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. ted

    Bravo Pete Stark. When Bush is in prison for his war crimes he will still have his vile supporters. Not much we can do about that.

    October 19, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  2. Classy Petetown MA

    Pete sounds like a real deep thinker. Is Pete planning to run for President ?

    October 19, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  3. Scott and Carrie Boyd Kennard Indiana

    If the republicans would worry more about accomplishing real policies rather than worrying about negative comments about the president perhaps the SChip legislation might have passed today. Rep. Stark blasted the president which very few other political or media figures are willing to do and now they want him censured. Keith Olbermann is one major exception! Before bush came into office free speech was an admirable civil liberty afforded to all americans. I guess free speech is being thrown by the wayside with the rest of our civil liberties that Bush has stolen and the senate has let him. Now those who speak against him are un-american and want the terrorists to succeed. If more members of the Congress and Senate would stick by their own personal principals rather than herd up like sheep around a president who not only doesn't care about children but doesn't care about the thousands of troops killed in Iraq. Republicans need to remember that they work for the people as well and they haven't been representing the will of the people by letting the president do whatever he wants. We applaud Stark's guts in speaking his mind, the republicans throw mud every day but when the mud slings around back at them it is not ok? At least he didn't attack innocent children for political purposes he blamed the person responsible. They are hypocrites who failed the children of our country as well as our soldiers and the American people as well by lacking the courage of conviction to stand up to the president. God Bless the troops and the children that bush has forsaken, we keep them in our prayers.

    October 19, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. michelle, kingsport, tn

    *sigh* i hate what the government in this country has become. they're all useless.

    October 19, 2007 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. Riteiy Bounty NM

    Where were all these smart Democrats on 911 day ? It would seem if they were as intelligent as they now claim, there would have been no 911.

    October 19, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  6. Bluse Boston MA

    Hey Pete, are you trying to be sickly funny, or are you really that stupid ?

    October 19, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  7. jeff dunford Portland Oregon

    Right 0n! Give the right wing coward-fools hell – they've just about ruined this country with their evil/idiotic policies.

    October 19, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  8. Ozzy Triff Miami, Fl.

    I agree with 100% percent, it is obvious by the LACK OF ACTION by our bodies of government that the troops are sadly dying for the amusement ofnot only the president but for the lobbyist especially (a.i.p.a.c) and other corporate interest, this is sadly the truth, but the media will never publish comments like mine because the media lacks the backbone to publish the truth, they are complicit.

    October 19, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  9. Jeff Roberts SF CA

    Not so fast Mike,
    I agree completely with the Congressman's remarks.

    As you do not represent me in any way.
    I veto your assumed right to speak on my behalf.

    October 19, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  10. Dave, Madison, WI

    What is worse: That our soldiers are dying for Bush's amusement, or that they are dying for Bush's profit?

    October 19, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  11. Michael, Clarksville, AR

    "I always believe when your political opponents are committing suicide, there's no reason to murder them," Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

    The Dems are their on worst enemy. Stark is a pitiful example of a congressman that is supposed to maintain civility.

    October 19, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  12. Ben, Jacksonville, NC

    It's sickening to read this diatribe 4 days after returning from extended deployment to the Al Anbar province with the USMC.

    October 19, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  13. Jason, Studio City Ca

    I support the statement. We have elected people into office to control our current concerns and they do nothing but lay down like a dying dog. We need more elected officials like Rep. Stark to stand up for us, if he doesnt do it who will.

    October 19, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  14. nogibbons.blogspot.com

    "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."

    Way to go Stark! LOL!

    October 19, 2007 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  15. p.murphy

    If this is true – it is further validation of an undiciplined congress ready and willing to make any irresponsible and detestible comment to suit a foolish party goal...I hate to say this – but it is too bad we can't start over – perhaps Flight 73 going down with intent to crash into the capitol would have benefited our nation...this comment about as stupid as most of the crap coming out of congress from Pelosi and Reid on down...God help us!

    October 19, 2007 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  16. Jeb, Austin, TX

    Using this kind of language to trivialize a conflict such as this is despicable. This language implies that the president of the United States enjoys sending people to die in a war that is already highly controversial. What purpose does this kind of attack serve?

    October 19, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  17. Guido, Round Rock, TX.

    Finally! someone with the guts to speak truth to power. Bush and this administration should be charged with war crimes, crimes against the Constitution, and massive fraud against the American people.

    October 19, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  18. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Is this another John Kerry moment? Democracts are losers!

    October 19, 2007 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  19. Prabhu, San Diego, CA

    Way to go Congressman Stark. Why does Republicans get upset when he calls a spade a spade. If they understand why Bush has the lowest approval rating of any President in the history, they won't hark at Stark. What a bunch of warmongers who hate children but love the unborn. The voters should team them a lesson coming next November in throwing out all the Republicans and Democracts who voted against the SCHIP program.

    October 19, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. Paul

    Yeah this is the real story. Not the fact that these bozos could care less about children's healthcare(why should they care, they're covered are they not?) Oh they are real concerned with fetuses, it's just after they are born they don't seem to care too much. Of course Stark said this out of sheer frustration. How can anyone not be fed up with spending billions of dollars on the unnecessary war and we can't even take care of our children?? Utterly absolutely sickening.

    October 19, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  21. Robert Rochester, MN

    Good for Congressman Stark. It's nice to see a Democrat with some backbone. Hopefully, he'll stand up to the heat and refrain from an apology. None is warranted.

    "Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan quickly condemned the comments, saying in a statement they are "an insult to every American, Democrat or Republican."

    As if every American is either Democrat or Republican, right? The political duopoly is so strong, that this is simply assumed to be the case. What a shame for America that our choices for representation are so incredibly poor.

    October 19, 2007 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  22. erika morgan black dimond wa

    Amen Mr Stark, I agree completely, thanks for stating the obvious on the floor. For those of your colleagues who wish to have their heads in the sand on this topic, shame, an election follows next year please keep that in mind.

    October 19, 2007 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  23. Jason Angles Salem AL

    i have to brothers that have fought in this war and im a veteran myself and this war is not about politics its suppost to be about the people so what everyone needs to remember its not about an election or any crap that is happening here in the states our troops our dying because there supposed support fails them here because ous overpaid congress thinks that with thier big heads has not really done anything to suport them they need to listen to our what our troops need instead of listening to some political stand point wars aren't won on paper there won by the men and wemon that do that job everyday without complaining. Congress was set forth for the people not to fight against each other thats why we are failing our troops and the poeple of the united states.

    October 19, 2007 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  24. Mrs. America

    It started out as a little game for Bush, I'm sure. I doubt he's "amused" anymore, but he should cry uncle instead of allowing people to continue dying just because he refuses to take his marbles (if he has any) and go home.

    October 19, 2007 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  25. Philip, Boston MA

    Pete Stark is 100% correct in what he says and I for one are complemented by his honesty. The Bush Administration is a bunch of draft-dodging wimps. They are sending American kids to get blown to bits for a war we DID NOT need to start, and they are blowing our tresury so that their buddies in the defense and construction industries can get rich. It's amazing to me that any red-blooded American can stand to sit by and watch this happen to their country. It's a disgrace!!!

    October 19, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
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