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. Anonymous

    This phony moron should just stick to his Viagara and a million other drugs that he takes and crawl under a rock and stay there. Nobody wants to listen to a psycho hypocrite.

    September 28, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Tim, Hillsboro, OR

    As a retired USAF veteran – and staunch critic of the Iraq quagmire, I am disgusted by Limbaugh’s remarks. This man never served a second for this country and he has the audacity to label those veterans who criticize the war as "phony." What a POS he is as well as anyone who supports him or his remarks! He doesn’t deserve the airwaves we provide him.

    September 28, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Charles Partt, Machester NH

    Rush was 100% right. 'Soldiers' who attack the war and Pres Bush's pilicies are nothing short of being turncoats. They have lost the right to be called soldiers when they gaive aid an comfort to the enemy. The Dems are playing their usual infantile games, and as usual, the American public will see through their partisan attacks.

    September 28, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Pat Parterson

    It's about time a Democrat finally grew a spine and spoke up. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.

    September 28, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. Joseph

    Do you remember when members of the military were highly critical of President Clinton and his lack of service in the military? Limbaugh and other republican radio entertainers thought these soldiers were heros for having the courage to publically disagree with their Commander In Chief.

    Now when members of the military are critical of the Commander In Chief, members of the military are labelled as being unpatriotic or "phoney"

    It is such a sad joke that these republican radio entertainers like Limbaugh, Hannity and Boortz pass themselves off as conservative commentators.

    September 28, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Hey Rush,
    You should be familiar with this sound.
    Pawk Pawk pawk Pawk Pawk
    You freaking chicken.

    September 28, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Marc Manassas VA

    Rush has once again been taken out of context....he was clearly referring to a "soldier" who was washed out of basic training and then later claimed to have witnessed supposed atrocities in Iraq.

    September 28, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. James, New Jersey

    What Limbaugh is really saying (and or course, it's true), is that the liberal news media could speak to 100 soldiers, and 80% of them could be supportive of the war and of what president Bush is trying to accomplish – but they would invariably find one who hates Bush and who disagrees with him.

    For instance, you could scan the pages of the New York Times for days upon end, and never read the testimony of a soldier who supports the war. Yet when I meet soldiers (and I meet a lot of them), some 80 to 90% support the president and the war effort.

    Many Americans these days can see through such, and they despise that bias in the media.


    September 28, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Paul- Madison, WI

    Oh poor Rush, maybe you can get a pill to help you out. Is Rush a vet or just a druggie that is part of what plagues America?

    September 28, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Deb Eustis Fl

    While we are quick to talk about providing our military to guarantee and win freedoms for other people in foreign countries, it is amazing to hear Americans critcized for exercising the right to free speech.It is equally stupid to make fun of people in our armed forces who express their opinions. I guess in some people's mind, you are only free to express an opinion if it is the same as the one they have. Limbaugh is nothing more than a circus one to be taken seriously. When Limbaugh puts on a uniform and fights for this country, maybe he would have some credibility.

    September 28, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Ken Atlanta GA

    All the MoveOn lemmings moving in lockstep again. Mindless robots.

    Better an honest Limbaugh than God Help Us a "veteran" like John Kerry! Or will CNN censor my use of the word "God"?

    September 28, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Chris Barber, Bloomington, IN

    Why are we even bothered about what a fat, pill-popping blowhard has to say. He appeals to people with double-digit IQs. Let the pig rant all he wants.

    September 28, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. John - Virginia Beach, VA

    Why does anybody even listen to this drug addict?

    September 28, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. Rurik, St. Paul, MN

    I'd call Rush Limbaugh an idiot, except that it would be like calling the sun hot.

    September 28, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. RB, Austin, TX

    What do you expect from of a bottom-feeder like Limbaugh?

    September 28, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Curtis Bibb, Fruita, Colorado

    I simply cannot believe that anybody would ever listen to "Beached Whale Limbaugh" anyways!! He's a criminal...remember?! Oh wait! That's right......let's not forget that he's in Florida....thanks a helluva lot JEB!!! Let the manure continue to spill forth from your mouths. Again...what simple minded people won't listen to! If I wanted to listen to garbage...I would live next to a landfill. But I don't and I won't!! And for anyone that even remotely believes anything spoken by Limbaugh, O'Rielly. Hannidy, Colter.. let alone the stupidity of our well educated President(BRAIN DAMAGED BY BOOZE AND DRUGS RUSH! for thought.) Well....I have the prefect answer for you. THINK FOR YOURSELVES WILL YA??????!!!!!!!

    September 28, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    Why does that drug addled phony still have a job?

    September 28, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Jim, Lake Tahoe, NV

    What else must Limbaugh do to demonstrate that he's a pig??

    September 28, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Shelley D, Denver, Co.

    And I bet when the "General Betray Us" ad was printed, people who think like Keith thinks thought it was not "divisive" at all. Oh, no it didn't bash the military at all, Keith thought, it was free speech in action.

    But Rush Limbaugh appears to be bashing the military, and Keith is "outraged !"

    September 28, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. F Kelly; Vancouver, WA

    Rush Limbaugh is a sad and pathetic little man with a little mind. Take the microphone away from him please – he does more harm than good.

    September 28, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Sgt Bohlen, Charlotte, NC

    They are called FOBBITS, the solders and Marines who sit behind the FOB (forward outside base) wire and complain that their 3 hot square meals a day, TV, and internet connections aren't good enough for "WAR". I do not doubt their commitment to our country but I don’t believe they represent the majority of our service men and women. But for some reason the Dems don't ever ask the troops who served during Operation Iron Fist, Phantom Fury, or Steel Curtain to talk with the public. I can only wonder why.

    September 28, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Michael, NY NY

    So? So Rush Limbaugh said something inaccurate and hateful to support one of his ill-considered and infantile positions. It's sort of his job description, isn't it?

    September 28, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. kenny , greenville,nc

    I think this was taken out of context and I strongly dislike rush, but I dislike shotty journalism less. What happened to reporting? Why do we see Britney Spears on every news station. This is not news its talboids! Have some profressionalism and report real pieces!

    September 28, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Mike, Grand Rapds, MI

    The EXAMPLE Rush used as an example appears to deserve the derogatory term. But as is common to mouthpieces from BOTH parties–in particular THIS one–they use one overblown, indefensible example to paint the entire opposition the same color. It is OBVIOUS that many many front-line soldiers whose courage would easily put Rush's to shame oppose the war. By subtly encouraging his gullible audience to regard them all with the same suspicion and disdain is unconscionable. But typical.

    September 28, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Mark, Macon Georgia

    Stay strong Rush. Clinton(s), Kerry, Gore still make me sick upon seeing their name in print.

    September 28, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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