October 2nd, 2007
09:17 AM ET
4 years ago

Top Democrat slams Limbaugh over 'phony soldiers'

Reid had some harsh words for Rush Limbaugh Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed Rush Limbaugh Monday over his recent controversial "phony soldiers" remark, despite the conservative talk-radio host's protests that his words have been taken out of context.

Limbaugh's comments in question came last 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.

Several Democrats released statements late last week condemning the remarks and in a speech on the Senate floor Monday, Reid called the comments "so beyond the pale of decency that it cannot be left alone."

"Just as patriotism is the exclusive realm of neither party, taking a stand against those who spew hate and impugn the integrity of our troops is a job that belongs to all of us," Reid said.

"I can’t help but wonder how my Republican colleagues would have reacted if the tables were turned – if a well-known Democratic radio personality had used the same insulting line of attack against troops who support the war," the Nevada Democrat added.

Responding to his critics on Friday's show, Limbaugh said he was "taken out of context," adding his remark was referring to one soldier specifically - Jesse MacBeth, a vocal war critic who falsely claimed to have served in Iraq.

"The effort here is simply to discredit people that they consider effective and powerful on the right ginning up, leading up into the '08 elections," Limbaugh said Friday.

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (357 Responses)
  1. One_American

    The MoveOn.org clan is intending to smear Rush Limbaugh in order to smokescreen the public about their "General Betray Us" ad in the New York Times.

    The fact is that MoveOn.org is deliberately taking the quote out of context, and along with the willing liberal media, trying to defame someone on something they never said.

    "Phoney soldiers" was in reference to the many individuals (like Jesse McBeth who claimed he was an Army Ranger, yet never made it past 44 days in boot camp, and was discharged from the Army) who have never served in Iraq in the Armed Forces yet have been put on a pedistal by MoveOn.org for speaking out about supposed "attrocities" committed by our military THAT NEVER EVER HAPPENED.

    America is seeing what the Democrats truly are – LIARS AND CHARACTER ASSASINS WHO WILL DO ANYTHING FOR POLICAL POWER.

    HARRY REID MUST BE THROWN OUT OF THE SENATE NOW!!!!!

    October 1, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. DT, Wisconsin

    Reid and Harkin are making complete and utter fools of themselves. Limbaugh was criticizing the ACTUAL phony soldiers, such as Jesse MacBeth, who lie about fictional experiences in Iraq, and whose claims are so appetizing to the leftist media that they report without even checking the basic facts.

    Reid and Harkin obviously did not listen to the broadcast and, what's more, probably don't want to listen to it now. They'd come to realize what baffoons they are and that they made a terrible error. Wasn't it Reid who said that "the was is lost" a few months back? (Yes.) How insulting is THAT for the troops to hear? This guy is so arrogant that he thinks the public doesn't remember things like that.

    Durbin compared our treatment of prisoners to Nazis. Kerry said that the US troops are doing the terrorizing. Reid said we already lost. This stunt today will backfire like nothing we've seen before. And shame on the media for not calling them out.

    Democrat party = Media Matters for America = Mainstream Media. If it wasn't obvious to you before, it is now.

    October 1, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. J sybert El Paso Texas

    If the only battle you've ever had to fight is against your own illegal drug deamons, you should not be impugning the integrity of any soldier. When is the right going to rid itself of hate mongers who make a living villifying anyone who doesn't see the world their way? Political discourse should not sink to the level of personal insult or it stops being dialog and becomes bombast.

    October 1, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. DT, Wisconsin

    Oh yeah, the people criticizing Limbaugh on this one did not listen to the broadcast from last week, either.

    You are displaying your lack of an informed opinion. Sorry, but it's true.

    October 1, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. LLB, NE

    I encourage all of you to go out and read the transcript from the show, and also watch the video. It is all available on Rush's website. Come to your own conclusion on whether he owes anyone an appology. Truth is, Rush has nothing to appologize for.

    October 1, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Scottie NC

    Im just scrolling dow at these comments with one Q in my mind..How many of you actually HEARD what Rush said last week live? I did.He was clearly refering to Jessie MacBeth and OTHERS LIKE HIM.This makes the term "phony soliders" relavent with the discussion he had with the caller (who was a active duty soldier who has been to Iraq BTW acording to him).
    This smear is nothing more than damage control/payback on the moveon fiasco.
    I expect nothing less than for CNN to ignore certain facts in favor of agenda.

    October 1, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Luis, New Orleans

    Yea, Rush doesn't support the troops, but Harry and the Harkin bunch do.
    How many people really believe this phony idiocy created by blatantly anti-military Dems.

    October 1, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. JV, Rochester, MN

    This is a huge liberal slime job. I'm no Limbaugh lover. I don't lean near as much to the right as I used to, but I sure as heck don't lean left. Most liberals are more closed-minded than most conservatives. Those attacking Limbaugh really have no idea what it is they are criticizing. His point is completely valid in this case.

    October 1, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Jerett, Las Vegas, Nevada

    Look, I did a number a tours in the box. Its all marines, sailors, soldiers, and airman. That it. There is no phony applied to them. They are in the same mess, doing the same job, following the same orders no matter what their thaughts are. I take it personally that they kill and continue to kill my fellow AMERICANS, as I know the rest do. If an embeded reported would have asked me in Iraq how I felt I would have said, " I hate this place and I show no compasion for any that is openly our enemy or anyone in impeding our mission. " I know that there are some that feel diferently and it is rightly theirs. I also know that when push comes to shove that they have my back as I theirs as Americas. There is no PHONY American Military. Just many diffent views as there is in the civilian public. It is a shame that such words are spoken of us because we would never call a fellow American phony.

    October 1, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. John, Dallas, Texas

    Remind me please. I forgot what Harry Reid said when John Kerry called our troops stupid. Wasn't it Kerry who said, "If you don't do well in school, you wind up in Iraq?” I'm sure Reid condemned that statement too.

    October 1, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. ed, topeka kansas

    Thanks for getting your facts wrong again Reid and getting the other side all energized.

    When are the Democrats going to get rid of this political hack and get someone that helps them not hurts them? My God, calling our troops terrorists and murderers, saying the war is lost, now supporting phony soldiers who disgrace the real ones?

    October 1, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Paul W. ButlerSr,Liberty Mo.

    we all know who the real traitors are to our troops. Reid is so full of crap his eyes are brown. I heard the show and RUSH was talking about just what he called them "Phony soldiers" and one that had lied about everything he had done in his short 44 days in uniform.

    October 1, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Phil Bowman, Charlotte NC

    Harry Reid is a phony senator. Just as are the phony soldiers. Its a War stupid!

    October 1, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Jason, West Chester PA

    Hilary lies about taking millions from a corrupt donor and then lies about knowing this corrupt Hsu character. Nobody questions her.
    Rush tells the truth about a phony soldier and all the liberals hear what they want to hear.
    Plural word. Doctored programming. That is your argument? Come on. Listen to his show for 3 hours a day, 5 days per week. You'll find out what he really says. Not what you heard or think he said.

    October 1, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. mike, atlanta, ga

    cnn, why did you report what exactly happened about Rush? he was talking about one soldier that cnn never gave the full truth on. he never and ever said anything about other soldiers who were against the war. why dont you just say your a liberal democrat website/station? that way folks know that your slanted.

    October 1, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Marc, Glendale, CA

    Rush Limbaugh is a big (is he still fat?) idiot. A Liar and manipulator who only knows how to create discord, and throw trash around hoping something will stick to his democratic detractors. I really enjoy when he's on the news for all the wrong reasons, which is frequent. He deserves all the flak he is getting.

    October 1, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Dan, Virginia Beach, VA

    I believe Limbaugh's reference was to "soldiers" who had been kicked out of boot camp after 44 days.

    October 1, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Dan, TX

    Wouldn't it be nice to change this? How about voting for the non-polarizing candidates in the primaries?

    October 1, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    Part of me should care what this idiot said considering I served in the USMC and did a tour in Iraq, but I don't because he doesn't have the guts to say it to a veteran who is opposed to this war (like me) or even remotely serve himself. I forgot, he is doped up all the time. I think this war is based on lies and if the white house just admitted that this is over oil and regional dominance maybe then we can actually have logial and clear debate on our foreign policy and energy independence. Don't forget also that this has to do with currency and how oil is traded...it will go to euros soon enough..watch!

    October 1, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Dave, Rfd, IL.

    What is embarrassing is when any member of Congress begins to assail any private organization or citizen, i.e. MoveOn or Limbaugh, on the floor or with any resolution. I would think that the true outrage should come from citizens who watch our tax dollars being wasted on such sophistry. I also find Senator Harkin’s drug comment especially distasteful. Limbaugh is a private citizen, albeit one with whom I disagree most of the time; nonetheless, shame on a Senator Harkin for such a sleazy comment by stating that Limbaugh must be high on drugs. Say what you will in private, but to lower yourself to the level of a talk radio host while on the floor of the Senate debases your office.

    October 1, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. Jim, Des Moines IA

    Americans on the ground in Iraq need to know without a doubt that whoever the next commander and chief is, that they will always provide the troops under their command with the best leadership and proper equipment. Senator Biden has stood up on both counts. His Iraq plan that passed the Senate in a bi-partisan vote 75-23, shows that he can lead America out of a failed strategy in Iraq, and his commitment to providing life saving equipment.

    October 1, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. Ryan, Phoenix, AZ

    Does anyone seriously believe Harry Reid really cares one way or another? Today's democrats are as empty and useless as CNN.

    October 1, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. Mac, Severn, Md

    Our politicians act like a bunch of poorly-reared juveniles. They are a disgrace to this Nation. There is no LEADERSHIP from any of them on serious issues. They stretch the truth beyond recognition for their own political ends. They prove time and again that they care more about their political power than they do about the USA. Is there anyone in the Senate or House that deserves to stay in office?

    October 1, 2007 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. househead_415; SF, Cal.

    The Governator said it best: "Rush Limbaugh is irrelevant."

    October 1, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. Raymond, El Paso TX

    Thinking Rush would ever apologize for his well thought out comment is simply a waste of time.

    In fact the only thing Rush would ever be sorry about is the fact that he can't screen our comments like he does on his show.

    He's just a pill-popping phony hired by a monopolistic media company that will say anything to keep his loyal sheep listening and the money rolling in.

    October 1, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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