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. Eric, San Diego, CA

    typical Clinton News Network, attack conservative points of view and ignore liberal, anit-american rants.

    Bring back federal RICO statutes!!!

    September 28, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Frank Johnson, Buffalo, NY

    Would you expect any less from this hypocritical drug addict? Instead of pursuing the distraction created by this windbag, why aren't we focusing on the insane waste of American lives and American tax dollars on a country that doesn't want us there?!?!?

    September 28, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Omar, Norfolk, VA

    The insightful words of a drug addicted Chickenhawk.

    Semper Fi!

    September 28, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Eric T, Chittenango, NY

    Posted by: Eric T. Chittenango, NY

    What do you expect with these comments! CNN has a bunch of lib readers who are commenting so they are mostly negative! Go over to and the comments will be different because people think for themselves! By the way, Fox News crushes CNN in viewers.

    September 28, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Brian DelVecchio

    As much as I believe one is better off doing soemthing useful for society than wasitng time listenting to this fat drug-addled winbag, I am so tired of the umbrage displayed by both sides, as if they're going to faint from disgust. Pansies. Politicians and citizens alike need to grow up and move on and get back to work.

    September 28, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. Kris W. Knoxville Tennessee

    Rush Limbaugh's comments were taken out of context, just like Bill O'reilly's comments were taken out of context by Cnn. Cnn is doing such a pathetic job they have to attack the most popular radio broadcast as well as the most popular cable news broadcast just to get ratings. Democrats don't support the tropps, Kerry called troops uneducated, Dodd won't apologize to the aquitted marines he accused of being viscious murderers, and most of them called a 4 star general a liar!

    You people need to get your facts straight and stop believing everything CNN tells you because most of it is a lie, which is why their ratings are so low.

    It's not called the Clinton News Network for nothing.

    September 28, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Ian, Austin TX

    Hey, Denver's Shelly D. – you might want to brush up on your reading comprehension skills. John Kerry was referencing our idiot president getting "stuck in Iraq" due to his short-sightedness and inability to predict the outcome of his monumentally stupid decision to invade, not the soldiers. I realize Rush and the GOP spin-bots told you mean ol' pinko commie John Kerry (he of the PHONY PURPLE HEARTS) was making fun of THE TROOPS. I also realize you are easily confused and manipulated by bad people. After all, that's how we got into this war in the first place...

    September 28, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Rebecca Huntsville AL

    Has Limbaugh ever offered his life for someone??? I bet not! He's too busy condemning everyone else for his mistakes in life.

    September 28, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Moe, NY

    Cannot believe anyone in America still listens to Limbaugh. In my opinion, he has discredited himself more than a few times...preaching that phony conservative family values jargon and then, like all republicans/conservatives cannot/do not practice what they preach. Besides, who in their right mind would actually believe what a drug user/abuser has to say regarding anything? This man, in my opinion, has lost all creditability and like most republican/conservatives is a hypocrite. Do us all a favor Limbaugh and just go away, you and your phony ideals are irrelevant to american citizens and to mankind in general.

    September 28, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. Betty Pollock, Little Rock, AR

    Its the same story with republicans. When democrats attack military they are un-patriotic, and for republicans it is freedom of speech. Why are these chickenhawks come forward and condemn Rush? Its a double standard for sure. These war mongerers don't want Rush to get mad. Thats the big platform for their campaign.

    September 28, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. alo - new york, ny

    when people can't come up with substansive agruments against the gist of what someone said they attack them personally.

    I thought liberals loved drug addicts and victims and dysfunctional people? Rush should be right up your alley.

    September 28, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. M from Atlanta, Georgia

    I have an idea, let Al Frankin and Rush duke it out in the opening fight before the main event Ted Turner VS Rupert Murdoch. If nothing else, it would be the most entertaining thing on T.V., a hell of a lot more substantial that news on Britney or Paris Hilton (to which I say when the hell did that become news?) There is nothing news worthy about any of this. Why is CNN wasting the space on it? Because they know you clowns will try to pick a fight over it between yourselves.

    Repubs are not tryin to kill old people and Dems are not trying to turn us into Communists. If either side tried that, they'd find them selves on the wrong end of war crimes trial and you all know it! Grow UP and find something worth while to solve. Like abolishing political correctness.

    September 28, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Matt, Baltimore MD

    wow it amazes me how the so called "educated" left so quickly resorts to name calling.

    it also amazes me how people will believe any story put in front of them at face value.

    September 28, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Mike H., Pittsboro, NC

    Anyone sly enough to say idiot-limbaugh's comments are out of context is as sly (and stupid) as he is. Oxycontin or not, he says exactly what he wants and means and his point is precisely taken... disagree with the "idiot-in-chief" and you are un-patriotic.

    I am a vet. I hope all of you war supporters rot in hell for your support of this mess. There's a place on the devil's bench for all of you right next to bush and chaney.

    Where is the outrage in this country? It's time to protest in the streets.

    September 28, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Philip Berthiaume Auburn, Ma

    Rush is a coward. He has never fought in a war.He has no clue what it is like.

    September 28, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Dennis T. , Boulder, CO

    Rush is right that men who dont see combat are not real soldiers. Let's face it you just don't like Rush and this is a convenient place to diss him !

    September 28, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Pete, Fort Worth, TX

    Where’s the resolution condemning this in Congress? Democrats need to play the same games as Republicans for once to see how Republicans like it.

    September 28, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. John, Long Island, NY

    Our soldiers are trained to follow orders and the do so with honor. They are also citizens with the right to question their government and its' policies. To attempt to silence them by calling the "Phony" is counter to all for which this nation stands. But what should we expect from a peddler of hate. Rush Limbaugh and his callers are hateful people who purposely work divide the country with a simplistic black and white view. They cannot accept that this President has taken us down a path that has caused so much pain and suffering, with very little chance for a good outcome.

    September 28, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Mark, Thornton Colorado

    I listened to this show and Mr Limbaugh spoke of a soldier interviewed claiming to be a purple heart recient. That individual had not even served in Iraq and was washed out of the military.

    There was no attack on the military by Mr. Limbaugh who regularly thanks callers for their military service.

    Report the whole story. His words are easily found at his web site. Do your homework.

    September 28, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Scott, Smithfield, NC

    Ok for those who want to see the transcript of the show, you'll see a soldier who called in actually started it. It's about half-way down. Here's the link:
    Judge for yourselves! Rush is pretty much notching this up to the same chicanery the dems pull like phony polling etc.

    September 28, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Daniel, NY

    Check out the latest national general election Fox News poll.
    Hillary leads comfortably against all Republicans!

    September 28, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Robert, Houston TX

    Limbaugh shouldn't apologize if he said what he meant to say. Anyone who finds his comments offensive should stop listening to him or simply voice your own opinion of his garbage. But it's his personal garbage he's spewing, and he should just pay for it in the realm of the public opinion. His apology wouldn't be sincere anyway.

    He has been wrong about too many things to count. Why should he start apologizing for them now? There have been things that the media got carried away with that were negative about Liberals that all other Republicans on record took back when they found out the real context of the statement, and Limbaugh would refuse to take it back. Instead, he would continue ranting about it on his show even after his fellow Republicans said it turned out to be nothing.

    He's got Republican ditto heads who will nod and cheer at whatever he says, no matter how crass or incorrect... Don't think about anything for yourselves guys; if Limbaugh says it, it's true and righteous. And if anyone disagrees with his comments, the first thing you should do is start attacking their character. You know the Republican drill...

    September 28, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Mike Smith, Port Washington, NY

    1. Yes, this is worse than the pun made in its otherwise well-documented ad.
    2. It is silly to be outraged by this - Limbaugh says a lot of more ignorant things every day.
    3. It is doing no favors to have this implicit comparison to Limbaugh. has 3.3 million members who are committed to ending this senseless war. Limbaugh is merely a windbag with little to no substance.

    September 28, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Robert, Galena, Illinois

    Maybe he was high. It's not his fault.

    September 28, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Oxxy Conton

    It is sad to watch how low people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Anne Coulter will stoop both morally and intellectually just to keep their names in the news.

    I guess any soldier who doesn't agree with Rush is a 'phoney soldier' but if they do agree with him, they are patriots.

    The neocons are ruining this country.

    September 28, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17