Rush Limbaugh denied any comparison between his own prescription drug problems and those of Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who says he was under the influence of painkillers when he crashed his car into a security barrier on Capitol Hill on May 4. In fact, Limbaugh admitted abusing painkillers and sought treatment only after reports of his problems surfaced based on allegations from his housekeeper.
On the May 5 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, host Rush Limbaugh denied any comparison between his own prescription drug problems and those of Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy [D-RI], who says he was under the influence of painkillers when he crashed his car into a security barrier on Capitol Hill on May 4. Confronted by a caller over Limbaugh's acceptance of a deal in which he pleaded not guilty to one charge of illegally obtaining prescriptions drugs on April 28th, Limbaugh asked how the two cases could be compared: "Tell me ... where they're similar. I had a problem. I admitted it. I went and dealt with it. I have been clean from the painkillers for almost two years and eight months." In fact, Limbaugh admitted abusing painkillers and sought treatment only after reports of his problems surfaced based on allegations from his housekeeper.
Limbaugh also alleged that Kennedy's case differs from his own because in Kennedy's case, "there's a cover up." Yet, when the caller confronted Limbaugh about reports that the investigation into his abuse of painkillers had initially included, according to the New York Daily News, an examination of whether Limbaugh was "buying thousands of addictive painkillers from a black-market drug ring," Limbaugh refused to answer, stating only that he would not "dignify such tripe."
As purported evidence that he did not receive "preferential treatment," Limbaugh cited the fact that he had "spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars dealing with lawyers."
From the May 5 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
CALLER: Well, you know what? Whatever charge comes out against him, it will be watered down, and I'm referring specifically to -- I'm relating this specifically to the watered down charges that you had to face with your problem, which you let get out of hand before you did something about it --
LIMBAUGH: I didn't face --
CALLER: -- which you had the money to take care of.
LIMBAUGH: Wait. Wait a second. You're going to compare me to Patrick Kennedy's circumstance?
CALLER: In a way.
LIMBAUGH: How so?
CALLER: Because you were brought in on charges --
LIMBAUGH: Tell me how -- tell me where they're -- tell me where they're similar. I had a problem. I admitted it. I went and dealt with it. I have been clean from the painkillers for almost two years and eight months. I went public --
CALLER: I'm talking about --
LIMBAUGH: There was -- wait a second now. There's no cover-up. I saw it and received help. I didn't endanger anybody else. In this case, there's a cover-up. There's no breathalyzer. I fought this for 2 and a half years and they wanted to charge me with much more than they did --
CALLER: Well, why didn't they?
LIMBAUGH: Well, you have to ask them.
CALLER: Well, that's what I'm saying. So --
LIMBAUGH: But if you think I got preferential treatment, you are out of your mind.
CALLER: Well, what happened to that housekeeper in the parking lot?
LIMBAUGH: I spent -- hang on a minute [caller]. I spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars dealing with lawyers. I fought this at every stage.
CALLER: Would you just tell me and your audience, what happened to the housekeeper in the parking lot? Why was that never --
LIMBAUGH: You know, well, this is something that -- you're talking about people who sold a story to a tabloid publication.
CALLER: Are you saying there was no connection? You didn't buy anything?
LIMBAUGH: I'm not -- I am not -- I am not going to dignify the details in that stupid story. The only thing I would ask you to consider is this [caller]. If you want to believe all that was true, how come none of it was pursued?
CALLER: I'm talking about money. That's the whole point.
LIMBAUGH: What money?
CALLER: Are you saying you did not meet this housekeeper in the parking lot?
LIMBAUGH: I'm not commenting on that. I'm not going to dignify it by doing so.
CALLER: Well, that's how you're getting around it.
LIMBAUGH: No, I'm not getting around anything. I'm answering your question. I'm not going to dignify such tripe. If you want to consider The National Enquirer something that's legitimate, you feel free. Go right ahead. I just ask you, why was none of that stuff pursued? Why was it doctor shopping?