February 6th, 2010
01:41 PM ET
8 years ago

Limbaugh takes heat for using 'R' word

Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver is asking Rush Limbaugh to watch his language.

Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver is asking Rush Limbaugh to watch his language.

(CNN) - Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver is asking Rush Limbaugh to watch his language.

The request came two days after Limbaugh repeatedly used the word "retard" while talking about White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's own reported use of the offensive term to bemoan liberal activists during a closed-door meeting last year. Emanuel’s comments, first reported in the Wall Street Journal last month, were reportedly directed at liberals opposing President Obama's health care plan.

"Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult has taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, 'retards," Limbaugh said of the report on Wednesday's show. "These liberal activists are kooks, they are looney tunes."

"I am not going to apologize for it, I am just quoting Emanuel… So now there is going to a meeting, there is going to be a retard summit at the White House," Limbaugh also said.

In a letter to Limbaugh Friday, Shriver asks the talk-radio host to take a pledge to no longer use the word.

"In my own experience, when I ask people – be they first graders or media figures – to join in stopping the casual use of the word 'retarded,' they universally agree to do so," Shriver writes in the letter. "Most want to go further: They want to understand better how they can serve as agents of acceptance and dignity."

The letter came days after Shriver and four other disability advocates met with Emanuel at the White House to discuss his alleged use of the word.

"We are thankful to Mr. Emanuel for meeting with us today and hearing our concerns," the group said in a joint statement following the meeting. "He sincerely apologized for his mistake and the pain it caused in our community."

Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Think

    Limbaugh is using retarded people who believe every word he says. This guy is an opportunist, and only cares about his self worth. Limbaugh understands that you can make a lot of money being a trash talking nut case on radio. It attracts listeners, and increases his ratings. That's the bottom line.

    February 6, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. phillip Marlowe

    You go Rush, F them!

    February 6, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Mark Silvers

    Rush (another "R") word pushes the bounds of decency. Why, its so he can get free publicity for his right wing Conservative Republican (Capital "R" word) causes. He is pathetic.

    February 6, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. steve anton

    that fat pig, why don't he just have a heart attack and be done with it

    February 6, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. joesmom

    I am a registered Republican and have been for many years, but Rush is downright vile and evil. There are no redeaming qualities in this sad, hateful man. How embarrassing that he represents to many Republicans lately. No wonder the party is referred to as "Rethuglicans"!

    February 6, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. SAG1015

    I gotta defend Limbaugh on this one...it's just like when African Americans use the 'N-word.' You can't take issue when the person using the offensive word is a member of the group that would be offended, right?

    February 6, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. please

    "These liberal activists are kooks, they are looney tunes."

    So does that mean Pailn is now a Liberal Kook? Last I remember, she was telling Obama to fire Emanuel. Who knew?

    February 6, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Abduhl

    What a bunch of nonsense. Quote is wrong (as usual from CNN). How dishonest to blame Rush for the comments of an Obama flunky. Rahm said " F'ing Retard" when describing some democrats and the news media has no problem with the F word, only the R. Interesting. Also it's interesting to note that after calling democrats R's, he appologizes to the R's. Does the media have no sense of humor or irony? The point is totally missed: Rush didn't say this, Rahm did. Rush is just keeping it going otherwise it wouldn't make the media at all

    February 6, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. randy

    Is it me or does Rush look just like Archie Bunker. ...or maybe it's his act.

    February 6, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Jim

    if there was ever a retard, It is Rush himself

    February 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Mesa Mick

    HEY CNN!!

    You sseems to be operating as a filter for political correctness towards [R]s these days. To much heat from Rushblo?

    I've been trying to get my comments posted for a coule weeks now to counter the many hate-filled, fact-challenged posts by all the [R] neo-morons….but I can't seem to get one of them posted – NOT ONE! I can't even get to see other posts to article either for crying out loud – You're blocking that as well.

    I must be way too tough on these right wing wuzzies. What? – Do I have to lighten up and become more MSM PC for fear of hurting the feelings of these brown shirted neocon whack jobs to get my comments posted and see the comments of others as well?

    How about MY free speech rights CNN – Can't I get them from you guys?

    February 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Bob

    God bless Rush Limbaugh for his adherence to being an insensitive jerk. Now for the Sarah Palin watch. Where's her outrage?

    February 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. not alone

    Why is Palin not demanding Rushes termination? Hmmm double standerd it seems when parties are involded with Palin. Also she backed off the guy from Texas campain boss, so Sarah your true colors never shown so bright for the American voter.

    February 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Mark from Denver

    Let's understand that Rush is an entertainer first, and language is a key part to his act. I am glad Tim Shriver did the right thing, and I am glad to see the White house COS apologize. What I find offensive is that the folks who critized Emanuel from the GOP, have been mostly silent on Limbaugh. If we're going to judge language, it should not matter who says it.

    February 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. southernbutnotstupid

    Limbaugh and his fellow neo-nutzis bemoan "political correctness" in our society; however, I was taught when I was young that what is now called political correctness was called then "common courtesy" and "having class"; apparently, none of which Limbaugh seems to have been taught.

    February 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. mike chino hills, ca

    The tongue is such a vicious instrument for division and hatred. Those of us who are in positions to lead by example should do so.RUSH, continues to re-affirm to me that Conservatism has "NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTIANITY.".A wolf in sheeps clothing??

    February 6, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Dale

    Political correctness is destroying free speech. He is my angle on the silliness of political correctness: The Swedish cook from the Muppet Show is offensive to all Americans of Swedish descent. His inability to properly speak the English language, inability to cook, and habit of tossing kitchen utensils up in the air is offensive and he and all the Muppet's from Kermit to Big Bord must be band from television, books and any other media displaying the Muppet's. No more Muppet's, no more Muppet's!!!!!!

    February 6, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Mike in Oahu

    the whole thing is retarded...

    February 6, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Dakota, Lake Stevens, WA


    Rush Limbaugh is an idiot, or should that be moron, albeit a rich one, who has a less than perfect past.

    Years ago I listened to several Limbaugh shows, until I realized that he was a disingenuous fake. It is easy to talk the talk, but it is difficult to walk the walk.

    People need to realize that he is an entertainer, who makes money at the expense of others.

    The fact that he has railed against drug users in the past, then had his own legal and drug issues, means nothing to his minions; when it should mean something, as in a lack of credibility.

    February 6, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Bill

    Shoot, for a second I thought he grew a pair and was going after Sarah Palin. So Sarah is a liberal activist (and a kook) now? After all, she was making the biggest stink out of it.

    February 6, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. rick Atlanta

    ???? wait where is the Palin rhetoric?... a calling for firing???.... OH thats right it doesn't apply to the GOP!

    February 6, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Paul H

    You know when Sarah Palin went on a tear about the word Retard being used I thought she was over reacting. I understand how anyone that has a child with down syndrome, or is a little slow would be upset at the liberal use of the word though. People do need to be more sympathetic, and use their heads before they open their mouth.
    But this nation is getting to politically correct, and hypersensitive to these kinds of things. Now it's a finger pointing contest, or a he said, she said game! And the media has a field day. Rush Limbaugh didn't mean anything toward any child or adult with these issues, nor did Mr Emanuel.
    But we as a people do need to understand, and be aware of everything we say.

    February 6, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Doug99

    From him it shouldn't even matter. I would find it a bit much IF he were only quoting someone else, but of course this gas bag had to take it just another notch or two lower.

    February 6, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. cathy

    Why isn't Sarah Palin asking that Limbaugh be fired? Is it OK for Republicans to use the word "retarded," but not Democrats?

    February 6, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Brian in California

    I find it VERY amusing how Palin ripped on Emanuel and called for his firing when he used the word but there was hardly anything from her when Limbaugh says it. Can we say, "conservative DOUBLE-STANDARD".

    She'll yell and scream when it's a Democrat using the word "retard" to describe the stupidity of some activist group BUT it doesn't even warrent a slap on the wrist when a righ-wing nut like Limbaugh uses it. I think Palin's just afraid of him.

    February 6, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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