The uproar arose Friday as the House debated a resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of forces from Iraq.In scheduling the vote, Republicans were trying to embarrass Democratic critics of the war, forcing them to dissociate themselves from a call earlier in the week for a slower but still definite withdrawal. That call came from Representative John P. Murtha, Democrat of Pennsylvania, a Vietnam combat veteran who spent 37 years in the Marines and is one of the most respected military authorities in the House.In attacking the Democrats' position, Ms. Schmidt, the newest member of Congress, said she had received a call from a Marine colonel, who "asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do.
The House exploded in catcalls and jeers among outraged Democrats. When debate resumed, Ms. Schmidt retracted her comments and said, "I did not intend to suggest they applied to any member," especially Mr. Murtha. Ms. Schmidt could not be reached for comment on Saturday, with voice mailboxes full at all three of her offices.
From "'Mean Jean' Goes to Washington, and Invites a Firestorm" By JASON DePARLE, New York Times. Published: November 20, 2005 - For the full NY Times article, click here.