Rush Limbaugh distorted a statement by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) that "death is a part of life" to claim he was trying to excuse alleged lack of inaction by U.S. officials in the Benghazi terrorist attacks, despite playing audio of the remarks that clearly show Cummings was saying officials should learn lessons from the attack.
On the May 8 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh claimed Cummings' statement -- made during the House Oversight Committee's hearings on the September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya -- was an excuse for the lack of response to the attack. Limbaugh said, "Is 'death a part of life' maybe a motto for Obamacare?" He added: "Folks, we have a new profundity here that has been put forth by Elijah Cummings of the Congressional Black Caucasians [sic] to excuse what happened in Benghazi: 'Hey, people die! Get over it! Sometimes they die because a guy did a video. Get over it."
Limbaugh continued to distort the statement even after playing audio of Cummings' full statement, which came after testimony from regional security officer Eric Nordstrom. After playing the audio clip of Cummings' statement, Limbaugh said: "And that's it. Life, death, part of life. Gonna die anyway, what the hell does it matter? "
In fact, Cummings was elaborating on testimony given earlier by Nordstrom to agree that the hearings should be about learning from the testimony so that these attacks don't happen in the future:
CUMMINGS: And as I listen to your testimony, I could not help but think of something that I said very recently -- two years ago now -- in a eulogy for a relative. I said that death is a part of life but -- so often we have to find a way to make life a part of death. And I guess the reason why I'm saying that -- I want to go back to something Mr. Nordstrom said. He said that he wanted -- all of you have said it pretty much -- he wanted to make sure we learn from this.