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The Unauthorized Randy “Duke” Cunningham Page

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House floor, in these sound formats (in order of popularity):

  Cunningham Quotes

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Violence on the Capitol Grounds

  • Cunningham challenged U.S. Representative David Obey to a fist fight on the House floor: “I do not like to be threatened [having legislation challenged], and if the individual [Rep. David Obey] wants to threaten, we can handle that real good. . . . If the gentleman wants to do something he can just come right over here.” [S.D.Union-Tribune, 6/17/1994]
  • In 1995, U.S. Capitol police had to break up a scuffle when Cunningham tangles with Rep. James Moran, D-Va, a former amateur boxer during a debate against Clinton sending troops to Bosnia. [S.D.Union-Tribune, editorial, 9/10/1998, Washington Post, 12/4/2005]

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Appropriate Use of Military Firepower

  • “I have flown an F-14 over this Capitol with a 20 mm gun that could shoot 6,000 rounds a minute. I could disintegrate this hall in a half-a-second burst.” [S.D. Union-Tribune, 5/7/1994]
  • “I’ve flown an airplane over this city [Encinitas, CA] with a 20mm Gatling gun. I could’ve disintegrated this whole school in half a second. I’ve never committed a crime with a weapon. I support people like myself with the right to bear arms that are legal.” [Remarks before a U.S History class, 10/8/2004]

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Women in America

  • “Was she [Paula Coughlin] totally innocent in this [the Tailhook Scandal]? I don’t think so . . . If you have clothes that are scant, if you have a past that is not professional, then that’s going to add to the problems.” [KNSD-TV 2/27/1994]
  • “Abortion? The only people that support abortion have already been born.” [Remarks before a U.S History class, 10/8/2004]
  • When acting Army Secretary Robert Walker told a House subcommittee about their efforts to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the military, Cunningham calls the efforts “B.S.” and explained that “our kids don’t like that. They don’t like the political correctness.” S.D.Union-Tribune, 3/11/1998].

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Expert on the “Red Menace”

  • When speaking about John Kerry, said Kerry’s 1971 remarks “angered” him. “We do not need someone that would vote like a Jane Fonda as commander in chief.” [Congressional Record, 108th Congress, 4/22/2004 (p. H2299), Washington Post, 4/23/2004]
  • Cunningham said that the some members of Congress openly promote communism for the U.S. and that France has a Communist government. [2/26/1998, S.D.Union-Tribune, 3/11/1998].
  • “I would have no hesitation about lining them up and shooting them [Vietnam War protesters]. . . Those people should be shot for what they did to us over there.” (Feb. 1992 to a Blade-Citizen reporter) [Blade-Citizen, 10/10/1992]
  • Called (then future) President Clinton a “KGB Dupe” [S.D.Union-Tribune, 10/26/1992].
  • Called President Clinton's labor secretary Robert Reich "a communist supporter" because "he goes along with Karl Marx in many of his writings." (The New Republic, 8/28/2006)

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Shoot the Democrats

  • Referring to President Clinton’s anti-war activities during the Vietnam War, Cunningham once said Clinton “would be tried as a traitor and even shot” if he lived in another nation. [San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/9/1998, pp. B-1,8]
  • “[The leadership of Congress] ought to be lined up and shot. I’m talking about the liberal leadership.” (to a Washington Post reporter) [Washington Post “Reliable Source” column, 10/6/1992, Blade-Citizen, 10/10/1992]
  • Told then President George H. W. Bush to attack Bill Clinton’s patriotism: “This is an issue that will kill Clinton when people realize what a traitor he is to this country. In some countries, if something like this came out, he would be tried as a traitor. Tokyo Rose had nothing over Clinton.” [L. A. Times, 10/9/1992]

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Crude “Cuss, Swear, and Finger-gesture” Debate Technique

  • In 1998, in the halls of Congress, the Mr. Cunningham used foul and unprintable language with the Secretary of the Army. The Secretary of the Army was trying to prevent sexual assaults on women which Mr. Cunningham wished he’d ignore or condone. Nobody loyal to our armed forces would foul-mouth the Secretary of the Army. [S.D.Union-Tribune, 3/11/1998].

  • Before a group of elderly cancer patients in Alvarado Hospital, Mr. Cunningham made obscene remarks and gestures. After he said the defense budget was the lowest in 25 years, a member of the audience, Charles Cotton, a WW II veteran, commented that it was “not low enough.” The embarrassed audience was shocked when Mr. Cunningham replied by giving Mr. Cotton “the bird” finger gesture and said “f--k you.”

    He later explained his foul language when questioned by a reporter. Cunningham later claimed he was heckled by Mr. Cotton, but as confirmed by a reporter and others in the audience, Mr. Cotton interrupted Mr. Cunningham but once, and didn’t bash the military or flip him “the bird.”

    In an editorial, the Union-Tribune asks “what kind of example does it set . . . when their elected representative uses obscene language and gestures to express himself at a public forum?” [AP 9/8/1998; S.D.Union-Tribune, 9/9/1998 B1,B8, 9/10/1998 B10 (editorial), 9/10/1998 B10].

    Mr. Cunningham neglected to mention to the cancer patients, between his swearing episodes, that he tried to reduce cancer research funding [Congressional Record, 104th Congress, 1995, pp. E1584-E1585].

  • Anyone questioning his getting campaign donor (and bribery suspect) ADCS a Pentagon contract “can go to hell” [Union-Tribune 12/15/1997; 6/25/2005].

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Bribes in Congress

  • “I first ran for Congress in 1990 because I was fed up with politicians who took advantage of our trust and put powerful special interests ahead of those who elected them.” [ [Friends of Cunningham brochure, 1994]
  • “I want Lou Kratz removed from office,” Cunningham thundered. “I think he’s incompetent. And I’m calling for his removal. I’ve had it.” Remark by Cunningham during a House subcommittee hearing when a Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Kratz delayed to give a contract to Brent Wilkes’ ADCS, who bribed Cunningham. Kratz thought there was more pressing needs than scanning old documents going back to Teddy Roosevelt. [Spring 2000; “Cunningham’s Fall From Grace, Power,” LA Times, 12/9/2005; reprinted at KTLA].

  • “Your son is dead meat.” said Duke Cunningham and other Republicans, who taunted Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) after he voted against new prescription drug benefits and refused a $100,000 bribe donation to his son Brad’s Congressional campaign (11/22/2003). His son, Brad Smith, was campaigning to replace his retiring father’s seat in Congress [AP 11/24/2003, Bob Novak Chicago Sun-Times 11/27/2003, Slate 12/1/2003, CREW 12/3/2003, NC Times, 7/16/2005].
  • “Duke Cunningham will be a Congressman we can be proud of” —Cunningham’s 1990 and 1992 campaign slogan.
  • “We must reverse the Clinton record [of] . . . reduced mandatory-minimum sentences for drug trafficking and ‘soft on crime’ liberal judges” [San Diego Union-Tribune 24 September 1996]

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Obsessed about Homosexuality

  • Mr. Cunningham, who underwent prostate surgery in August, compared prostate cancer treatment to gay anal sex before the above-mentioned group of elderly cancer patients at Alvarado Hospital. Cunningham said no man would enjoy prostate cancer treatment “unless he’s Barney Frank.”

    Mr. Cunningham then made an obscene gesture in reference to prostate examinations. The reference is to fellow Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), an openly gay Congressman.

    Rep. Frank replied Cunningham “may have suffered a little slight brain damage” during the anal surgery and that he”s “not a guy who’s taken all that seriously. He does not have a high reputation for the thoughtful, analytical content of his remarks.” Rep. Frank also said “He seems to be more interested in discussing homosexuality than most homosexuals.” [S.D. Union-Tribune, 9/9/1998 B8, editorial, 9/10/1998 B10, Mother Jones May/June 2000. ]

  • On the floor of the house, during debate of the Clean Water Act, Cunningham said backers of a defeated amendment to make the military comply with water pollution rules are “the same people who would vote to cut defense $177 billion, the same ones that would put homos in the military, the same ones that would not fund BRAC, the same ones that would not clear up . . . No, I will not [yield to Rep. Patricia Schroeder]! Sit down, you Socialist [to Rep. Bernie Sanders]! ” [audio] [Congressional Record, 104th Congress, May 11, 1995, pp. H4837-8].

    Mrs. Schroeder replied “Mr. Chairman, do we have to call the gentleman ‘the gentleman’ if he is not one?”

  • In 1996, during a meeting about immigration, where Republicans were steamrolling Democrats from commeting, Barney Frank, an openly gay congressman, started to speak. Duke Cunningham cut him off and said "Well, would you like to talk about prostitutes and basements?" Marcus Stern (who broke the story on the Cunningham scandal in June 2005) recalled: "The room just fell silent." [San Diego CityBEAT, 12/7/2005]

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Genocidal Serbs are our friends because they are Christians

  • “Now we need to take a look at who befriended us. . . . While the Serbs, since before King Peter I, had been rooted in democracy, the United States has supported the Croatians and the [Bosnian] Muslims . . . .”

    “Why can’t we have a debate on the House floor for the first time on the Balkans and the Serbian position, and I am going to do that, ladies and gentlemen.”

    “The first thing we can do, I think, is to pray because we were brought up as Christians. . . . The United States needs to stay out of the war crimes issue. . . . be very careful that you don’t, in hysteria, charge a patriot and make that individual into a criminal who is not, because that is just as big of a crime.” [ keynote speech in Sept. 1997 before S.U.C., the Serbian Unity Congress]

    For a rebuttal against these pro-Serbian remarks, see Dr. McAdams’ letter (professor of South Slavic Studies).

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

Internet Expert

  • “There’s some things on the Internet that are very disturbing. . . . There’s a lot of these campaigns, there is stuff in there that is absolutely slanderous and I think libel. And in many cases I would like to see somehow that they clear up that problem that we have . . . . And I would hope in the future that litigation as far as either challengers or the incumbents themselves, if they’re not saying the truth that they’ll be liable. Especially if it’s slanderous. . . . With only about 30% of the American population voting, don’t give up on us, we’re going to make it better (laugh).” [11/3/1998 Interview with Barry Diamond & Diane Brandis, Live Online News, KSDO-AM]

[Randy Cunningham Photo]

When all else fails, wrap yourself in the flag   U.S. flag

  • “Some claim that it [the Flag Burning Constitutional Amendment] impinges on the First Amendment. It does not.” (Hmmmm. Although childish and rare, the Supreme Court says flag burning is protected by the First Amendment.) [Congressional Record, 109th Congress, June 22, 2005, p. H4903.]
  • “Ask the police and fire that stood on top of the Trade Center, and ask them, and they will tell you: ‘help pass this amendment today.’” (I suspect they rather speak for themselves.) [Congressional Record, 109th Congress, June 22, 2005, p. H4903.]
  • “ I ask Members to give themselves a vision, Iwo Jima, and the men that put up that American flag. Now allow some hippie to go up there and burn it.” (Hippie? What century is he still living in?) [Congressional Record, 106th Congress, June 23, 1999, p. H4790.]
  • Dr. Samuel Johnson said “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Note: More Cunningham quotes can be found in archived newspaper articles. Discover a Cunningham quote on your own!


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