Following the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, Rush Limbaugh said the tragedy would "play right into [President] Obama's hands," adding that the administration would use it to boost its credibility with the "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country." Limbaugh, who has previously stated that Democrats see tragic events as a way to bolster their standing within the African-American community, has a history of politicizing such tragedies.
Limbaugh has accused Dems of using tragedies to bolster standing within black community
Limbaugh: Obama will use Haiti to boost credibility with "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country." On the January 13 broadcast of his show, Limbaugh stated:
Yes, I think in the Haiti earthquake, ladies and gentlemen, in the words of Rahm Emanuel, we have another crisis simply too good to waste. This will play right into Obama's hands -- humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility with the black community in -- the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country.
It's made to order for him. That's why he couldn't wait to get out there -- could not wait to get out there.
Limbaugh suggested Obama would not have acted if he'd known Somali pirates were "actually young, black Muslim teenagers." On the April 14, 2009, broadcast of his radio show, Limbaugh said he was "stunned" Obama gave the U.S. military the go-ahead to act in the Somali hostage situation, saying, "If he knew that it was just three black Muslim teenagers in that pirate ship that were gunned down -- again, I mean -- you let George Bush's Navy gun down three black teenagers out there in the open season, and I guarantee there would be hell to pay." He later reiterated: "If only President Obama had known that the three Somali community organizers were actually young, black Muslim teenagers, I'm sure he wouldn't have given the order to shoot."
Limbaugh claimed Democrats' interest in Darfur is securing black "voting bloc." On his August 23, 2007, radio show, Limbaugh asserted that the Democrats were interested in ending the killing in the Darfur region of Sudan for "two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur? It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble."
Limbaugh has used other tragedies and other serious events to attack Obama, Democrats, liberals
Fort Hood shooting
Limbaugh claimed Fort Hood shooter and "radical imam" are "just like Obama" and Jeremiah Wright. Following the shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, Limbaugh said Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged gunman, spent "time in a mosque, a church, and there's a radical preacher in there, radical imam -- imam is preacher, pastor, minister -- and this guy is just raising hell in there, I mean, so much so that these 9-11 hijackers in there are probably getting their motivation and inspiration from this wacked-out imam. And guess what? This Hasan guy happens to be in there." Limbaugh continued: "If we're gonna ask why did he do it, knowing full well that he's in the same mosque in 2001 with the radical preacher going nuts, we're going to also have to believe that the guy was just like Obama and didn't hear Reverend Wright's words when he was in his church."
Limbaugh claimed "no backlash against Muslims," but hate crimes against them reportedly "soared" after 9-11. Referring to remarks by Gen. George Casey regarding potential backlash against Muslims in the military in the wake of the Fort Hood shootings, Limbaugh claimed: "There is no backlash against Muslims in America. Zip, zero, nada." But Limbaugh's claim was undermined by a 2002 FBI hate crimes analysis that found that "[a]nti-Islamic religion incidents" in 2001 increased "by more than 1,600 percent over the 2000 volume," and a San Francisco Chronicle article reported that "[h]ate crimes against Muslims soared after Sept. 11."
Limbaugh: H1N1 vaccine shortage "ought to be Obama's Katrina," but won't because "they've got to protect the little man-child." Discussing the H1N1 vaccine shortage with a caller, Limbaugh said "there's no outrage about this, and it's because there's a Democrat in the White House." He added: "If this were George W. Bush and if this vaccine shortage were happening, it'd be all you'd be hearing about. But they've got to protect the little man-child. They've got to protect Barry. They have to protect him from this."
Holocaust museum shooting
Limbaugh: Obama "thrives and needs chaos"; people on the left "excited" by Holocaust museum shooting. Talking about the June 2009 shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Limbaugh accused the "left in this country" of "creating a very dangerous climate" and said Obama "thrives and needs chaos and unrest." Limbaugh continued: "An incident like this yesterday, I dare say, had people on the left applauding inside their hearts for the purposes of advancing their political agenda. And yes, I mean to say that." He added: "And you can tell with the eagerness that the left and its cohorts in the media went to television last night to try to make this a political thing, they are excited. This is a great political opportunity for them. That's the first emotion that they felt."
Limbaugh on Holocaust museum shooter: "This guy is a leftist if anything." Referring to the Holocaust museum shooting, Limbaugh asserted, "Very predictably, the media, the American left is trying to score some political points as a result of this tragedy." Limbaugh also stated of the gunman: "This guy is a leftist, if anything. This guy's beliefs, this guy's hate stems from influence that you find on the left, not on the right."
Limbaugh says "to see where liberalism will take you," look at Cuba, Detroit, and New Orleans before and after Katrina. Limbaugh exploited Hurricane Katrina to attack liberalism, saying on his December 11, 2009, show: "Ladies and gentlemen, I know liberalism. I know what its objectives are, and it's there for anybody to see. It does not take anything more than the average brain. All you've got to do is look at Cuba to see where liberalism will take you. If you don't want to do that, look at Detroit, look at New Orleans, in Louisiana, before Katrina and afterwards."
Limbaugh: "Unchecked liberalism" to blame for failure to save New Orleans. On the May 8, 2006, edition of radio program, Limbaugh blamed "unchecked liberalism" for the failure to "save" New Orleans residents who perished -- or otherwise suffered -- during Hurricane Katrina. Limbaugh stated that New Orleans is "a microcosm -- a model of exactly what unchecked liberalism does. It creates destitution. It creates hopelessness. It creates a mess." Limbaugh added: "Such a mess [that] they couldn't even save some of the people who were there [in New Orleans] to get them out of town, even though they had the mechanism and the advance warning to do it."
Virginia Tech shooting
Limbaugh: Virginia Tech shooter "had to be a liberal." On the April 19, 2007, broadcast of his radio show, Limbaugh declared that the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech shootings a few days earlier "had to be a liberal," adding: "You start railing against the rich, and all this other -- this guy's a liberal. He was turned into a liberal somewhere along the line. So it's a liberal that committed this act."