Limbaugh: John and Elizabeth Edwards "turned to ... politics" instead of God after cancer news

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

On the March 23 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh told listeners that former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) and his wife Elizabeth are "political people [who] are different than you and I." Referring to the couple's March 22 announcement that Elizabeth Edwards has Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, Limbaugh said: "[M]ost people, when told a family member's been diagnosed with the kind of cancer Elizabeth Edwards has, they turn to God. The Edwards turned to the campaign. Their religion is politics and the quest for the White House." Limbaugh later asked: "If you're [Sen.] Barack Obama [D-IL] or [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY], how do you now attack John Edwards?" Limbaugh added: "Not a problem for Hillary, the Clinton [inaudible] will find a way. But Barack, it's going to be a challenge."

As Media Matters for America noted, on the March 22 broadcast of his show, Limbaugh suggested that the Edwards presidential campaign intentionally "leak[ed]" false information -- that Edwards would "suspend" his campaign because his wife's cancer had recurred -- to Politico reporter Ben Smith in order "to jump-start the campaign."

On the March 22 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann designated Limbaugh, the "Worst Person in The World" for, according to Olbermann, "suggesting in the hours immediately following the announcement, that Elizabeth Edwards has again been diagnosed with cancer, that her husband's presidential campaign will continue or end based on whether or not he gets a, quote, 'bump [subscription required],' unquote, in the polls because of her illness." Olbermann added: "Do you suppose, sir, you could summon the decency to delay injecting your cynical venom into this woman's illness until just the day after? I mean, maybe that decency comes in pill form."

From the March 23 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Here now is Chris Matthews. And he's on Hardball last night talking to David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register. Matthews said, "Is this going to be one further bit of shielding for Edwards against attack by another candidate?

[begin audio clip]

YEPSEN: Yes, I think so. I think it really speaks to his biography and his character, and I think you're absolutely right. It adds a little armor-plating if somebody wants to go after him. I mean, he certainly has said something about his character here with this.

MATTHEWS: I said it was a shining moment. I thought -- I said God's in his heaven. All is right with the world today. I said, "Those people" -- who I think are religious but never mention it -- "today acted religious." I thought it was great today.

[end audio clip]

LIMBAUGH: Interesting point. Now, let me say something else that might be accused of cynicism: What is their religion? I don't doubt they're religious people, but, we talked about this. Political people are different than you and I. And, you know, most people when told a family member's been diagnosed with the kind of cancer Elizabeth Edwards has, they turn to God. The Edwards turned to the campaign.

Their religion is politics and the quest for the White House. And that's -- it's not just with them, I mean, it's part and parcel of political people -- undergo all this stuff, the media anal all over their private life being made public even by the candidates themselves -- it's all part of the drill.

But here, again, Matthews and David Yepsen making the point that I made yesterday. I said it yesterday, folks. If you're Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, how do you now attack John Edwards? Not a problem for Hillary, the Clinton [inaudible] will find a way. But Barack, it's going to be a challenge.

From the March 22 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:

OLBERMANN: But our gold medalist tonight, comedian Rush Limbaugh, suggesting in the hours immediately following the announcement, that Elizabeth Edwards has again been diagnosed with cancer, that her husband's presidential campaign will continue or end based on whether or not he gets a, quote, "bump," unquote, in the polls because of her illness.

Quoting him: "What the Edwards campaign is going to do here is see what the reaction is within the ranks of Democrat [sic] voters -- as far as this announcement is concerned -- and then go on from there. If there is not a big jump, if this doesn't cause a breakout, if this doesn't cause a big uptick, then, at some point, Senator Edwards will probably have to suspend the campaign."

Do you suppose, sir, you could summon the decency to delay injecting your cynical venom into this woman's illness until just the day after? I mean, maybe that decency comes in pill form. Rush Limbaugh, today's Worst Person in the World.

Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Stories/Interests
John Edwards, 2008 Elections
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