As most listeners know, Rush Limbaugh is no fan of First Lady Michelle Obama or her efforts to improve school nutrition. On his radio show today, Limbaugh distorted the First Lady's comments about The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, and criticized the bill, which Congress passed on December 2.
Limbaugh attacked Obama for saying, "We can't just leave it up the parents":
LIMBAUGH: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is a law that will regulate what kids eat before school, regulate what kids eat before school, at lunch, afterschool, and during summer vacations in federally funded school based feeding programs. First Lady Michelle Obama set up what I think American children should eat quote "We can't just leave it up to the parents." We can't just leave it up to the parents. Your first lady, our first lady, we can't leave what kids eat up to their parents. They have to leave it up to us, Michelle and Barry.
In fact, Obama was not saying that we cannot trust parents to control what their children eat. Rather, she was saying that parents don't have control over the meals their children are served at school, adding: "parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won't be undone each day in the school cafeteria or in the vending machine in the hallway." The statement of the First Lady, in context, reads,
MICHELLE OBAMA: And everywhere I go, fortunately, I meet parents who are working very hard to make sure that their kids are healthy. They're doing things like cutting down on desserts and trying to increase fruits and vegetables. They're trying to teach their kids the kind of healthy habits that will stay with them for a lifetime.
But when our kids spend so much of their time each day in school, and when many children get up to half their daily calories from school meals, it's clear that we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well. We can't just leave it up to the parents. I think that parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won't be undone each day in the school cafeteria or in the vending machine in the hallway. I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards.
Moreover, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Act only regulates food sold within schools as the New York Times reports:
The bill gives the secretary of agriculture authority to establish nutrition standards for foods sold in schools during the school day, including items in vending machines. The standards would require schools to serve more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
The Associated Press further explains that "the legislation would apply to all foods sold in schools during regular class hours" and "wouldn't apply to after-hours events or concession stands at sports events."
From the December 13 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show: