless beings.

    October 19, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Swift, Glendale, CA

    Stark is right. No retreat, Congressman, no surrender. Stick it in their faces.

    October 19, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. B. Daniels, Lithonia, GA

    Well, let's take a look at why our soldiers are still dying in Iraq. The military has long said that there's no military solution to the Iraq War (imagine that, no military solution to an armed conflict!). The Iraqi government and its politicians and leaders have long said that they are not willing to move toward peace and reconciliation if it means they have to compromise. So, the war can't be won militarilty or politically. Bush has long said that the U.S. troops will stay until Iraq is stable; but that's illogical based on the military leaders and the political leaders statements. Why are U.S. troops continuing to die in Iraq? If not for Bush's amusement, stubborness, or who knows - then why?

    October 19, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Jorge, San Antonio, TX

    The republicans can attack war heroes by people who never been to war, but raise hell when a brave politician decides to tell it like it is. It's obscene to spend 190 billions on a war that started under false pretenses and deny children the right to medical services. Leave it to republicans to shoot the messenger instead of the the real culprit. I wish Congressman Pete Stark was in my district to vote for him, time and time again. I feel the democrats are a bunch of cowards when they join republicans that defend the indefensible.

    October 19, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. marsha, austin tx

    Stark speaks for a lot of us. It's so refreshing to hear an honest response to this insanity.

    October 19, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. C. Edelmann, Bellevue, WA

    Good for Rep. Stark, CA. He hit the nail right on the head!

    October 19, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Ed, San Pedro CA

    Bill Clinton left office with a 66 percent approval rating inspite of a Republican congress that attacked him daily. George Bush with a majority in Congress until the last election, would be happy with half that. I think America now realizes "C" students should not become president.

    October 19, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Gail Santa Monica, CA

    It's about time someone in the Democratic party had the cojones to speak the truth about the scum in the White House. Bush-Cheney are the ones who should be apologizing for shredding the constitution and killing hundreds of thousands of people. They are war criminals!

    October 19, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Michael Levine MA

    Re: Rep. Stark
    It's time for all of us to stand up for what is right and Rep. Stark is exactly that. Nothing he said in any way disrespected our troops. Finally, a politician whose not afraid to speak his mind in a language that isn't full of PC.
    Michael Levine

    October 19, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Carol, New Albany, IN

    I don't think President Bush is sending our troops to Iraq to have them blown up for his amusement. That said I do not agree with this war in Iraq. It was started under false pretenses based, supposedly, on incorrect intelligence. The billions of dollars spent on the Iraq war could have been used for the s-chip program. There are many hard-working folks in this country who can barely make it and the s-chip program helps them with their children's healthcare expenses. I, basically, agree with Stark's stand and I applaud anyone who stands up and speaks his mind.

    October 19, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Dale, Oak Park MI

    "We were attacked"

    Are we still using this?

    We were not attacked by Iraq. I have heard almost no resistance to the war in Afghanistan because that is where the people who attacked us were hiding.

    Remember Osama Bin Laden?

    I think most of the so called "peace-loving tree-hugging liberals" fully supported the invasion of Afghanistan because it was fully justified.

    We are angry now because our administration abused the patriotism of the people and used that post-911 momentum as an excuse to start a war in a completely different country on false pretenses that has all but destroyed our credibility on the world stage for years to come.

    How's that for thinking long term? How's that for a legacy?

    October 19, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Vejune, Santa Monica, CA

    Didn't "President" Bush JOKE around his office looking under the curtains and his desk for those "darn weapons of mass destruction?" Our soldiers ARE dying for his amusement and it's high time someone called him on it. Finally a Democrat with some guts!

    October 19, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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