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. Douglas P Dauer

    The United states Congress should be a modicum of our best,and brighest, party,nor issues ,nor disagreements politically ,should not create this discourse in our greatest of Instituitions,A complete apology should be demaned on both sides of the aisle or a resignation out of repect to the instituition

    October 18, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  2. Mark Thorsell, San Ramon, CA

    Thank God Pete Stark has some balls.
    Good for him and he should not apologize for anything he said. He criticized our "leader" (who really is just a littl follower of Cheney), not our troops.
    I love the term "chickenhawks"...Stark is the MAN!!!!!!!!!

    October 18, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. Carl Morris, Springfield, Il

    It is about time that someone with Passion spoke out against this President...The rest of the democrat representatives should have the heart brave enough to join him.....this president has done nothing but invite violence. He should be impeached.

    October 18, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. Mary Weathers( I would prefir print of first name only)

    After seeing a YouTube video of the president in a presentation to a dinner of his cronies, ducking around a podium saying "No weapons of mass destruction here," then stooping on the other side, "No weapons of mass destruction here" as the audience laughs, it is not far-fetched to say that this President is amused by the endless death. He has made numerous "jokes" at totally inapproprate times where seriousness or empathy should be there. The man is a psychopath who is totally unfit for his position.

    October 18, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. NV tampa fl.

    Thank you Rep.Stark!

    October 18, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  6. Miguel, Charlotte, NC

    Stark deserves a medal for speaking truth to power. Why don't the media wake up and come out of their bubble? What do the Washington MSM think real Americans are talking about out in America? We're talking about this idiotic war and how no one will stop it. Not even the Democratic congress. Even when you change the players in DC nothing changes. This war went way past making any sense at all about 2 or 3 years ago. So it's impossible to say Stark isn't making any sense.

    October 18, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. christianityismore

    Bravo! Bravo! Well Said Mr. Stark!! Finally, somebody has the guts enough to speak the truth. Our children are dying because Bush is too stubborn to withdraw. Also, our grandchildren's future is being sacraficed because of the money spent on his stubborness. Now, our children will not have healthcare because of his stubborness. When will we as a people stand up and say "Enough is Enough!"

    At least one man has the guts to say it – Bravo!

    October 18, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. Greg Titamer, Chesterfield, VA

    This is so sad. Iraq has their Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds hating and killing each other. Here in the U.S. our Republicans and Democrats are just as bad. They are filled with just as much hate and stop at nothing to insult and attack each other. Things like this embarrass me as an American. We use to be better than this. What has happened to our country?

    October 18, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  9. Steve M., St. George, UT

    Pete Stark is right...Bush is a lousy leader and he is wasting America's youth in Iraq. Barbara needs to spank his behind and send him to bed. I am so glad I retired from the Marines in 1990 behind Bush took the helm. I could not follow his lead and would resign before doing so.

    October 18, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  10. Ken, Athens, GA

    Bravo! It's time someone spoke the truth about Bush's blood-soaked hands.

    October 18, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. David, Boulder, CO

    I have to say that I agree Rep. Pete Stark, I believe that George Bush is a full blown sociopath that is backed into a corner right now, the last thing he is going to do is what’s right for the country. Once a drunk always a drunk, just he never got help. Our soldiers the Iraq people and our country are paying, big time!!!!!

    October 18, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  12. Gary, Alaska

    Go Stark! I doubt your comments will do much good, but in the environment of partisan yes-men its worth a shot.

    October 18, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  13. Mhm

    Good. Finally someone tells it like it is. Republicans can cry about this comment as much as they want but, unfortunatley, it won't make it less true.

    October 18, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. Debbi Long, Tucson AZ

    What ever happened to freedom of speech?

    Senator Stark-at least you had the guts to say what many Americans feel concerning the mess in Iraq.

    I say send the twins!

    October 18, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  15. Sian, LA CA

    You are mistaken sir. They are dying for the cause of freedom from terrorism.

    October 18, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. Disabled American Vet - USAF ret.

    It's about time someone stood up and finally called the Bush war for what it is. Good for you Congressman Stark.

    October 18, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  17. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Americans may be more interested on some blond bimbo cutting her hair on getting in and or out of rehabilitation for alcohol and drugs, than in the soldiers dying or getting mangle in Iraq.
    No many Americans know that the bush family owns half of the oil fields in Kuwait, and that oil is the real reason for the war.

    People you have the fox looking after the chickens!!!.

    Bob

    October 18, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. Paul, Festus, MO

    And we would want to vote for a Democrat, WHY??

    October 18, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  19. Ralph Hofmeier, Miami Florida

    The first one with balls in this Senat !!! Still hope the brain dead REPS go away from MEIN FUEHRER WE FOLLOW YOU........

    October 18, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  20. john mangel, sedalia, mo

    Stark is a poor excuse for a human being let along a politician.

    October 18, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  21. HAWK,TEXAS

    HOW TRUE,

    October 18, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  22. Mike in Austin (Texas, that is)

    'bout time someone starts talking tough against the Bush administration and GOP enablers.

    October 18, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  23. Barry, Miami, FL

    It's about time someone in the Democratic party grew a spine. I don't think Mr. Stark should apologize for anything!

    October 18, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    I would substitute "ego" for "amusement" as regards Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and the many other chicken hawks who steadfastly avoiding serving during Vietnam yet callously and coolly sent nearly 4,000 of our troops and over 1 MILLION Iraqis to horrifically violent deaths to meet their ambitions for empire and wealth building. Impeach Bush and Cheney NOW before they BS us all into "wanting" to attack Iran next with another 9-11 or "Gulf of Tonkin" incident!

    October 18, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  25. Taylor, Newport News, VA

    Whether a person agrees with Rep. Stark's commment or not, his comment was not slander towards the Bush Administration. While it might have come close to or over stepped boundaries someone needed to recognize the war as it is actually happening. I agree with Rep. Stark because Americans have spent billions on this unjust war in Iraq and we should be investing money in the healthcare of children and focus on SCHIP.

    October 18, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
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