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Harry Reid says Rush Limbaugh statements ‘embarrassing for our country’

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Tom Donoghue/www.donoghuephotography.com

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is shown at Planet Hollywood on Jan. 28, 2010, when he judged the Miss America Pageant.

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 (9:15 p.m.)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pauses on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, while meeting with the media after the Democratic policy luncheon.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pauses on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, while meeting with the media after the Democratic policy luncheon.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday night that Rush Limbaugh is losing credibility and called the nation’s most popular talk radio host’s comments about a law school student “embarrassing for our country.”

In an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, the Democratic majority leader said “mainstream Republicans don’t accept all this crazy stuff taking place.”

“What we need are the Republicans to get back to where they were,” Reid said on the liberal show. “We don’t have Republican leaders who can lead them down the path to bring about real change in the country.”

Limbaugh last week called Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his radio show. She had testified before Congress regarding women's access to contraception through health insurance.

After the comments blew up into a controversy and some sponsors abandoned him, Limbaugh issued an apology on his website on Saturday and addressed the issue on his show on Monday.

The written statement said, in part: "My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

Fluke called Limbaugh’s statements insufficient.

Reid and Limbaugh have tussled in the past. In 2007, Reid authored a letter to the Clear Channel Communications boss asking Limbaugh to apologize for using the term “phony soldiers,” which Limbaugh's critics claimed was directed at Iraq War veterans who supported withdrawal from the country.

Reid's letter to Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays was auctioned off for $2.1 million by Limbaugh, who declared victory over the Senate Democrat.

On Monday, Reid was asked by O’Donnell if Limbaugh's treatment of Fluke would deter citizens from testifying before Congress.

“You cannot have something like this take place. It’s embarrassing for our country. It’s embarrassing to Congress ... You can’t do that to women in America anymore,” Reid said.

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Discussion: 63 comments so far…

  1. Here's something you can do with aspirin Rush -- every time you have the urge to open your disgusting mouth, put a tablet between your teeth and hold it there until the urge passes.

    When the country needs advice on morality, we'll look to someone other than a drug addict on his fourth wife.

  2. Harry should know about being an embarrassment to his country. Every time the old man appears in public and starts talking, everyone in the country shake their heads and wonder how such a babbling, out of touch idiot got elected.

  3. How anyone can listen to or appreciate this sorry excuse for a human being, is beyond me. What a disgrace to the human race. He lies, he's a drug addict, he's obnoxious, he's fat, he's ugly, and for him to attack ANYONE on moral grounds is the definition of hypocrisy.

    I hope she sues him.

  4. AJ,

    I am no fan of Limbaugh, to put it mildly. I found his remarks to be far beyond the pale and am glad to see he is losing a lot of support. But why are you making a comment that if it came from him you would object to? I think it would be better to express your disgust (which any reasonable person shares) without resorting to the same kind of personal attack he uses.

  5. We should be beyond embarrassment as a nation after losing our democracy to our disgraceful method of campaign funding. A growing number of members of Congress and The Senate are publicly stating this today while attempting campaign funding reform, but our other embarrassment, once again allowing too much media ownership to too powerful few, prevents their words from reaching the people. Only 1%, a familiar percentage today, of our media is carrying their message to citizens.
    Today's media owners, who also have large holdings in financial, aviation, rail, lighting, security, energy, petroleum, etcetera, don't wish to lose opportunity to influence government actions with poltical campaign contributions.

  6. Enjoyed the editorial. Senator Reid is right about how the Tea/Republican Party has been totally hijacked by right wingnuts.

    What I thought was interesting about this article was not only the reporting, but the comments.

    People like askmrmark, Bob_Realist, jparker12004, RefNV, Future, and BCDave (so far, I'm sure others will ring in when they hear the dog whistle blowing), have all turned this around as attacks against Senator Reid, Ed Schultz, President Obama, the fairy godmother, and who knows who else.

    From the comments of those mentioned above, I really don't think they realize they are basically standing up for Mr. Limbaugh by disregarding the heart of this issue. By deflecting the issue of Mr. Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic attack against a woman who testified before Congress, they are unwittingly defending him and his inappropriate behavior.

    And one can surmise also that, based on the above commenters and their views, they have all proclaimed they totally agree with him and Mr. Rush Limbaugh is indeed the titular head of the Tea/Republican Party.

    Just wanted to point out the obvious.

    It's obvious to a lot of us.

    But to them, it's probably not.

    When the focus is to attack to pound out an agenda all the time, reality is pretty much blinded by the hate to what someone is actually commenting about, I guess.

    Having said what I said, I will probably see them all double down with more comments.

    Work, work, work. Busy, busy, busy. Life never ends when you are a rabid right winger.

  7. "You cannot have something like this take place. It's embarrassing for our country. It's embarrassing to Congress ... You can't do that to women in America anymore..."

    This from our leading Congressman whose oath of office included his promise to support, defend, etc., free speech. Makes me question who's the real hooker in this Discussion.

    "The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker's opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection. For it is a central tenet of the First Amendment that the government must remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas." -- HUSTLER MAGAZINE AND LARRY C. FLYNT v. JERRY FALWELL, 485 U.S. 46, 55-6 (1988)

  8. Harry Reid showed class in his comments about Rush, Rush shows no class at all in any of his diatribes. Shows us why Harry Reid is and has been a driving force in American politics for a long time.
    KillerB - this is not a 1st Amendment issue, no one has silenced the whale Rush. Harry Reid and all of us can say what we think about Rush too, under the protection of the 1st Amendment. I guess folks like you think it's ok for Rush to spout hatred all he wants but the rest of us can't respond?

  9. "KillerB - this is not a 1st Amendment issue, no one has silenced the whale Rush."

    Judy -- I don't see any qualifications Senator Reid's remarks were made as a private citizen. It's clear he made them as a federal lawmaker who fancies himself the Senate's gatekeeper. His "You cannot have something like this take place" and "You can't do that to women in America anymore" are the antithesis of the kind of government neutrality his oath promised.

    I don't take kindly to you getting personal with me. I didn't post anything favoring Limbaugh, and I never will. He's free to say whatever he wants. He's also free to take the consequences. Kinda fun to watch his mouth get him in this kind of trouble, no?

    "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." -- Eric Blair, aka George Orwell

  10. No one is questioning Limbaugh's right of free speech. Of course, advertisers have rights too -- and so far Quicken, Sleep Number, Carbonite, Citrix, Legal Zoom, ProFlowers and AOL have all decided that they no longer wish to be associated with his program.

  11. One thing is certain, You can stick a fork in Rush Limbaugh, "He's Done".

  12. This wasn't some random or spontaneous comment. Limbaugh's attack on Fluke went on for THREE DAYS.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/0... http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/0...
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/0...

  13. <<Rush Limbaugh is an embarrassment to our country only to be outdone by the latest crop of Republican Presidental candidates>>

    Sporty -

    Priceless!!!

  14. Every citizen has a right to free speech, Including even the drug addled minded angry at the world Rush limbo. And we also have the right including Our Senator Harry Reid to call out limbo and his supporters for being a bunch of useless troublemaking nation dividing Corporate funded jerks.

    Looks like the resident troublemaker jimbo from San Diego still has not come to grips with Harry Reid's crushing victory over that Corporate funded tea party nut job sherry ( the wrong track) angle. L.M.A.O.

  15. Heated rhetoric occurs on both sides anytime government tries to control our lives. The decision to force churches to offer contraceptives coverage which goes against the teachings of the church is unconscionable. What's next for government to control, banning circumcision? Oh wait....San Francisco liberals tried that last year already.

  16. The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

    -President Reagan

  17. Reagan got our hostages back. How did Carter do?

  18. Did Carter win re-election?

  19. right wing comments are hilarious! pathetic for the most part, but hilarious nonetheless.

  20. So the Harry Reid comment about Obama being able to speak in a non negro way was just OK? I thought so myself! Obama himself even understood it.

  21. rebels -

    As I told another commenter yesterday, comparing what Ed Shultz did with what Rush Limbaugh did is only pseudo-fair.

    In the Shultz-Ingraham incident, the target of the slur is very much a public figure, who is extremely opinionated and who constantly and publicly voices those opinions using extreme language intended to induce reactions.

    In the Limbaugh-Fluke incident, the target of the slur is a law school student who was publicly testifying to Congress so as to express her opinion on a particular issue of the day.

    Also, as I'm sure you're aware, Ed Shultz WAS taken off the air and suspended for a week. Only a week, but a week nevertheless.

  22. Once again I call out the moderator for his or her fair and balanced approach to removing comments.

  23. Partisanship sucks.

    I agree and I loved the way that The President and Mr. Reid loudly took Rush to task for calling Ms. Ingraham a C..t. Oh WAIT, that was Ann Coulter's buddy on HBO, Bill Maher who made a huge contribution to a Dem Pac. He said he did not have to apologize and nothing was ever said by the President or Mr. Reid about that.

    UM never mind.

  24. Who cares, republicans fell into the liberal trap. The lady is an activist with an agenda that quite simply is sick. She gets the poor little me spot light and diverted the attention away from the real facts. Obama and his sick immoral agenda won't be forgotten come this election, these nutcases along with his cronies that are destroying America are getting the boot!

  25. Something really smells fishy here.

    People from one side of the aisle seem to all be proclaiming rather loudly Mr. Rush Limbaugh is the victim, how dare these people demonize and question him about attacking a woman and her views savagely and relentlessly for three full days air time, saying vile things you wouldn't even say in normal daily societal discourse, let alone in a bar/saloon, he's an entertainer, for God's sake, let him spew to his heart's content and don't make him accountable for his despicable comments.

    The excuses seem to be piling up, but they ring hollow. I even saw that brainless pundit twit Ms. Palin came out with her schtick about blamestream, lamestream media liberals are crap stuff. Unbelievable how people treat her like a politician when all she has demonstrated so far is she is a half-term Governor, a Governor from Alaska who couldn't handle it and quit mid-term, a poor excuse of a pundit hired by those political rocket scientists at Fox News and a failure of a reality television star. My... This is someone people MUST pay attention to. Sheesh...

    The latest crap I hear coming out of the rightie mouth machine is that Ms. Fluke was a nefarious liberal agenda devious plot set up to trap Mr. Limbaugh. GIMME A BREAK!

    Here's the facts: As of my typing of this comment right here and now, there are a total of 41 advertisers who have yanked their commercials from Mr. Limbaugh's show, two radio stations pulled the show from their airwaves and Peter Gabriel and the rock group Rush have all asked Mr. Limbaugh to not use their songs on his show anymore.

    And this is also a fact: The stampede to run away from him as far as possible is continuing. It shows no signs of subsiding right now.

    The people of this great country, including just about three out of every four single woman American, are howling mad. There WILL be blood.

    Mr. Limbaugh can pooh pooh it away as nothing, but every indication show he IS STILL demonizing and dehumanizing women.

    This is the person that is the titular head of the Tea/Republican Party.

    Keep defending him, neo-conservatives. Follow him off the cliff. Because he is definitely opening up eyes to the modern day Tea/Republican Party and their stupid agenda.

    When it comes time for voting in November 2012, after it's all over and the dust settles, the Tea/Republican Party will end up feeling like they were mugged without mercy in a dark alley.

  26. The RINO/DINO partisanship beat goes on.

    The comments pathetically defending one fake "side" against the other fake "side" are proof the RINO/DINO party has succeeded in fooling the people again. Meanwhile, the multiple instances of malfeasance in office such as the massive deficit spending/borrowing in Washington is ignored by their clueless partisan followers.

    The only thing that scares the RINO/DINO party is that Americans will throw off their partisan chains and vote them all out. They love empty controversy.