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. steve newark,oh

    Just another attempt of the left to put attention elsewhere.He has more love for this country in his little pinky then most of you left-wing idoits, who for the most part protest this war and our troops being there.Always reporting whats going on thats bad and never the good things that are happening.It makes me sick.

    September 28, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Ted Jacksonville, Fl

    Once again CNN has it wrong. Limbaugh comments was made about a so call soldier that the Dems said served time in Iraq and saw our troops kill civilians. Come to find out the man never was in Iraq but the Dems did not retract what he had said

    September 28, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Brendose, Oceanside Ca

    If you ever listened to Rush's show, you would see how crazy he is. He is a hypocrite, and lives in his own white, rich little world and has lost touch with all of reality. His show consists of talking to the midwest and southern red states who still feel the Confederate flag is the main flag of the United States. It's okay Rush, you're probably just on oxycontin again and let your true feelings slip out!

    September 28, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Dennis, Tampa, Florida

    It's funny (and sad) how all these senators and politicians are coming out and publicly speaking out against Rush's supposid anti-service comments. If you read the transcript or had listened to the audio, you'd know he was talking about soldiers that never actually served - reffering to a supposed "war hero" claiming veteran benefits and making up stories after LEAVING the service during bootcamp, meaning he NEVER served. It's just sad how liberal the media is and how no journalists now-a-days knows the basics of unbiased reporting and investigation of an issue.

    September 28, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. john, charlotte nc

    Rush Limbaugh's name should be added to the list of names of irrelevant celebrities, like OJ, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Rosie, Star Jones, and Donald Trump, whose thoughts, opinions, and actions the news media does not print or air. It's time for serious dialogue about real issues. Who cares what these blowhards think. To read and hear about these yahoos kills brain cells!

    September 28, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Laura - Tulsa, OK

    What did Rush say that's not true? He is pointing out that a small fraction of the military in Iraq are disgruntled with the mission. The media tend to gravitate towards people who have conflict, not those who will speak highly of the military and mission.

    September 28, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Elizabeth, Atlanta, GA

    Rush is a known addict, why is anyone listening to this idiot? Take another pill, Rush and try to keep your mouth shut.

    September 28, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. John, San Marino, CA

    The controvery will do nothing but raise his ratings.

    If he was wrong, he should apologize. If he was right or it was truly was taken out of context, then shame on CNN for not following through with their reporting.

    To me this looks like a hack job, and I'm not a big Limbaugh fan either.

    Media hack jobs are nothing new, as the Oklahoma State football coach might attest.

    If we could ask Richard Jewell he might confirm that perspective. The Atlanta Journal & Constitution didn't even have the class to apologize to him on his deathbed.

    We live in a era where the LA Times and Washington Post have both faked front page photographs and the NY Times admits to many fraudulent or underinvestigated stories having been printed.

    September 28, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Desert Storm Vet - San Diego CA

    Assuming that one of the leading pea brained hate monger hypocrites of the right wouldn't talk from both sides of his mouth is a mistake although I'm glad it's making the head lines in th ewake of the phony uproar over the MoveOn.Org ad, whom I gladly give $$ to. Where was all the outrage during the Swift Boat campaign? In fact, the right about loves slinging sludge all the way upto the moment someone throws in back in their face, then they use words like "moral outrage".

    September 28, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Mitch, Montgomery, Alabama

    The Rush Apologists are basically saying that the comment is out of context, a distraction from the real issue... 2 weeks ago, that argument wasn't valid for MoveOn Apologists, so why is valid now? Have some consistency and call a spade a spade...

    September 28, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. N. Cooper, Houston, TX

    Somebody please explain to Rush that when you have worn a uniform WHILE serving in the military you actually get to complain! It's the ONLY right an enlisted person gets!
    When did you serve Rush? Were you in a special unit like George or just another rich kid in Missouri?

    September 28, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. David, Raleigh NC

    Time to go pop some more prescriptions there Rushie. Oh yeah, people tend to forget about important stuff like that, just like Larry Craig is trying to do.

    September 28, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    when people dont have a valid point to make they hurl insults and call people names – real mature.

    we already know ya don't like the guy; now why don't you say what it is about Rush's observation with which you disagree

    September 28, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    "Everyone knows that Rush is a military lover."

    Provided they are cheer leaders for the failed policies of the Bush administration. If they voice criticism, then they are "phony soliders".

    September 28, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. MediaJunkie, Washington, DC

    I don't particularly like Rush Limbaugh, but this is ridiculous. See there's this thing called free speech, and when Dems invoke it over the moveon ad, but call for condemnation over a comment made that they don't agree with is hypocritical. Just as it's hypocritical for the Republicans to be outraged over moveon and not Swift Boat Veterans for Truth or Max Cleland. The cycle continues.

    September 28, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. James, Temple City, TX

    Well, it's not like Limbaugh is really relevant anymore, but the statement is pretty inflamatory.

    To claim that the military members who oppose this war and this administration are somehow less important is just dangerous.

    I'm curious about Limbaugh's military service record. I don't believe he has one, so how dare he comment as to who is a real or phony soldiers.

    Has he ever really served anyone other than himself at countless buffets?

    September 28, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. e. fenimore

    who listens to rush limbaugh anyway?
    drug using moron – he ought to be taken off the airwaves just like don imus, another moron.
    their time is over.

    September 28, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Chuck, Orlando FL

    He was talking about a specific person who made false claims that did not even complete boot camp. This is taken out of context.

    September 28, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton FL

    Awwww look at all the Neo Conservatives on here crying about Rush Limbaugh being attacked....AWWWW! Poor babies...want a tissue? lol hypocrites

    September 28, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. NYdoc

    What do you expect from the drug addict, a smart insightful discourse. Beauty fades, stupid is forever!

    September 28, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Luke, Austin TX

    I bet Rush is popping some serious illegal pills right about now!

    September 28, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Euphymystic, Dallas Texas

    Who's feigning outrage now?

    September 28, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Shelley D. , Denver, Co.

    Keith from Franklin is typical of the liberal style of debate-

    when someone disagrees with you, they are "divisive".

    I bet when Cindy Sheehan called for killing the President, Keith yawned and went about his business and didn't think that comment was "divisive."

    I bet when John Kerry said the military in Iraq didn't do well in school, Keith didn't that comment was "divisive" , because IT FELL IN LINE WITH LIBERAL THINKING.

    Only those statements that differ with theirs are dividing the country. So we all should think the same things Keith thinks and it will unite the country.

    September 28, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Fairfax VA

    yeah Rush baby, you know what war is really all about, just like George W, Chaney, and the other Vietnam draft dodgers.

    Pop some more pills and spew some more hate, and rake in more bucks – that's what freedom is really all about?!?

    September 28, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Clark, Smallville, KS

    Typical liberal scumbags during a run-up to an election desperate for anything to point fingers at except themselves typically taking a conversation out of context. This is no surprise and should be disregarded as per usual. It would be nice just for once if CNN or any of these media morons would actually print the entire conversation or a link to a recording and people would see the b.s. that they're trying to feed everybody.

    September 28, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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