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. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    What kind of constituency elects a man like this to Congress? You don't have to agree with this war, but personal attacks are wrong and not allowed on the floor. Im sure people in his district in Calif. are really proud.

    October 18, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  2. Billy Joe Green Day

    Conservatives claim that Dems never stand up and throw down, and when they do, they whine that that their feelings have been hurt. And they wonder why no one takes them seriously anymore.

    October 18, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  3. JK Milwaukee, WI

    Finally someone who stands up and speaks the truth. Bush lied to get us in this lost war and has swapped brave American soldier's blood for the hopes of corporate america getting richer off stealing Iraq's oil. Conservative's thinking is taking away healthcare and making us a laughung stock of the world!

    October 18, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. Steve Jones, New York, NY

    Absolutely incredible. Where are Pelosi and Reid on this one. How about Hill and Obama. The true colors of the looney left will be the Dems' downfall.

    October 18, 2007 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  5. Cody, Omaha NE

    I'm sure he doesn't think Bush REALLY gets amusement out of it, its just an expression. I agree with him, and I'm glad he stuck to his guns and did not recall his comment like many others would.

    October 18, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  6. Mike,Demorest, GA

    It's sad, but Stark is right.

    October 18, 2007 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  7. Nicolas Resteiner, Phoenix Arizona

    I agree with Duncan, insulting anyone like that, especially your superior is shocking and completely distasteful. I cannot believe that the people of California would elect a man like this to the senate. This goes beyond partisanship, it is simply disgusting.

    October 18, 2007 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  8. Brandon Carson

    Someone needs to tell Mike Duncan that it's the DemocratIC party... NOT the Democrat party. Republicans have recently started denigrating the DemocratIC party's name in their code-word propaganda.

    Other than the fact that it shows how childish they can be, it frames the discourse in a caustic manner.

    Maybe the DemocratIC party needs to grow a pair, and start using the opposition party's tactics against them... they could even stoop real low and re-name the Republican party... How about starting with the RepuGNANT party?

    October 18, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |

    What a heartless comment to make and coming from an elected official. It is a pity that the congress man allowed his bitterness for the President of United States to overcome him and it shows in his words. His comments are highly insensitive to our great men and women in uniform and he should apologize to the nation and especially to the brave men and women who are doing a great job and making all the sacrifices. This is a shame.

    October 18, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  10. Gayle Veteran4peace, San Diego, Ca.

    Well, maybe not for his amusement but definetly the war was to put a lot of money in his rich friends pockets, which in return will benefit him and Cheneys pockets too. BUSH LIED, thousands of Troops have Died!!!

    October 18, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  11. Theo San Francisco CA

    The Congress and Senate have an 11% approval rating because they are NOT speaking out against the crazy Mad Man we seem to have in the White House. Someone please tell me exactly where Stark is incorrect in his statement regarding the persistently deafening silence in Washington. There is a blatant hipocrisy infecting our country when American kids who don't have insurance are too expensive to even be considered by this failure of a president, yet a war that never made any tactical sense, is encouraged to continue with no valid end in sight? (and there's not much use in hoping our inept Secretary of State is ever going to help improve things along the way)

    I say thank you, Mr. Stark; I'm glad there's still one sane and angry voice out there speaking for us REAL middle class Americans!

    October 18, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  12. Allan F., Cambridge, Ma.

    Democrats have a chip on their shoulder because they didn't win in 00; they lost in 04. They continue to lose over and over against Pres Bush's conservative programs and proposals. I think they just snap sometimes.

    October 18, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. Albert Ramirez, Houston, Texas

    Finally, a Democrat willing to speak out strongly for America's military and America's children against the actions of a shameful Republican White House!

    October 18, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. JT, Watertown, SD

    I'm glad this guy didn't apologize to Bush. We're pouring money, blood and wasted lives in a country that we're never going to control. And at home health care costs keep skyrocketing. So what does Bushy do, he cuts funds for kids' medical insurance. Wake up Americans. Your lives are being run by corporate jackals.

    October 18, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  15. Gloria Westfield NJ

    So true

    October 18, 2007 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  16. SickDemocrats Boston MA

    Why do you Democrats seem to forget about some radicals destroying the twin towers ? You have never offered one solution. How come in current discussions you always omit the one important factor ? Didn't the radicals that leveled the twin towers start this fiassco ? What were you planning to do about them ?

    October 18, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  17. Pat, Sacramento, CA

    Wow, Some real things to think about...How about that? I think the Sen. Stark has a very valid point I'm sorry if it came out bluntly but there is a major imbalance happening here in America. What the heck is our priority any way? With the Trillions of dollars spent to “defend”, I think we should maybe just build a big Defense Wall around the Country, it would probably cost only half a Trillion though…. But On the other Hand, Lets say the bill passes in the House (which it didn’t) But lets say it did. Now I’m sure as heck, that I don’t want to see my Tax dollars being used to 1.) fight for Oil and 2.) Pay for every Childs “Medication” . Especially, when Doctors tend to over diagnosis and over prescribe Meds . This plays right into the hand of the Pharmaceutical Companies. So How about thinking about that one? The Dems are just as hooked by the Pharmaceutical pull as are the “Conservatives” .

    October 18, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  18. Bruno Wales TX

    Pete sounds like a real class act. Is he planning to run for president ?

    October 18, 2007 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  19. Tom Collins Old Town FL

    Thank you for speaking out the truth You have my support at any time Is about time someone is telling it like it is we need more people like you to run for office. ...respectfully yours....Tom Collins

    October 18, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  20. Hurray Petey, AL

    Real smart Pete. Real Smart. Shall we award you the Smart Noble Prize ? Would you like to spend 36 months in Iraq to assess the situation ? Why don't you volunteer for that duty ?

    October 18, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  21. scott brookdale ca

    Stark is perfectly accurate in his statement. Bush is obviously stalling to end this war until the end of his term. In the meantime he is refusing a measly few billion dollars on healthcare for children. By the way where I live, Santa Cruz California, $80,000 per year for a family of four is lower middle income. $60,000 per year is officially LOW INCOME. Look it up. $60,000 may be big bucks in the deep south but it isn't here.

    October 19, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  22. Roger Delwiche MD, Santa Rosa, California

    Congressman Pete Stark is absolutely right-on regarding Bush's obvious and shameful disregard for both our children, in vetoing the Children's Health insurance bill, as well as for our brave soldiers, in starting and prolonging his tragic and unneccesary war in Iraq. One month of war spending would pay for the annual expense of the SChip bill.

    October 19, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  23. R. A. Bolster Woodburn, OR

    Good for Mr. Stark! All Americans, young and old, are paying the fidler with Presidents Bush's adventure in Iraq. I am glad somebody had the nerve to get up and dance. Shame on Mr. duncan, what a load he is spreading. The American people know the score and the Repuplican party needs to change course in a hurry. We all have had enough their lies. Where are the WMD, Mr. Duncan? Iraq is not worth money we are spending! And nearly 4,000 dead troops.

    October 19, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  24. Tim, Hayward CA

    Good for Stark! Truth hurts.

    October 19, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  25. Thomas, atlanta GA

    Wow. Did the democratic party have to show their lack of a spine so obviously? Calling it an insult to every American? Hogwash. It's just speaking the truth, and as an American I am insulted by that very assertion by Nancy Pelosi.

    October 19, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
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