September 28th, 2007
11:10 AM ET
11 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 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 and Limbaugh to the "same standard."

"I wonder if Republicans who showed so much outrage towards 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. Chris Haynes, Winston-Salem, NC

    Quick, somebody get this man a pain killer!

    September 28, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    anyone that got five deferements should have no comments

    September 28, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    If CNN could please continue to irritate the right-wing looneys that follow that moron Rush,they'd all have heart attacks and stop threatening America.The nazi's that supported Hitler are so much like them.Ditto-heads is an insult isn't it? Or is blind faith in your leader,regardless of his mental retardation a virtue among conservatives?I think the science is in,MRI's have proven conservatives to be missing a key portion of the brain.Liberals are seen as wish-washy,but at least they're not mentally deficient,just torn by things like conscience,perspective, and empathy.All virtues in my book.

    September 28, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. Kevin B, Savannah, GA

    As a former Marine, I am embarrassed by the "long term, decorated veterans" who are posting disparaging remarks about service men and women. WHy is it ok to attack lower ranking servicemembers but not to attack a General? I would think those of you who retired would know the politics of pinning on a star. However, it doesn't matter, ALL of our outstanding service men and women, current and past, deserve our respect. Everybody has a right to their opinion including the patriots who serve in the military, that doesn't make them phony because they disagree. I am baffled by these attacks on the military and then the attacks on those who dare disagree with the military. To those who posted talking about their medals and service, Thank you, but how about a thanks to men like Sen. Kerry who too have been decorated in combat and CHOSE to serve. Questioning the patriotism and service of any body who has served is dangerous and un-American.

    September 28, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Alex, Bloomington, IL

    Does what RL says really that much? Give an idiot a microphone (like Rush or the army washout) and they will say anything. If RL was ONLY talking about the basic training 44-day washout, why did he say "phoney soldiers"? If there was only one, why say it plural? You have to use more common sense than to attack a serviceman during wartime. That goes for Dems and Reps. It's just stupid. What did the House condemn the stupid liberal group's ad to? Death by shredding?

    September 28, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Jon, Milwaukee, WI

    This was taken out of context, and you liberals are making ad hominum attacks against Rush (e.g. all the Viagra comments). Perhaps one day you'll realize that everytime you make such stupid comments that they don't hold any water, they have nothing to do with the issues at hand, and they only serve to make you look dumber. Anyone can attack a person, but can you better their ideas?

    September 28, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Richard, Alexandria, MN

    The reason we ended up in this "phony" economy is because to many actually listen to Rush. There has got to be enough rope by now??

    September 28, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Mike

    Does any educated, thinking person even listed to Mr. Limbaugh. He is NOT a veteran, Never held public office, not very well educated. In fact, what has he ever done for his country?

    September 28, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Chip, Reno NV

    This guy should get Imus'd off the airwaves. Hypocritical gas bag, draft-dodging druggie!

    September 28, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Chris, Albany, NY

    Are you folks saying the only resistors that have fought in this war are impostor soldiers that Democrats made up? Boy, sounds like that Swiftboat garbage you pathetic sheep flocked to not so long ago. This war was built on the poorest military strategy in history. It's not working because we haven't changed that strategy. I'm reminded of that ironic sign at Jonestown,"Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it." We're learning. You should try.

    September 28, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Ryan Indianapolis

    Give me a break,,,this is not even close to the same thing. Sorry Liberals and Democrats people are not going to fall for this childish game. You mental midgets make me sick and not only that push people away from you petty little games.

    September 28, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Iowa

    I see you already pulled this story of the front page.. Now you need to right a story explaining you bad news gathering, but I wont hold my breath..

    September 28, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Marcia Van Lenten, Shohola,PA, SwiftBoat boys and Russ Limbaugh,
    all have something in common they all are causing much derision and damage in our country. As a grandmother and a native of Missouri(where Limbaugh is from),I say they all have diarrhea of the mouth! Is that politically correct enough for you?

    September 28, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Matthew, Keller, TX

    I love Rush!Nobody ever criticizes these idiots like move on and the daily coast! Thank you Rush for being a voice!!

    September 28, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Rob, Virginia Beach, VA

    Apparently Rush was taken out of context. I can understand how bad reporting can get people upset, but many of the comments here read like frothing insanity. Calm down, folks.

    September 28, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Dan, Atlanta, GA

    If this comment was taken "out of context" and referred to A specific individual, then why did he use the plural?
    Quit playing dumb, Republicans. You know what he meant. "A soldier who dares to question the direction and leadership of the war is a phony." How un-American can you people be?

    September 28, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. A Real US Marine, Ann Arbor, MI

    Well, I guess our marines and soldiers have phony wounds, phony missing legs and arms–we even have phony graves for our friends. I can tell you that if I ever came across Rush in a dark ally: My actions would not be phone.

    September 28, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. JB Boston MA


    2 weeks ago, all the dems were running around saying, "Moveon doesn't speak for the Democratic party". Now, apparently, that argument is invalid when it comes to Rush Limbaugh? Spell it with me, H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E-S.

    And by the way, I would argue, hands down the Democrats are influenced more by Moveon, than they are by Rush. No one in the Republican party is afraid of Rush.

    September 28, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Jon, Austin TX

    Obviously taken out of context. It's not a case of sloppy journalism. This was designed to defuse the damage caused by the moveon ad. We know what side CNN is on. Since CNN refuses to do the research, your silly audience should check out the youtube reply.

    September 28, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Mike

    I WORK in a VA hospital and NEVER has any one returning Iraqi Vet had anything positive to say about this war. Go figure? YUP – there are "phony soldiers".....they're all the supposed "supportive of the Iraqi war" Vets the TV and media seem to be able to find to make these statements.
    Don't believe it, America!

    Go to your local VA and ask a "VET" returning how they really feel about the war in Iraq. You'll find out just how the American public is being duped.......

    September 28, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. Chris, Detroit MI

    No, Limbaugh was not taken out of context. He got his cyst handed to him by a caller, a self-identified former soldier and Republican who disagreed with Limbaugh's opinion that the US should continue the occupation of Iraq.

    After struggling to find an answer, Limbaugh informed the (paraphrasing, 'cause I can't remember verbatim) caller that he couldn't be a Republican and be against the war.

    No, the context is accurate, and Limbaugh deserves every bit of the negative attention he's getting for his remarks.

    September 28, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Rush is a big fat liar!!!

    Rush is a joke. He is claiming that he is referring to a soldier (singular).

    "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.

    Did you Republicans pay attention in grammar school? It is clear that he did not say "The phony soldier". What he actually meant are the soldiers that have served and are currently that are opposed to this war by calling them phony soldiers because they don't agree with him. What a joke.

    September 28, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. jvl, Springfield, VA

    I wonder how many of the 3,800 soldiers and marines killed in Iraq does Rush and his dittoheads consider to be phony soldiers.

    September 28, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. John Doe

    dont you love the smell of burning tin foil hats and oxycotin! Gotta love it. They are brain washed cons who still wear theirs cheerleading outfits saying Stay The Course

    September 28, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. mindlessdem

    Is Russ running for President now?

    September 28, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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