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. Robin B

    Whenever I think the Democrats can't sink any lower, they prove me wrong. How can America tolerate such treasonous speeches during wartime? I wonder what the American men and women fighting in the Middle East think of these kind of comments.

    October 18, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. Brian, Columbus, OH

    This story fails to mention that as Stark made these absurd comments he sounded drunk. How do people like Stark keep their seats. Don't their constituents see them for the fools they are....regardless of their party affiliation.

    October 18, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. Alex Paisley

    Well Mike Duncan, I'm not insulted by Rep. Stark's comments, and I most certainly am an American.

    October 18, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  4. Mike, Santa Clara, CA

    Absolutly pathetic. Zero respect for Pete Stark.

    October 18, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. Mark Shrigley, Columbus, Ohio

    This guy went over the top. I disagree w/ this war, but sometimes, idiots like this, shoot off their big mouths to get publicity. Well, that's what he got, but it was negative publicity.
    Mark Shrigley

    October 18, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. Carl Harsch, Medford OR

    These comments are reprehensible. I am sick and tired of our politicians carrying on like a bunch of high school children.

    October 18, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. FT Doylestown,Pa.

    This is OUTRAGEOUS and the Congressman MUST RESIGN....This is the MoveOn words and ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!
    Americans kick All these BUMS OUT next time arround and let get back to the Business of being AMERICANS...which is LONG over Due... some may be Democate and some Republicans..BUT ...WE ARE ALL AMERICANS FIRST !!!!

    October 18, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. Mike, NY

    I don't see how this is an insult to the American people. It sounds like an insult to President Bush.

    October 18, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  9. Marty, California

    Best thing I have heard out of congress in a while!

    October 18, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  10. Gerard Ezvan Clayton, Mo

    I wonder what is the connection with Irak, where our brave soldiers defend our nation and the veto on SCHIP which would have been funded with a 6000% tax on hand made cigars, a 714% tax increase on RYO.If Democrat want to help every uninsured child, here is the way to go:
    $1.00 per glass of wine, $1.00 per can of beer, 20 cents per serving of french fries, 20 cents per fast food meal, and 10 cents per can of soda.
    After all, children do not smoke cigars, but eat fast food, consuming french fries, gulp sodas and some may drink beverages they should not drink: Beer, wine or hard liquor.
    Congres could raise more than the requested:60 billion dollars. May be our Congresmen and women should attend a 101 math class

    October 18, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  11. Ervin Edwards Vista, Ca.

    It's about time someone told the EMPEROR about his new clothes...
    BRAVO, BRAVO!!!!!!!!!

    October 18, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  12. Rocky, Los Angeles, CA


    October 18, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  13. Newton, Chicago, IL

    Now here's a real hero. Thank God someone is speaking the truth for a change.

    October 18, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  14. Brian Scheetz, Bennington VT

    I see nothing wrong with this statement, and see no reason for Stark to apologize.

    Whether it's by chuckling as he talks about launching WWIII on Iran, or breezily asking reporters to "Now watch this drive!" while talking about terrorism, the President gives every indication that he's enjoying the heck out of the game of Risk he's playing with the blood of American soldiers and the dollars of American taxpayers. It's all fun and games for our disgusting spectacle of a Chief Executive.

    October 18, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  15. Washington

    As an Iraqi veteran I know all about the men and women dying in Iraq. When are the politicians going to allow us to win the war? Set aside the bickering and just let us win this war.

    October 18, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  16. Rafael, Richmond VA

    Wow they are all over the place! Another angry Liberal!!! This was all a show come on and you know it! This bill was doom for failure and Democrats pushed it for political gains. It is the new game in Washington since Democrats won the congress.

    October 18, 2007 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  17. Cody, Urbana IL

    Go Rep. Stark!

    We cannot let these rich isolated people control the fates of poor disadvantaged people - especially when it comes to health care. When it comes to Iraq, we are wasting billions of dollars on bombs..while we could be spending billions on say..vaccines or finding a cure for cancer. But until they somehow make a profit out of that, we'll see a lagging health care system.

    October 18, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  18. Dave Slavin

    Well, dude is right. Bush is a warmonger and so is Darth cheney. Just 14 more months til freedom,but I'm sure he'll get us into a 3rd war by then and that one we'll really lose.

    October 18, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  19. spokane wa

    what riders were on that health care bill?? Why doont they try to pass a bill on its own merit instead of slipping pork barrel money pits as riders????

    October 18, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    No democrat leader should under any circumstance renounce this comment.

    If anything they should advance the attack against the criminal-in-chief.

    October 18, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  21. Anthony, Philadelphia, PA

    You know, Republican or Democrat, it really is disgusting the comments some of these people make just to shoot down the other party.

    I don't think any U.S. president finds it amusing to see soldiers killed in action. This Stark is a disgrace and he's only hurting his party's chances of winning the White House.

    October 18, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. Greg, Alpena MI

    More of the Republicans and Democrats both need to stand up as Stark did. He is merely stating the obvious. Most Americans see it. The Bush war supporters need to wake up! Stop the war! Bring our soldiers home. Use the monies being wasted in Iraq on the people of this country.

    October 18, 2007 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  23. DE Smith, Provo Utah

    Freedom of speech. Don't you just love it.

    My freedom of speech is recall Rep. Pete Stark, D-California. He has no right to represent any American.

    October 18, 2007 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  24. jacob

    Mr. Stark, it is my only hope that you defend your comments, everybody knows what you mean. Please do not detract your comments at any time. We need people like you. We must not let the Republican spinning machine to take advantage of this situation. This is the only thing that they are good at, and amazingly our fellow americans still believe in what they have to say.

    October 18, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. Tim M, New Zealand

    I applaud Rep. Stark both for being bold enough to make the comments, and also to not back down in the face of republican 'condemnation' (in other words, pretending to be offended to try and make it seem as if the comments aren't true).
    The Republican party are well versed in pretending to be offended, but in all reality it is a thin disguise for their profits ahead of people policies.
    What is truly unacceptable is that they continue to put the welfare of the entire earth behind their greed for money, oil and power.
    Bush and his cronies continue to get fat off the war in Iraq, raping the earth's resources, polluting, denying global warming, and other actions while the majority of the world suffer for his actions.

    October 18, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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