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. Lavelle Rochester,ny

    Sep 27 – Saddam to Bush: $1bn and I Deport Myself before you Invade Iraq


    Saddam asked Bush for $1bn to go into exile
    By DAVID GARDNER – More by this author » Last updated at 23:45pm on 26th September 2007

    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein is said to have offered to go into exile for $1billion

    George Bush was convinced that Saddam was serious about going into exile

    Saddam Hussein offered to step down and go into exile one month before the invasion of Iraq, it was claimed last night.

    Fearing defeat, Saddam was prepared to go peacefully in return for £500million ($1billion).

    The extraordinary offer was revealed yesterday in a transcript of talks in February 2003 between George Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the President's Texas ranch.

    The White House refused to comment on the report last night.

    But, if verified, it is certain to raise questions in Washington and London over whether the costly four-year war could have been averted.

    Only yesterday, the Bush administration asked Congress for another £100billion to finance the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The total war bill for British taxpayers is expected to reach £7billion by next year.

    More than 3,800 American service personnel have lost their lives in Iraq, along with 170 Britons and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

    However, according to the tapes, one month before he launched the invasion Mr Bush appeared convinced that Saddam was serious about going into exile.

    "The Eqyptians are speaking to Saddam Hussein," said Mr Bush.

    "It seems he's indicated he would be prepared to go into exile if he's allowed to take $1billion and all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction."

    Asked by the Spanish premier whether Saddam – who was executed in December last year – could really leave, the President replied: "Yes, that possibility exists. Or he might even be assassinated."

    But he added that whatever happened: "We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March."

    Mr Bush went on to refer optimistically to the rebuilding or Iraq.

    The transcript – which was published yesterday in the Spanish newspaper El Pais – was said to have been recorded by a diplomat at the meeting in Crawford, Texas, on February 22, 2003.

    Mr Bush was dismissive of the then French President Jacques Chirac, saying he "thinks he's Mr Arab".

    Referring to his relationship with Downing Street, he said: "I don't mind being the bad cop if Blair is the good cop."

    The President added: "Saddam won't change and he'll keep on playing games.

    "The time has come to get rid of him. That's the way it is."

    Days before the invasion began on March 22, 2003, the United Arab Emirates proposed to a summit of Arab leaders that Saddam and his henchmen should go into exile.

    It was the first time the plan had been officially voiced but it was drowned out in the drumbeat of war.

    A spokesman for Mr Aznar's foundation had no comment on its authenticity.

    Bomb attacks killed 57 people in Iraq yesterday.

    ^^^how bout a fake president???? This is it and weep!

    September 28, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Jim

    Will you IDIOTS every get anything correct? The "phoney soldiers" comment was directed to one person who served only 44 days and even washed out of boot camp. He never went to Iraq! He never received a purple heart. He LIED and all you Liberals ate it up because it made Rush look bad. It was the same thing as military service letters against Bush that Dan Rather broke! If it makes the Republicans look bad, then it has be to true....that is your philosphy.

    CNN = Communist News Network

    September 28, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. larry buchas

    Rush always manages to plant his foot in his mouth.

    He's a typical chickenhawk. Support the troops. Just make sure he's safe in his air-conditioned hideout.

    Hey Rush, the phony troops are the ones that give our country a bad reputation. Those are the ones that ran the torture parties at Abu Ghraib or killed innocent civilians. Fortunately, most of our military doesn't fit that description.

    September 28, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    If you think Limbaugh was disparaging our troops then you did not hear what he said. You have printed garbage.

    September 28, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Willy Augusta, GA

    what happened to all of this free speech the democraps were talking about earlier this week with F#$k bush? Double standard? No it couldn't be with the flip flopping Kerry at the helm.

    September 28, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. DAH, Diyayla Province, Iraq

    I am a soldier currently on my second tour in Iraq. I am personally disgusted of windbags like Rush who question my loyalties of the country I love... Do not confuse my pariotism with failed political policy decisions...

    September 28, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Robert, Dallas, Texas

    This 37 year old Gulf War vet, 2 bronze star recipient, condemns CNN and the Dems as the LIARS they are. You take comfort in misquoting people(Limbaugh). Hey traitors, how about stories on phony vets like the one Rush was talking about. I dare you. Got any more snuff films of troops in combat. You phony bastards.

    September 28, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Nan - Charleston, S.C.

    How ironic, and pathetic, that 3 drug-addled draft dodgers (Rush, Dick, and George) are in positions where they can promote and/or cause the deaths of American soldiers, and the destruction of a sovereign nation that DID NOT threaten the U.S., nor take part in 9/11. Sadder, still, are their defenders. There's much for them to answer for on Judgement Day.

    September 28, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Bob, Columbus Oh

    The best part of this article, comments included, no one has said he was wrong. Now that's funny.

    September 28, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Preston, Long Beach CA

    please include the entire transcript from RUSH, your CNN organization is a disgrace! RUSH was clearly taking about the army ranger that was sentenced to jail and failed boot camp (44 days in). This "ranger" never was in IRAQ.

    September 28, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Michelle, Vienna, VA

    No one is obligated to answer this, but think about the question. How many of you Limbaugh supporting Dittoheads out there are between the ages of 18-42? If you're not typing your comments from Iraq or Afghanistan then why the hell not? Don't tell me you have a debilitating cyst as well? Or could it be you're waiting for this season of "Am I smarter than a fifth grader" to end before you sign up?

    Like I said, no need for your windy comments and pointing fingers, just an honest self-assessment.

    September 28, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Tom, Rockford, IL

    As a Marine Vietnam Vet, I feel that those who have put their life on the line for their country are the ones who have the greatest right to speak out for or against a war. Limbaugh and the rest of the Republicans have no problem attacking American GIs while saying what good Americans the stay at home Repubicans are.

    September 28, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. PH, Longview, TX

    I heard the show in question. Limbaugh then went on to explained what he meant by the "phony soilders" remark – and cited a specific example regarding Ranger Jesse Macbeth – who the left embraced until they found out he was a fraud. That is what he was talking about. Another incident of CNN taking something out of context. Shame on you. You should be ashamed...

    September 28, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. Tim, Philadelphia Pa

    Every one needs to calm down and cuy Rush a break. Maybe he's on drugs again.

    September 28, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. lavelle Rochester,ny

    Are you kidding me? The Dems are trying to make something out of this. I am ex-military, and I know exactly what Rush meant. It is taken out of context and that is how the drive-bys and the Dems like to make their attacks. They have nothing else to go on, so they try so hard to discredit Republicans. Get back to what is important. Everyone knows that Rush is a military lover.

    How can you take that out of context??? Did you hear the conversation? He was having a conversation with a soldier who was in the military. And the soldier said there are soldiers who do not agree with the Iraq mission. Rush interupted him and said "yeah the fake soldiers" there is no way you can take that out of context. I would listen to the soldiers on the ground before i listen to a scripted generals speech. Who said the war was going great a year ago when hundreds of soldiers were dying and thousands of Iraq's were dying. Some republican brains are just warped beyond repair. This war was a mistake no if ands buts about it. Research the facts and stop being so damn naive as to whats going on!

    September 28, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Chris A. Columbus, OH

    Yet another left wing slam! These morons need to be spanked in the middle of a court room. The phony soldiers are the fraudulent traitors that impersonate soldiers and come up with outlandish stories. Way to go CNN! Yet another reason not to watch your damn programming!!!

    September 28, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. John, Abingdon Virginia

    Quoted out of context and dishonestly. Anyone hearing the entire sentence, as I have, would agree that Rush owes no one an apology. However, the media that mis-reported this, and some in the Democratic leadership, should recant and express there regrets to all of us.

    September 28, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. James Gray Richmond, VA

    I am not sure why Rush Limbaugh called service men who fought in iraq phony just because thye are critical of the mission over there. These service men still fought bravely when they were ordered to fight. Im sure if Rush has the guts to do that then he should have no problem relocating his radio show to somewhere in central baghdad. Lets see who is phony then.

    September 28, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Rick Rankin - Madison, WI

    Sounds like Rush might be back on the goof balls.

    September 28, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. David, La Mirada, CA

    Once again, idiot libs sound off on something they cannot back up. Rush's comments, as usual, are taken out of context and fools like Kerry and Webb make statements without even hearing the actual original text–just believing what the Clinton News Network (CNN) and other liberal reporter types tell them. Unbelievable and inexcusable! Rush is owed an apology immediately by the extreme-leftist media and by the Commie-wing of the Democrat party who have criticized him.

    September 28, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Joe, Kernersville, NC

    The Democrats are idiots. They should have listened to the radio show. Rush is talking about a soldier who lied about being in Iraq and being a Ranger when in fact he was discharged after 44 days in Army boot camp. They got their information from which excluded most of the actual transcript.

    September 28, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. J. Weiss Carlsbad, CA

    There is no excuse to get this story wrong. It is very easy to get what Rush really said from the transcripts of his show. Futhermore, he has never, ever insulted our military! If you are really interested in the truth you would correct this story. CNN should know better than to get a story from Media Matters who regularly distort stories – especially when the Democrats regularly insult our military and you don't report on it – you wonder why people think the media is biased. Amazing and shameful!

    September 28, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Linda - Albany, NY

    You mean to tell me this moron is still on the air and people still listen to him?!? lol

    September 28, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Randy, Crystal Lake IL

    As a former US Marine, I agree with Rush. The phony soldiers that are the ones doing the talking are the same ones that only joined the US Armed Forces for the free benifits, the ones that didn't really feel that they have the intestinal fortitude to protect our country. So they are doing what they probably have done their whole lives, attempt to get out of a committment without seeing it through.

    September 28, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Judy, Ponte Vedre Beach, FL

    The free speech argument is null and void. has the same right to free speech as Rush Limbaugh.

    AGAIN with the hypocrisy. Repugnants – I mean Republicans – have the market cornered one that one. But they'll like it – it's a 'free market.' lol

    Geez, it never ceases to amaze me. The party that comes up with bizarro conspiracy theories on Clinton denies them for Bush, etc. If it's their guy, it can't possibly be...etc. How flippin' delusional can you get?

    Wait, don't answer that. Our country, our Constitution (which you've shredded) can't take it...

    A *REAL* Republican would stand for the reinstitution of habeus corpus, and would not hide behind the skirts of torture. A REAL Republican would stand for honesty, integrity and full disclosure – not the hidden, corrupt and incompetent ideologies of this appalling Administration.

    Rush AND Bush will not get my respect for one second, UNTIL THEY EARN IT.

    September 28, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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