In an unusual floor action, Representative Jean Schmidt (R-2nd District Ohio) today was forced to withdraw remarks she made referring to Congressman John Murtha as a “coward.” After making the remarks, amid vocal protests from her colleagues, Rep. Schmidt took back her statement to avoid breaking House rules regarding impuning the integrity of another Member of Congress.
The Speaker Pro Tempore: The gentlelady from Ohio is recognized for one minute.
Ms. Schmidt: Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of a young marine in my district. He believed in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bop, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body — that we will see this through.
The Speaker Pro Tempore: The house will be in order. The house will be in order. The house will be in order. The house will be in order. The house will be in order. The gentlelady will suspend. And the clerk will report her words. All members will suspend. The gentleman from Arkansas has demanded that the gentlelady’s words be taken down. The clerk will report the gentlelady’s words.
The Speaker Pro Tempore: The house will be in order. Members pleas take seats. The gentlelady from Ohio.
Ms. Schmidt: Mr. Speaker, my remarks were not directed at any member of the House and I did not intend to suggest that they applied to any member. Most especially the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania. I therefore ask for unanimous consent that my words be withdrawn.
The Speaker Pro Tempore: Without objection. The gentlelady’s words will be withdrawn.