Colonel Denies Disparaging Murtha

Marine Reserve Colonel Danny R. Bubp, who was alleged to have said of Representative John Murtha that “cowards cut and run, marines never do,” says his comments were misrepresented by Representative Jean Schmidt.

Colonel Denies Disparaging Murtha (NYT)

A colonel in the Marine reserves has taken issue with how his views were represented in a Republican attack last week on Representative Murtha. Speaking on the House floor on Friday, Representative Jean Schmidt, Republican of Ohio, asserted that the colonel had “asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, marines never do.”

But a spokeswoman for the colonel, Danny R. Bubp, said Ms. Schmidt had misconstrued their conversation. While Mr. Bubp, a Republican member of the Ohio House of Representatives, opposes a quick withdrawal for forces, “he did not mention Congressman Murtha by name nor did he mean to disparage Congressman Murtha,” said Karen Tabor, his spokeswoman. “He feels as though the words that Congresswoman Schmidt chose did not represent their conversation.”

Asked to respond on Monday, the congresswoman’s office said only, “Mrs. Schmidt’s statement was never meant to disparage Congressman Murtha.”

While we’ll likely never know the exact details of the conversation in question, I tend to believe Budp here–especially given this obvious lie from Schmidt’s office. If “send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, marines never do” is not meant to be disparaging, then Schmidt is an idiot.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Iraq War, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. cirby says:

    Don’t be silly. Marines cut and run all of the time. They cut you down, and run over your corpse.

    And they occasionally run backwards, to get more ammunition.

  2. Anderson says:

    Of course, Schmidt can be an idiot AND have meant to disparage Murtha.

    I’m really struck over the past few years by how the Republicans have become the party of contempt for the military. Guys who risked their lives (including, whether you like it or not, John Kerry) are mocked for their service. Remember the “Purple Heart” band-aids at the convention? Real funny to recipients of that medal, I’m sure.

    Then the cuts to vets’ benefits, the MISERABLE failure to provide sufficient body & vehicle armor in Iraq …

    Because people automatically assume that the Repubs are pro-military, they can get away with this crap. But I don’t think they can continue down this road forever. Some Warner-style Dems will seize the flag on that issue.

  3. legion says:

    The exact same things can be said for the majority of ‘blue-collar’ Americans… Despite being the so-called party of ‘traditional values’, the modern GOP has consistently supported:
    – pushing more tax burdens off big business and onto middle & lower classes,
    – refusing to keep the minimum wage in line with inflation,
    – cutting aid to middle & lower class folks, such as medicare, welfare, etc.
    – slashing student aid, making it that much harder for lower & middle class kids to rise above their parents economically

    Some day, a lot of people are going to realize just how little the actions of the GOP have to do with the words that come out of their mouths. But only if the Dems take the hint and become the party of ‘we mean what we say’.

  4. DC Loser says:

    I have to ask this about the Marines never cut and run legend. If so, just what exactly was the little hike they took from the Chosin Reservoir? If they didn’t cut and run, then they could have stayed and fought to the death.

  5. McGehee says:

    DC, there’s cuttin’-and-runnin’, and then there’s retreatin’ in the face of overwhelming enemy numbers and an overstretched supply line. Your “If they didn’t cut and run, then they could have stayed and fought to the death.” is, dare I say it, lacking in nuance.

  6. Steve says:

    Of course Schmidt is an idiot, but why is she also a liar? Nobody could believe that calling someone a “coward” isn’t disparaging. Can’t she just say she’s sorry?

  7. anjin-san says:


    My uncle was at Chosin. The Marines damn near did fight to the death. Certainly a great many of them did lose their lives there, fighting in brutal conditions while running out of supplies. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they displayed heroism to a level seldom seen.

    Retreating after a brutal fight in the face of an enemy that badly outnumbers you is hardly “cutting and running”.

    I had a Marine in my bar last night DC, maybe I can arrange for you to tell him to his face how the Marines “cut & ran”.

    I have met a lot of the Frozen Chozen Marines that survived. A great group of guys, hero’s all.

  8. DC Loser says:

    Boy did I cause a stink here. I guess cuttin’ and runnin’ and retreating in the face of overwhelming enemy numbers is in the eye of the beholder. My point about the “cut and run” comment made in the House was that sometimes retreating isn’t necessarily a bad thing, or else Hitler’s and Stalin’s “no retreat” dictates would be considered brilliant military strategy. I work with many active duty Marines, so I have no problem telling this to their face. My point is that you do have to adjust your plans and make tactical decisions to retreat when it is called for. Was Murtha’s point to cut and run or was it a tactical decision based on situational realities in Iraq? That’s what the debate is about.

  9. Anderson says:

    So let’s see, the Republicans hate the military, and Anjin-San is defending the Marines.

    I’m drinkin’ too much or not enough … 😉

  10. Herb says:

    Anjin San:

    Damn. I am proud of you. For the first time you stated something POSITIVE and did not run someone into the ground.
    My sincere congratulations to you for upholding a branch of our proud Armed Forces in battle.

    Keep it up,

  11. legion says:

    It’s simple, DCL. If Republicans propose it, it’s a wise tactical withdrawal. It Dems suggest it, it’s a cowardly retreat. Read your talking points, man!

  12. Herb says:


    Looks like you are drinking to much. But then again, after reading most of you anti war, anti Bush comments, you have been drinking to much on a regular basis. I hear the distileries have been working overtime. Now I know why.

  13. Dale says:

    The “cutting and running” the 1st Marine Division (22,000 Marines) and the 3d Regimental Combat Team, 7th Cav, U.S. Army (3000) did at Chosin rendered 9 Chinese Divisions (close to 100,000 men) combat ineffective. General O. P. Smith said it best when he said “We’re not retreating we’re attacking in another direction.” (or words to that effect).

    Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps

  14. Dale says:

    Oh… and by the way we brought all of our dead, wounded, equipment and all of the equipment that the Army left behind as well.

  15. Herb says:

    While Murtha was a hero ans served with distinction in Vietnam, He has lost his will to fight the battle in Iraq. His words were as Schmidt said “cowardly”. The only problem with Schmidt is that she had her statement eliminated from the record. Murtha “surrendered” to the extremist left and sang to their cowardly tune. The Dems turned tail and run like jackrabbits in Vietnam and are doing the same thing in Iraq.

    Then there are guys like Anderson who also bought into the Dems line and wants to “find fault” with everything including all the GOOD work being acomplished in Iraq but mever, never talked about in the Left Wing Media.

    The Dems make me sick with their LIES and political BS. They will and are doing everything to regain power and They would even sell our country “down the river” to get it.

  16. anjin-san says:

    Schmidt misquoted Col. Bubp, and then backpedaled from her own words at a great speed when she realized her mouth was getting her into political trouble.

    In her first speech on the floor, Rep. Schmidt promised not to indulge in character assignation, a promise she forgot when she saw a chance to score points with Bush.

    I think we all know who the coward is here.

  17. Mike says:

    Dead on. I will no longer vote for a Republican b/c I think they will spend less. As far as the war…well I just hope that someone comes up w/ a plan soon – support our troops, support the effort, but vote for a politician who has a plan (no that does not mean a repub or democrat – it is the one with an actual plan).