September 28th, 2007
11:10 AM ET
3 years ago

Dems seize on Limbaugh's 'phony soldiers' comment

Democrats are seizing on recent comments from Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the wake of the high-profile uproar from Republicans over a MoveOn.org ad attacking Gen. David Petraeus, Democrats are seizing on recent comments from popular conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh who said on a recent broadcast on Iraq that some veterans who criticize the war in the media are "phony soldiers."

Democrats are pointing to comments Limbaugh made Wednesday when he and a caller were discussing critics of the Iraq war:

"What's really funny is, they [Iraq war critics] never talk to real soldiers," the caller said. "They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media."

"The phony soldiers," Limbaugh then said.

In a statement issued Thursday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called Limbaugh's comments a "personal attack on our men and women in uniform" and "reprehensible."

"It minimizes the sacrifice our troops in Iraq and their families are making and has no place in the public discourse," he added. "Rush Limbaugh owes our military and their families an apology for his hurtful comments that minimize their service to our country."

Also Thursday, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, a veteran of the Vietnam War, called the comments a "disgusting attack."

“In a single moment on his show, Limbaugh managed to question the patriotism of men and women in uniform who have put their lives on the line and many who died for his right to sit safely in his air-conditioned studio peddling hate," Kerry said in a statement. "He is an embarrassment to his party, and I expect the Republicans who flock to his microphone will now condemn this indefensible statement.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pennsylvania, an Iraq War veteran, said, "Someone should tell chicken-hawk Rush Limbaugh that the only phonies are those who choose not to serve and then criticize those who do."

And on the House floor Thursday, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., D-New Jersey, said Republicans should hold MoveOn.org and Limbaugh to the "same standard."

"I wonder if Republicans who showed so much outrage towards MoveOn.org yesterday will hold Rush Limbaugh to the same standard, and I wouldn’t hold your breath," he said.

On Wednesday, the House voted 341-79 to condemn the liberal group's recent newspaper ad dubbing Petraeus "General Betray Us?"

UPDATE: Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, a candidate for president, is the latest Democrat to weigh in on the comments Friday, issuing a statement saying, "It's ironic, if not remotely surprising, that Rush Limbaugh – who makes his living shooting his mouth off – would impugn the patriotism and service of American troops simply because they have voiced their opposition to this failed policy. It's clear that he has no idea what the brave men and women of our armed forces are ostensibly fighting for."



Filed under: Iraq • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (402 Responses)
  1. Roberto Fontanez Jacksonville, FL

    CNN should apologize to Limbaugh, has anyone heard exactly what he said. He is talking about Jesse Mcabe a hero for the Democrats because he supposedly serve in Iraq and he said that he was an Army Ranger and that he saw and experience the so called abuses that our miltary supposedly are doing to the people of Iraq. Well this guy Jesse Mcabe got kick our of basic training, he lasted only 42 days. He has never being in Iraq, he is not a Ranger but like we all know CNN has access to the Transcript of Rush show and they knew the complete story but instead they make it sound like Rush said that all soldiers against the war are crazy. The liberal Midea things that people are so stupid that they can't check the facts. Now they are trying to make this an issue just like they are trying to do to O'Ralie. CNN could you ever get something right? Can you guys report the complete story? Will ever CNN report the true? I ask all of you to check the story, get a transcript of what Rush said and then after that make your judgement. Don't let CNN Liberal Communist views be your only source of news. Really I think CNN consider their viewers really stupid..

    September 28, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    What does this have to do with the Republican party?

    This is some radio hack who spouts off about nothing all day.

    MoveOn.Org is a major supporter and advocate for the Democratic party.

    Democrats are going to have to try harder, much harder, than this.

    September 28, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. John, St. Louis, MO

    I could be wrong, but having listened to his program I know that he had talked about a "soldier" who reported all of these attrocities that he saw while he was in Iraq. This despite the fact that this "soldier" was never in Iraq and had washed out after 3 months. Perhaps the media owes Rush an apology for twisting his comment to imply that he was talking about all soldiers.

    September 28, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Ron, Charlottesvile VA

    Is John Murtha a "whiner?" Is Admiral William Fallon, chief of Centcom, who is General Petraeus's superior and OPPOSES the continuation of the surge a whiner?

    No, you cannot write off all of the people who disagree with how this ill-conceived, ill-managed war is being fought.

    If you don't understand that debate is necessary and productive, then you, sir, don't even know what you were fighting for in your tours of duty.

    But then, you didn't really serve, did you.

    September 28, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Matt Bakersfield, CA

    The phony soldier mentioned in the radio program....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Macbeth

    September 28, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Larry, Philadelphia PA

    Wow, it would be really amazing if someone at CNN did their job for a change and contacted Rush for a comment. I heard this show when it aired. In context, this statement makes sense and there's a reasonable explanation for it concerning an actual "phony soldier" that had been discussed in the show.
    Oh CNN, no wonder no one watches you. You people did go to journalism school, right?

    September 28, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Joe, York Pa.

    Another classic instance of the communist news network. if you had listened to rush like i did, you'd know that he was talking about ONE person who was proven to be a liar. This person 'served' for 44 days and
    never left the country, yet he stated, and was reported by CNN and others, that he personally saw war crimes committed.

    Nice job (again) CNN!!!

    September 28, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. joe denver, co

    I think that rush is taking the little blues again!

    September 28, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. J. MeHoff, byteme, AL

    I wonder if he was refering to the critisism penned in the nytimes by seven soldiers who were currently serving in iraq...

    Nah, couldn't be one of them died of wounds received in combat before publication, another died (in combat) after publication and a third is still in hospital after being blown up by an IED.

    The man is a pig, and for those who are supporting him, by suggesting they knew what he meant, and that the criticism is being taken out of context... it isn't being taken out of context. He suggested ALL millitary critics in the war aren't 'real', and some who've posted here suggest that in some way they are weak, lying, or publicity hounds...

    ALL I see is two of these particular dudes are dead, a third is wounded. Of the four remaining there may be more. What's fake about them?

    September 28, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    James Phoenix AZ

    We may not agree on the issues, but I applaud your condemnation of Limbaugh. It show good character on your part

    September 28, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Carl Christiansen, Green Bay WI

    WOW! I am really surprised that CNN let a republican voice be heard on their democratic run website. They are going to lose the culture war if they don't watch out.

    September 28, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Ron Boston, MA

    Rush Limbaugh is a disgusting, corpulent, hate filled drug addict. Who you calling phony? You're the liar.

    September 28, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Bob

    Rush get's it. There are extremely 'far reaching' effects that dictate the necessity for our involvement in IRAQ. Primarily we needed to have a place to inject the hypodermic needle of democracy into a region that has, and continues to be, a hot bed for radicalism. A hot bed for unrest. A hot bed for the disruption of sanity. With the relatively recent advent the internet and nuclear 'retail' availability, the hypodermic needle of Democracy must be injected somewhere in an effort to stem the tide of global annihilation that is the goal of the radical Islam extremist (not to mention the mainstream Islam practitioner)in the name of 'Jihad'. IRAQ was an ideal injection point with the most far reaching and fastest spreading potential for the 'cure' to be injected. You see, FREE DIALOGUE is the only cure for the ailment of repression. DEMOCRACY has been shown to be the most widespread ideal that promotes and insures FREE DIALOGUE among it's citizens so they can form a government 'of the people, by the people, and for the people'. Totalitarian regimes, under any guise, seek only power for themselves and rule by fear and insure repression. Any totalitarian regime rules as the rulers see fit, NOT as the PEOPLE choose to be governed.

    Thank goodness the USA acted when they did in IRAQ. Even so, given the liberal ignorance in this country, it may be too late. We may soon all be holding on to our collective britches as the nuclear wave passes over.

    If I were a liberal, I would be very careful NOT to let it be known to a Muslim. Liberals will be the FIRST to be targeted, and indeed may be the BIGGEST reason for the targeting of the USA by the Islamofascist.

    Hang on for a wild ride. Here's hoping that you survive it. Better make peace with your maker before it's too late.

    September 28, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Ron, Charlottesvile VA

    Sgt Bohlen,

    Uh, huh, and the White House screens every single soldier that speaks, and every single audience that views the president.

    I wonder why.

    September 28, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Andy, San Antonio TX

    People get over it. He didn't call soldiers who criticize the war or Bush or Republicans even 'phony'. He called one (1) particular person who lied about his service for the extreme left phony. So stop spreading these lies. That is not what he said!! Listen to the tape or read the transcript and you'll hear the truth. Stop being sheep and do your research before criticizing him!

    September 28, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Dr. Donald B. MacGowan

    Very Brave reporting CNN–it only took you about 36 hours to get to this story–yet you leapt all over the MoveOn.org story–you're as biased and pissy as Faux News–I used to love CNN–no more.

    I wonder–will tis story be allowed to languish in your headlines like so many other stories, for days after it is relevant...or will you make it come and fade quickly hoping your corporate master don't notice you've peed on their media darling?
    Yeah–and like you're self-aware, transparent and democratic enough to dare allow this post to stand, either...what a joke–

    September 28, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Matt, Palisade, CO

    Wow. An attack on Bill O'Reilly, and an attack on Rush Limbaugh the same week trying to make something out of nothing. Is there a Clinton campaigning for office??

    September 28, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Eric, Grand Rapids MI

    Watch out CNN, you will be burned and smoked just like on the O'Reilly thing. Your media matters wing presents no facts. Listen to the WHOLE conversation first! While this all goes on, your own guest commentator is allowed to call an African American a “happy negro” on air, TWICE!

    September 28, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. John, Yuma, AZ

    He was specifically talking about Jesse MacBeth when he made that comment. Please be accurate when reporting.

    September 28, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Jeff Nelson, Heath, OH

    As a Marine who has fought in this war, I find Mr. Limbaugh's comments disgusting.

    I don't agree with the war and the direction that we are going, but anyone that ever accuses me of being "phony" and questions my patriotism needs to look in the mirror and do a little soul searching.

    Semper Fi!

    September 28, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Quentin Fraley, Kenova, Wv

    THE TRUTH: I heard the entire show. Rush talked about one guy who did not complete Basic training but passed heself off as a war hero (Iraq). Rush said this one guy was a phony (used by the Dems) to make the war look bad. More lies from the media (Rather, Kerry, Clinton (both. We should know by now!!!

    September 28, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Ken, Los Angeles, CA

    Not sure how Limbaugh is popular. Used to listen to him regularly but got tired of the same old thing everyday. Seems like people who continue to listen to him cannot speak for themselves.

    September 28, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Alan, Corpus Christi, Texas

    Another case where you people have your noses (and ears) up your own back ends. Get the facts before you try to destroy this country and our brave troops.

    September 28, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. A. Smith, Washington DC

    A. I bet over 80% of the folks on here running their mouths on here have never served.... I HAVE....I have the DD214 to prove it....

    B. He was taken out of context.... He was talking about the 50 or so fake soldiers that the far left wacko's have drug up....who spouted off they raped and killed Iraqis....but either washed out of the military or never served....

    C. CNN needs to start linking stories like this....and the bashing of O'Reilly to moveon.org....because this place is as bad as that place is....

    D. All you liberal woodhippies need to go hug tree and chill out....or perhaps better yet, buck up and raise your hand.....and serve/defend this fine country.....

    September 28, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. xtina - chicago, IL

    Those who don't support Rush's show don't matter to his high ratings, and those who do support his show don't care that you're criticizing him.

    September 28, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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