On September 7, radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed that the media and Democrats are "breathlessly awaiting" the 1,000th U.S. fatality in Iraq in order to use the number of deaths for political gain. He then downplayed the number of Americans killed in the war.
From the September 7 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Now, you know, the media and the Democrat critics of the president are breathlessly -- and I mean this, folks, I'm not
-- I'm not exaggerating. They are breathlessly awaiting the death of the 1,000th soldier. It will be a milestone.
I -- I can't believe it. They're anxiously awaiting this so as to try to make political hay out of it against Bush. So we're breathlessly -- (panting) -- eagerly anticipating -- on the Left -- the death of the 1,000th soldier so it can be exploited. It's sick.
But the statistic I saw -- do you know how many students commit suicide on American university campuses in America every year? The number is 1,000. Do you know how many Americans die on a highways [sic] every year in this country? Try 47,000 to 50,000 [actual numbers available here]. And here we've got 1,000 deaths in Vietnam [sic: Iraq, as noted on rushlimbaugh.com] in a war for the defense of this country and the insurance of our freedom, and everybody says these aren't worth it.
As Media Matters for America has noted, the 1,000th American fatality in the Iraq war occurred on September 7 -- the same day as Limbaugh's remarks.