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. Jamie Haney, Huntsville, AL

    This is the biggest double standard i have ever seen. Where was this outrage Mr. Reid when one of your fellow dems called our soldiers "cold blooded killers", or even better, on the same level, Rosie calling our troops terriorists.

    October 2, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. D, WI

    "Phony soldiers" are those people who embellish their military experience to give "credibility" to their brutal lies about the "horrible" things our soldiers "have done" to the citizens of Iraq.

    Upon hearing these horrible stories from "credible" sources (after all, why would someone lie about bad things he has done?), the media just gobbles them up in order to influence the public.

    Jesse MacBeth is but one phony soldier. There are others, and they've already been exposed. That's where the plural "phony soldiers" comes from, everybody.

    Fine- hate Limbaugh. But at least sound intelligent when you do it.

    October 2, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    I never heard Rush say that John Kerry's statement about C Students getting us stuck in Iraq was taken out of context.

    October 2, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. homjett, Enid, Okla

    Its the failure of the MSM, not to have checked out this story first, instead of taking it off of a Liberal Web Site. I actually heard what Mr Limbaugh had said, because I listin to his program everyday. One would have thought the MSM would have clarified this before there Liberal friends took it to the floor of the Senate. Someone owes Rush an apology, along with Bill O'Reilly. These reporters that sit on their duffs all day instead of getting out an breaking stories, instead of reading Blogs. ABC had this same story two days before Rush's show, which is what prompted the discussion. By the way there were more than one person in the story by ABC. Rush has supported the troops all along. His radio show is enjoyed by many of the soldiers. Just reading some of the comments on here, indicates, that the haters never check anything out for themselves. Shame on the MSM. Shame on MediaMatters.

    October 2, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Ray Cunningham, Homer Illinois

    "The Phony Soldiers" should be the title of a book about George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and all those who brought us to this point in our foreign policy. This policy has stained our nation for a generation to come.

    October 2, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Tim Schneider - Mason Oh.

    Harry Reid is clutching for some kind of credibility. He is about as believable as a used car salesman.

    October 2, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    The last time Limbaugh called someone a phony, he made a complete fool of himself for picking on Michael Fox and had to eat his mindless words. After the embarassing defeats for Republicans in the Senate and House in 2004, Rush Limbaugh said “I'm liberated from having to constantly come in here every day and try to buck up a bunch of people who don't deserve it, to try to carry the water and make excuses for people who don't deserve it.” Simple supporters never did figure out that that statement shows how little he cared about telling the truth and how gullible he thinks his listeners are.
    Four times this loud advocate of family values has stood in religious ceremonies and sworn to God to stay married “till death do us part” and three times so far he has not told the truth.
    He has also loudly blamed “liberal” judges for being soft on crime and then fought to get laws liberalized so that a person’s right to privacy should allow them to hide drug prescription abuses.
    Probably most of Limbaugh’s gullible listeners think that his drug abuse problem wasn’t really a police matter. Limbaugh, who has condemned illegal drug use and advocated prison for users, tried to just fluff it off. I wonder how many of his listeners know the truth. He paid $30,000 for costs of the investigation. He has to complete 18 months of drug therapy. He cannot own a gun. He has to submit to random drug testing. I'll bet he also hasn't told his listeners that his mugshot and fingerprints are on file with all the other arrested people at the Palm Beach County Jail.

    October 2, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Ryan Indianapolis

    This is getting out of control,,,,CNN tell the truth, Rush was speaking about "fake Solidiers" that lie about their experiences or were never even in the military...Hey harry nobody is getting fooled yet you are the coward that declared the WAR WAS LOST before the surge even started...if anyone should apologize it should be you,,,HARRY REID IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST EMBARRASSMENT TO EVER WALK INTO THE SENATE,,,shame on you CNN FOR NOT REPORTING THE REAL STORY

    October 2, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Mike K, Pensacola Florida

    Sen Reid is a disgrace to this country and the service members serving. Sen Reid is trying to rattle the cage of the conservatives by attacking one of the most influential conservative talkers of our time. Sen Reid should have listened to the entire comments by Mr. Limbaugh before spewing his lies. I counted 7 lies that Sen Reid stated in his speach. Sad, sad, day Shame on you Sen Reid I expect either an apology to our service members and Rush Limbaugh or your resignation.

    October 2, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. HomeoftheBrave

    "-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.

    ?? Could there be anymore of a mindless stmt than this??

    Pretending to be a soldier is a crime Harry. Doesn't matter which personality or what ideology they represent. Don't you know this...? Harry gives the term "dem majority leader" a whole new meaning..

    October 2, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Frank tulsa, ok

    I find it hilarious that those who have defined 'phony soldiers' and 'patriotism' in this country were repeat military deferers, and air guard pre-madonna's who probably got sand kicked in their face when they were lying on the beach during the war.

    Keep defending them people, it's like a train wreck that keeps piling up.


    October 2, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. William G. Gainesville, FL

    Rush Limbaugh makes me sick. Who even listens to his show anymore, besides idiotic Repugnants who have nothing better to do with their time than listen to his garbage.

    October 2, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Ryan Indianapolis

    If anyone should be apoligizing it should be Harry Reid. This man is the biggest coward in the history of American politics and the state of Nevada should be in utter embarrassment of this deceitful TRAITOR.If we lived during the civil war era this man would have been hung for TREASON!!!!!!!

    October 2, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. josh stephenville tx

    'This man is the biggest coward in the history of American politics'

    Wrong Answer.

    Right Answer. Dick Cheney-5 cowardly deferments

    If you didn't serve in the Civil War because you had 'other priorities' THAT WOULD BE TREASON and betrayal.


    October 2, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Funk & Wagnalls, Webster MA

    "Pre-Madonnas?" OMG

    October 2, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Jeremy Goldberg, Walnut Creek, CA

    Umm, Tommy: Most people in the military have more respect for "Haditha Murtha" than they do for all the rightwing chickenhawks who started this stupid war put together.

    You're a fine one to talk about "speaking before they know what the hell is going on".

    October 2, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Mike, San Diego, Ca

    This is what these NEOCON are about. They are HATEFUL, UGLY LIARS and the WORST AMERICANS. Mr DRUG ADDICT RUSH is worst the TERRORISTS........

    October 2, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Shamus

    Why are Harry Reid and other Dems wasting time with this crap? Who cares what that idiot said? Concentrate on more important things, like cleaning up federal contracting in Iraq, forcing Bush to redeploy US forces, fixing healthcare, getting the budget under control, and reinstating the basic civil rights laid out by the Constitution.

    October 2, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Mike, Houston Texas

    Harry Reid is a phony senator.

    October 2, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Doug, Ely, NV

    Please, our president is bad enough, but Harry Reid? No one should be listening to this swindler.

    October 2, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Jim, Syracuse, NY

    oh, come on. this is the first thing the Dems could find to jump all over after the GOP jumped on the "Betray Us" ad. so sick of this Punch & Judy show between our sad two party system that is already bought and paid for by the elite. and the media follows suit.

    October 2, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    Harry Reid is a terrible senator. We need more honorable senators like David Vitters, Henry Hyde, Tom DeLay, Larry Craig and Mark Foley.

    October 2, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. J Wilmore, Atlanta GA

    Harry Reid should subpoena Rush Limbaugh

    October 2, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Jack, Glen Ellyn, IL

    I did listen to the whole transcript and it is clear that Rush made the comment "phony soldiers" in a general manner to discredit any soldier who criticizes this war. He did not mention the specific soldier unitil later in the broadcast. Media Matters played the whole segment in context. Rush tried to interpose the two statements to cover this outrages display of disrespect for our soldiers. Whenever Rush is exposed for his stupidity and hypocrisy he always wines about the drive by medai and being quoted out of context.

    Rush vigorously screemed about the General Betray-US MoveOn ad, eventhough, he called Senator Hagel (a Vietnam Vet) Senator Betray-US.

    Lets keep exposing this guy for the lying hypocritical chicken-hawk, drug infested loser that he really is.

    October 2, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Chip Celina OH

    Pretty sad day in this country when the terms Harry Reid and Top Democrat are inextricably linked.

    October 2, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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