October 2nd, 2007
09:17 AM ET
12 years ago

Top Democrat slams Limbaugh over 'phony soldiers'

Reid had some harsh words for Rush Limbaugh Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed Rush Limbaugh Monday over his recent controversial "phony soldiers" remark, despite the conservative talk-radio host's protests that his words have been taken out of context.

Limbaugh's comments in question came last 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.

Several Democrats released statements late last week condemning the remarks and in a speech on the Senate floor Monday, Reid called the comments "so beyond the pale of decency that it cannot be left alone."

"Just as patriotism is the exclusive realm of neither party, taking a stand against those who spew hate and impugn the integrity of our troops is a job that belongs to all of us," Reid said.

"I can’t help but wonder how my Republican colleagues would have reacted if the tables were turned – if a well-known Democratic radio personality had used the same insulting line of attack against troops who support the war," the Nevada Democrat added.

Responding to his critics on Friday's show, Limbaugh said he was "taken out of context," adding his remark was referring to one soldier specifically - Jesse MacBeth, a vocal war critic who falsely claimed to have served in Iraq.

"The effort here is simply to discredit people that they consider effective and powerful on the right ginning up, leading up into the '08 elections," Limbaugh said Friday.

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (357 Responses)
  1. Rick, Minot, North Dakota

    Its about time the Dems get a little back bone and call the chicken hawks out. All Chicken Hawks like Rush, Boehner, O'Reilly, Hannity, Hume, Cavuto, and Gibson who don't know the 1st thing about the military because when it was there time to serve they hid under there moms panties (stink), like the little cowards they are.

    October 2, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. Dallas, Texas

    Typicla liberal reaction. Listen to the entire statement. What was objected to was a soldier who had lied about his military experience and was used as a shill for the anti-war crowd. Rush refered to that individual as a "phony soldier" not the entire army.
    Never confuse a liberal with the facts or the truth – they can't handle either.

    October 2, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. Tim C , Phoenix, AZ

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed Rush Limbaugh Monday over his recent controversial "phony soldiers" remark, despite the conservative talk-radio host's protests that his words have been taken out of context.

    Haha! How typical of the DriveBy Media. CNN, do you get your news from MediaMatters or do you have someone actually listen to the show ? "Rush under fire" ?? No Bmedia, that's not the story. The story and the headline is " Rush Limbaugh slams 'Dingy Harry' for his lies and attempted smear and challenges him to appear on his radio show and tell it to his face."


    October 2, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. Matthew W. Combest

    Limbaugh is fool. Enough Said.

    October 2, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  5. John - APO AE

    I normally regard Limbaugh as a windbag but, in this case, I think he is correct. The Democrat strategists that thought this would be a good way to...what?...weaken a conservative spokesman on a core issue?...made a blunder.
    There are plenty of valid reasons to engage Rush on issues but this is not one of those valid reasons.

    October 2, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. Larry Worcester MA

    I am not a big fan of Limbaugh even I am on the right. But liberal anti-american news like troop hating CNN and freedom hating MSNBC have again taking the truth and twisted it around to fit their liberal ideas on how the world should be. Start reporting the whole story CNN. You attack Bill on fox news because their rating are triple of yours. CNN has become the new MSNBC, your ratings suck so you make up news. He was talking about a freedom hater whole claims he was in Iraq. Thats all. Ofcouse Harry Reid went after him, he needs to gain some approval ratings don't you think. Reid is at a awesome 11% approval Ratings but CNN forgets to report that, god for bid you report the truth. CNN is the liberals news station.

    October 2, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  7. Jules, Elgin, IL

    Oh, get off your high dragon, Reid. "so beyond the pale of decency"? One remark by a talk show host - a remark with SOME validity –can't even begin to overshadow the atrocities cxommitted by your own boss and party leader, Shrub, such as willful ignorance of Constitutional intent, cover-up, deceit, outright lies and most of all, placing tens of thousands of young men and women in harm's way for the sole purpose of securing his oil-based retirement income.

    It's sickening. I'll tell you about pale - even Richard Nixon pales in comparison to the fraud that Shriub has committed on Americans.

    October 2, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  8. Matt, Kansas City, MO

    Don't any of you find it convenient that the networks that pursue this story with any vigor happen to be the ones that are in direct competition for advertising dollars with Limbaugh's network?

    Give me a break. I'm no fan of Limbaugh, but this is another "phony" controversy cooked up by the media. It's intended to boost ratings, create more stories via reporting on the fallout, and smear a competing network. I use "reporting" in the loosest sense of the word – U.S. media doesn't "report" anymore. They give summaries that last a couple of minutes, at most, and amplify the "shock" details to get people to watch.

    Same deal with accusations of racism against Bill O'Reilly in the last couple of weeks. Out of context. It was more cooked up controversy.

    CNN is directly to blame for this, along with MSNBC. Why haven't they made equally spirited attempts to cream Jesse Jackson for not apologizing to Duke athletes? I'm guessing it's because Jesse Jackson isn't employed by Fox News.

    This is what happens when morons rely too much on U.S. media to form their own opinions. In case alot of you haven't been keeping up on current events, it's common knowledge that the media lies to you so that you will earn them more advertising dollars.

    Get real. Turn off CNN. Turn off Fox News. Turn off Rush. Do your own research. "Opinion" pieces should not be part of anything claiming to be a "news source". If somebody wants to write an opinion piece, then they should write a book.

    Pull the plug on this bull, CNN, or I am going to make you wish I'd never started a blog.

    October 2, 2007 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  9. Bryan, Birmingham Alabama

    Typical Dummycrat rhetoric. If someone from the political right says anything that can be misconstrued as an attack against the military then it is fair game. Meanwhile, the same liberal left can say anything that they feel is pertinent, regardless of how indignant or damaging it is to the people who serve in the military and feel like they are the savior of the free world. Anyone who wishes to disagree with their enlightened values is then attacked as someone who has no moral compass or compassion toward the common soldier. Senator Reid needs to choose his words carefully or they may come back to him as misconstrued.

    October 2, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  10. ThirstyJon, Freedomville, IL

    Was moveon.org taken out of context with their ad? Harry Reid is just trying to turn the tables on the moveon.org thing by making it sound like Rush is doing the same thing.

    I don't buy it.

    Go away Harry.


    October 2, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  11. Fair Minded

    This Article is out of bogus and out of context. I as a soldier am insulted by CNN and the main stream media. You CNN and NPR types have your heads in the sand and only hear what you want!

    October 2, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. Samman, Bristol, Ct

    Well is this just great, a tit for tat, I can see Congress is so Bussssy making statments instead of doing some work. Dems you really shouldn't go there with all the crap that spews from your mouth along with your willing Media buddies basically trashing General Petraeus on the Senate floor. You have no respect for the Military, oh except when they are helping you get your loot out of New Orleans,(Rep. Jefferson). About the comment, your totally wrong get the whole story and your facts straight instead of listening to Left Wing anti-American blogs. Demorats, ask yourself why Hillary didn't condemn Move On, hmm

    October 2, 2007 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. jim bucyrus, oh

    If all you 'Limbaugh Zombies' had an independent thought of your own you would know that even if this was taken out of context it was done so because Rush has lost all personal credibility. No one really believes O.J. anymore either, except those who really "know the truth" about him. Rush is his own worst enemy even when he speaks 'in context'.

    There are three kinds of people in politics: 1. those who cry foul when taken out of context 2. those who cry foul when when taken in context 3. and those who take things out of context to maliciously malign their opponent regardless of the original intent.

    Both parties fall in all three categories and Rush Limbaugh has multiple personalities.


    October 2, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. David

    I've listened to the comment and obiously many who commmented here have not. Otherwise, you would conclude Harry Reid is a disingenuous,bag of crap who must not have anything relevent in his head if he is going to lock horns with a mere talkshow host.
    Are there any statesmen left in America?

    October 2, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. Dennis Lenoir, NC

    If Rush should make an apology them the DEMS should make an apology also of its remarks toward the military before the General returned home with the SUCCESS of the War. Murtha, Reid and others of the DEM party made smeering reamrks in regards of betray, innocent killing, and night killing.

    October 2, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. Gary Coonrod Fayetteville, NC

    There have been "phony soldiers" since there have been wars. They walk our streets today claiming heroism wearing medals. I am sure that there are soldiers in Iraq that are against the war. I cannot be they enjoy being shot at or coming under attack by IED's. BUT the bottom line is that it is an ALL VOLUNTEER MILITARY. I hear no one in Congress standing up and making speeches condemming the "phony soldiers" only jumping on the bandwagon trying to make political hay condemming Limbaugh for his supposed remarks.

    October 2, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. Bubba, Swainsboro Ga

    I don't mind him humorously presenting his side; what I mind is that he seems to gloat evilly over the nastiness of his insults. He'd burn up in direct sunlight like Dracula. He's like a comic-book villain, hunh-hunhing away over something on a slab; why is he the darling of so many Christians?

    October 2, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  18. Josh - New Yory, USA

    Wow, at least CNN told the truth – though it took the 2nd to last paragraph to get to it. I hope you can be honest with this story and not give the dems a free forum to spred lies. We'll see.

    October 2, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. Dr Atomic, Down South

    What Rush did was imply that any soldier who isn't pro-bush-war was a phony soldier, using one example to 'prove' his point. He and Spongebob are both entertaining, but Spongebob's political commentary is more insightful.

    October 2, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  20. Harry Ried, Washington DC

    One can only hope that every lying democrat is elected out of office. They are an embarrassment to the US. I regret ever being one and will be changing my party affiliation in the next election. The democratic party is once again showing its true colors as terrorist supports who have no platform and have accomplished nothing since they were elected into office.

    October 2, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. Alpha, Stamford, CT

    Yeah, why would anyone listen to that imbecile Rush? CNN never sensationalizes and always reports the facts!

    October 2, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Richard, Alexandria VA

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," and Limbaugh is proof of that. Mr. Anal Cyst has no business judging whether soldiers are "phoney", when it is he that is the biggest phoney of all.

    October 2, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. therealist

    The phony soldier Limbaugh referenced was in fact, a phony soldier. And he has now been convict of pretending to be a US Ranger and purple heart recipient. Just like many other phony soldiers from other wars.

    Obviously, quite different from mega billionaires paying for attack ads that demoralize our country and troops while they fight on the battleground.

    Our blind, pitiful 110th Congress continues to show how out of touch they are with reality. Is there any wonder why they continue to rank as the worst Congress in American history?

    October 2, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. OSU, Columbus, Ohio

    That's great to know that the democratic leadership watches Rush! It just goes to show you what great appeal the man has. I don't watch him, but anybody with half a brain can see where he was going with this. JUST MAYBE, Limbaugh was talking about how the media interviews only selected individuals who opposed our presence in Iraq. Ya think? Has anyone ever seen one soldier interviewed by the media that will tell us anything positive about the war? I spoke with a woman a couple of weeks ago whose brother is in Iraq and she said that the media does NOT reflect the solders' views. No surprise there. People believe just what they are fed by the media – that's why Europe hates America – all they see is what their media tells them, too.

    October 2, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Shea Geisler, Louisville Kentucky

    Harry Reid needs to get his facts straight. Those remarks were taken out of context. Limbaugh did say that but was referring to one "soldier" who has been proven a fake, never made it out of basic training yet has made claims of serving in Iraq. This is a perfect example of the Dems desparity -what a joke.

    October 2, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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