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. Peter

    The video of this despicable tirade is out on U tube, go watch it! It is clear that we all need to get together and take up a collection to get Pete Stark a neurological examination or a drug and alcohol Tox. Screen in order to help him with his problem.

    October 18, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. Tim, Charleston, S.C.

    It's about time!!! If we don't speak out about the travesty that Iraq has become, Bush is free to Stay the Course as long as he wants. He;ll take flack for saying it, but that's how the majority of Americans have felt for some time.

    October 18, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Samuel Peters, Ithaca, NY

    Way to go Pete Stark. We need more politicians like you informing the public that these chickenhawk republicans can spend 100s of billions of national treasure, and thousands of lives of our brave American service men and women, all to referee a Sunni-Shiite civil war, but not pay an extra 7 billion a year to provide health care for children.

    This veto comes from an administration that has run up nearly 2 trillion in federal debt, and not once vetoed a single GOP pork-filled spending bill.

    But now it's time to draw the line on a puny 7 billion a year to be spent on children.

    Please continue to work to keep this argument first and foremost in the public eye.

    Way to go Pete Stark. Bravo

    October 18, 2007 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. Kathy, Champaign, IL

    Telling it like it is. More elected official should have the courage to speak the truth. If the Republican's condemn what you say, then you pretty much know you are in the right.

    October 18, 2007 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. hcronkhite

    I agree with the Representative from California. It's time for people to speak plainly about this president. The war in Iraq is soley for the benefit of American oil companies(ie the $29 trillion profit potential in the undeveloped oil fields there).

    October 18, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. Eric Ham, St. Louis, MO

    According to producer Alexander Mooney, Pete Stark is "facing fire from Republicans" for his stomach-turning comments. *Just* Republicans??? I don't know exactly when we became a nation of weak-kneed, partisan cowards, but this is beyond the pale. Pete Stark should be condemned from San Francisco to Bangor; unfortunately, that won't happen.

    October 18, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. kris columbia md

    It's long over due for a democrat to show some moxie and tell the truth about what motivates that abomination in the white house. Stark's comment rings truer than anything I've heard from any democrat in years.

    October 18, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    I'm against the war and this administration. I'll be voting Democrat for President, but this guy Stark went too far with his comments

    October 18, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. Chad, Durham, NC

    Why else would we have gotten into this war and continue to stay in it? The administration cooked up the evidence all along and continues to deceive the people any way it can. Bush was bored at work. Some of us play office-paper basketball, others send thousands to their deaths. Rep Stark is just calling it as he sees it.

    October 18, 2007 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. don, idaho

    well, isnt he right?

    October 18, 2007 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  11. Deb, Webster NC

    The far left has become totally unhinged with Bush Derangement Syndrome. If you don't agree that Stark was stark raving mad, then clearly you too have been infected, and are in need of counseling perhaps.
    (Thank you, CNN for reporting the truth of what was said on the House floor today by the Representative from CA. It is time for Americans to honestly acknowledge this delusional madness gripping too many of our citizens, and loudly condemn it.)

    October 18, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. Charles, San Antonio,Texas

    The trueth but nothing but the trueth...the true hurts...

    October 18, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  13. Ken Brown, Altus, OK

    Mr. Stark is an embarresment to the House of Representatives and an insult to every military person serving in our Armed Forces. I was watching C-Span when Stark made those comments and not one, not one Democrat had the guts to stand up and call those words out of order, although a Republican congressman did call to have his words stricken from the record. However, the lady who was in the Speaker's chair at the time did not see fit to do so. Should we expect anything different? Mr. Stark has long record of bashing our military and the Commander-in-Chief. But he being from California the military shouldn't expect anything different.

    October 18, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Ken, Jacksonville, Fl

    Finally, someone with the guts to say what this American is thinking.

    October 18, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  15. steve marshall los angeles, ca

    The truth hurst folks. More power to Mr. Stark

    October 18, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. C. Conner

    These comments DO NOT OFFEND ME!!! mike duncan. I'M AN AMERICAN,navy veteran and sick of bush!!!He hides behind his post...executive priviledge... Spend billions on a unjust war, but not millions on the under privilegd children ,tomarrows future.Thank you Rep. Stark for your patriotic comments.

    October 18, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. George Reaver, Finksburg, MD

    Another politician trying to make a name for him/herself. Making such arrogant comments to attract media attention for another run of office at whatever levels. And he succeeded.... His comments are to me near treason.

    And then to respond stating; his respect for the men and women in uniform is so politically correct. I wonder if he respects the efforts of the Air Combat Command men ane women in uniform who allowed for nuclear missles to be flown across our country?

    October 18, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. timbuck, houston, tx

    Pete Stark for President!!

    October 18, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  19. Chris, Wheeling, WVa

    Where are you Harry Reid? You were the first too attack Rush, based on a lie, now you stand silent while one of your fellow Democrats makes the worst comment about our troops in years! Then again, what else is new. This is typical talk from the Party of Defeat.

    October 18, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. timbuck, houston, tx

    Pete Stark for President!

    October 18, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  21. RudyG. NewYork, NY

    Bush is an insult to every American, Democrat or Republican

    October 18, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  22. Kook Left

    Yo Pete, nice rug. Makes you look almost as ridiculous as your comments about President Bush do. Now sit down and shut up.

    October 18, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  23. Ghislaine~ Belgium

    Absolutely. You've been in Iraq for 16 years. The gulf war has never stopped, it just mutated. It's all for big oil, and you American just don't get it! I thought your Democratic landslide in 2006 would be the beginning of the end of this fiasco, but it still rages on.


    October 18, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  24. doug finlay

    This rhetoric is appalling. To suggest that Bush enjoys seeing our troops die is lothesome.

    October 18, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. jfz, napa, ca

    It sounds like Rep. Pete Stark is mentally disturbed...oh, wait, he's from California...NEVER MIND!

    October 18, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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