Dems Demand Boehner Apologize For "Small Price" Troop Deaths Remark
Democratic leaders are now opening fire on GOP House leader John Boehner, demanding that he apologize for saying in an interview yesterday that troop deaths in Iraq would be a "small price" to pay for defeating Al Qaeda and achieving Middle East stability.
"Boehner's comments yesterday are deplorable and he should apologize immediately," Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean said in a statement emailed to Election Central. "Bohener's comments show how truly out of touch the Republicans are. The loss of a son or daughter is never a small price to pay, especially for a policy which was initiated by Republicans who misled the nation about why we are there."
Boehner was asked yesterday on CNN about the continued sacrifice of money and American lives in Iraq. He replied that "the investment that we're making today will be a small price if we're able to stop al Qaeda here, if we're able to stabilize the Middle East, it's not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids."
Because the question had specifically referred to America troop deaths, in his answer Boehner appeared to be saying that the expenditure of not just money, but untold American lives, too, would be a "small price" to pay for achieving our goals in the Middle East.
Now Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean's office has sent us the following statement from him:
"House Republican Leader John Boehner's comments yesterday are deplorable and he should apologize immediately. Our brave men and women who have given their lives in service to our country and their families have made the ultimate sacrafice, and to say anything less is insulting to their memories and service. Republicans stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that their Iraq policy is a failure, our troops are mired in a civil war and we're not making the necessary political progress on the ground. Bohener's comments show how truly out of touch the Republicans are. The loss of a son or daughter is never a small price to pay, especially for a policy which was initiated by Republicans who misled the nation about why we are there. The war in Iraq must end. We need to bring our troops home."
Earlier today, Senator John Kerry also demanded an apology from Boehner. "What a stunningly cavalier statement about the lives of the young men and women who serve our country," Kerry wrote. "A single life is a large price to pay for any endeavor...Where is Representative Boehner's apology? And where is an Iraq policy equal to our soldiers' tremendous sacrifice?"
Meanwhile, we make the case as to why Boehner's comment matters here. Now that Dean has come out and hit Boehner, with other Dems likely to follow suit soon, it remains to be seen whether this highly questionable statement from Boehner will attract anywhere near the media attention that was accorded, say, Kerry's botched troop joke last fall.