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. mike, coarsegold, cal

    Why the American taxpayer is flipping the bill for these elected officials is beyond me. How much has this non-issue cost? These idiots have better things to do (you know, Iraq, health care etc.) than waste our money on this. Hello U.S. Senate: you are all making fools of yourselves. Get back to work. We are paying your salaries and I am sick of this stupidity from both parties.

    October 1, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. scott, manchester NH

    i didnt realize Rush was out of drug rehab so soon...and didnt he have some vision problems too??...
    poor guy,................loser.

    October 1, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  3. Al Garrido Jacksonville, Fl.

    This is funny to me, I love to watch these folks get their panties in a wad, I didn't see Reid or any senior Democrats speak up when Clinton disrespected a U. S. Army General and had the full support of moveon.org. Everyone should be able to see through the smoke screen that surrender is on the lips of the Democratic party. I personally give thanks to the proud nation that stood up for this country and didn't bad mouth our troops or our President when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and causing us to defend ourselves. For all that have forgotten take a minute and look up the events that happened on Sept 11, 2001. Then you can just say thank you to a proud vet that wares the uniform and willingly is there giving each and everyone of us the right to be stupid and bad mouth real vets. I for one want to say thank you, it's better to take the fight to them, then to fight it here. Don't ever forget.

    October 1, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  4. David, Clemson, SC

    I saw the report of the Rush Limbaugh-Harry Reid controversy on "The Situation Room' this evening. I have nothing against Dana Bash, but her report was appallingly shallow. I heard Rush's show on Wednesday and his referral to "phony soldiers" had to do with soldiers who misrepresent themselves, such as Jesse MacBeth who was sentenced to five months in prison for one felony count of making a false statement. The following article is from the Eastern Arizona Courier, who apparently has a jump on CNN: (http://www.eacourier.com/articles/2007/10/01/local_news/news04.txt

    Please ask Dana to ask Harry Reid if he supports the actions of Jesse MacBeth.

    October 1, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  5. Mike - Columbus, OH

    I just don't know why people can't make up their own minds. You are so blinded by hatred (in the case left wingers for it is Rush), that you can't use boolean logic to see what is true or not true. Based on either sides fervor, you had your opinion before you even heard the comments simply based on the name. I am glad many of you can't think for yourself...you would be too dangerous if you were let loose. No wonder the parties rule you...

    October 1, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  6. Ira Diamond Ramsey NJ

    I heard the Limbaugh show and found nothing wrong with what was said. He was commenting on a someone who claims he witnessed atrocities, yet he did not make it out of boot camp. The Democrates as usual are throwing stones, stirring up the pot, using this as political hay, the way they always do. And as usual, it is over nothing, overblown, Harry Reid should retire. HIs comments in the past about " the war is lost" is offensive and he should apologize for his comments.

    October 1, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  7. rm, Bastrop TX

    What has happened to America? It seems that the people who are either in power or think that they are in power are totally nuts and out of control. Heaven help this country.

    October 1, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  8. Tired right-sider,(trekks) KANSAS

    Looks like more and more REPUBLICANS are starting to come out of the walls and turning the tick into a conservative chat line. Funny, alot of them are from those blue states.

    October 1, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. Jody - Scottsdale, AZ

    If you look at the Senate roll call for the Resolution asking for full Senate support of General Petraeus (and condemning the ad), you will see that Harry Reid voted nay.

    That pretty much sums up him as a person and characterizes him not as a patriot but as simply a politician.

    October 1, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  10. Derek, Graham, Texas

    Quite frankly I'm amazed that Sen. Harry Reid is now an advocate for soldier's rights. There really isn't much to say here for those that are aware of the current political landscape. Rush may be unfavorable to those on the left, but I find it interesting for CNN.com to post this story in the face of so many other devastating Democrat comments, actions, etc. Thanks, CNN, for demonstrating once again your true colors.

    October 1, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  11. Jon, Albuquerque, NM

    Okay, Limbaugh was speaking about the soldiers from the 82nd airborne that wrote the oped in the NY Times a few months back claiming that the strategy in Iraq was flawed. This guy is on the level of Ann Colter and should be ignored. He feeds off this. None of his listeners will ever doubt him, he can do no wrong in their eyes. Just ignore this moron and his ilk. He has nothing to offer this country or the human race in general. Let him preach to his choir and let the rest of us discuss issues on an intellectual level that this guy will never understand.

    October 1, 2007 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  12. Curtis Stinnett, Weatherford OK

    Why do people put so much stock in what these people say? Senators included. Whether it's a conservative or liberal talk show host, or a member of Congress, I can't put much faith in the empty words of either right now. Pundits, critics, and the like make outrageous and often false or skewed statements that will play on the emotions of the countless uninformed yet patriotic masses in this country. And apparently Senators are doing the same, only their after votes instead of ratings. When are our words going to have any value again? Whether it's objectively reporting what's actually happening and how people actually feel, or keeping a promise to end the war or even catch the guy who started this mess (Bin Laden in case you forgot). When will we stop bickering like grade-school children and engage in the meaningful discussion that will lead to a solution to the horrible mess we find ourselves in?

    October 2, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  13. Carl Parker Hampton, VA

    No matter what anyone says it can always be taken out of context. All i have to say is you be the judge. BUT Iam ex Military was in Both GULF wars and I will say that the people we see on TV supporting the war appear to be reading from a script. Let your voice be heard call a VET, go to a VA Hospital and ask a soldier what he or she thinks.

    October 2, 2007 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  14. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    This is a very embarrassing moment for Democracts. It's appalling that a prominent senator like Reid would make public comments on the story real substance of which he is unfamiliar with. Does he think we are that naïve? The Democractic ship is sinking with Pelosi-Reid captains in charge. They were given the opportunity to show leadership and they've failed exceedingly.

    October 2, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  15. David California

    I love when Rush covers up and the cover-up lie is worse (dumber) than the original outrage.

    October 2, 2007 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  16. Cpt. Pete Garcia, Clarksville, Tn

    I listen to Rush. I'm currently on active duty, served in Iraq, and going to Afghanistan next. He has done nothing but support the troops over the last 20 years, and media matters takes what he said out of context for payback over the move on liberal commies. Did he put a full page ad out in the New York times calling Gen Patreaus a liar? No. He called guys who the anti-war left use (who've never served....phony's). Which is alot better then what I would call them to their face.

    October 2, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  17. Lynn Ensley McCaysville, Ga.

    Don't worry Bush er Rush you can'ty lose your job like Dan Rather did for talking about a phony pilot. Next thing you know someone will bring up you stance on global warming or that phony soldier you helped defeat down here in Georgia. Having trouble getting your prescriptions filled lately?

    October 2, 2007 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  18. Frank, Indianapolis, IN

    Congress needs to think about actually doing something instead of looking for excuses to not get anything accomplished

    Democrats and Republicans should ban together and vote them all out.

    October 2, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  19. Jamie Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

    Well, of course, Limbaugh was taken out of context. Isn't he always? What amazes me is who considers anythng that he has to say to be important? No condemnation from the White House either, wonder why? Perhaps we already know the answer to that one, don't we?

    October 2, 2007 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  20. Stephen, Naples, Florida

    Ironic to hear Harry Reid talk of decency. The Democrats abandoned the concept of moral leadership when they elected Clinton.

    October 2, 2007 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  21. Steve, Camilla, GA

    Cut the libs some slack. They are very, very angry right now. You see, when they heard that none of the big Democratic candidates were going to pull out of Iraq, well they kind of lost it. Media Matters helped gin up this story to take the heat off of Senator Clinton et al. It is much easier, and productive, for them to be mad at Rush. The facts of this case do not matter. It is the end result Media Matters and others in the media are concerned about. It is that simple. This is the second time I have posted this. It was deleted a couple of hours ago. I must be onto something.

    October 2, 2007 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  22. Geoff Goddard, KS

    Media Matters is a witch hunt group, period. I wouldn't believe them if they told me what day it was. They should be called, 'only liberal Media Matters'.

    October 2, 2007 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  23. Spencer Adams, Atlanta, GA

    The reason right-wing liars get away with what they do is due to their very nature: they lie. They are too cowardly and too uncertain in the basis of their beliefs that they can't intelligently produce any reasonable argument. They rely on misinformation, misdirection, and slander to achieve popular support of their goals. When attacked, they defend themselves with the same tactics that they critique their opponents for using!

    October 2, 2007 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  24. Tom Heinecke, Kettering, Ohio

    Wasn't it Harry Reid who said some time ago the "war in Iraq was lost". Perhaps this to was taken out of context.

    October 2, 2007 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  25. JB, Bridgeport, CT

    Harry Reid should apologize for being an idiot. tell him to heck the facts first.

    October 2, 2007 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
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