Variation on a theme: Caplis likened Ahmadinejad's U.N. speech to "Democratic Party talking points"

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Discussing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent speech at the United Nations, 630 KHOW-AM co-host Dan Caplis on September 25 claimed that the Iranian president "was basically repeating DNC [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean-type talking points about America." Caplis' comparison continues his documented pattern of attempting to associate Democrats with "the enemy," "radical jihadists," or "the terrorists."

On his September 25 broadcast, 630 KHOW-AM co-host Dan Caplis asserted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his recent speech to the United Nations "was basically repeating DNC [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean-type talking points about America." Caplis later added that "when Ahmadinejad comes in and opens his speech with essentially the Democratic Party talking points against President Bush ... that is not a coincidence. That is a conscious effort to adopt that same language to divide and conquer us."

Caplis' comparison of Ahmadinejad's rhetoric to Democratic "talking points" continues his pattern of attempting to align Democrats with "the enemy," as Colorado Media Matters has documented (here, here, here, here, and here).

Caplis made his comments after playing an audio clip from Ahmadinejad's September 25 speech at the U.N., in which the Iranian president declared that the United States "do[es] not even have the courage to declare their defeat and exit Iraq." Co-host Craig Silverman called Caplis' remark "a partisan cheap shot" and asked whether Caplis had heard Democrats claim that Ahmadijnejad's assertion "that there really aren't any homosexuals" in Iran sounded like "Jim Dobson, Focus on the Family." Caplis countered, "I was making a very accurate and legitimate point about Ahmadinejad's divide-and-conquer tactics," and told Silverman, "You, on the other hand, went off on a purely hateful and intellectually bankrupt attempt to compare Dr. Dobson to Ahmadinejad. My point's legitimate."

Caplis further stated to Silverman, "You don't want to acknowledge that the terrorists themselves -- you know, that [Osama] bin Laden's camp, [Ayman al-]Zawahari has directly sent messages to the Democratic Party in his statements, telling them, we handed you your mid-term victory, now you'd better act right or you're going to lose those benefits."

His September 25 comments echoed Caplis' past attempts to associate Democrats with "the enemy," "the radical jihadists," "the terrorists," or Ahmadinejad, as Colorado Media Matters has repeatedly noted. For example:

  • On April 24 Caplis and Silverman attacked the comments of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who said that the Iraq war "is lost," but omitted the full version of his remarks, including his statement that "the war, at this stage, can only be won diplomatically, politically, and economically." Caplis commented, "But the point here is, when you are in battle, when you're mounting an offensive, to have a politician, a Senate majority leader out there and go and say to the enemy, 'You're gonna win. You're gonna win this thing. We've already lost' -- that, at that point, undeniably aids and encourages the enemy. And, and, and, you know, very reasonable to think it's gonna lead to the deaths of American boys who would not have died without that encouragement given to the enemies."
  • During a March 2 discussion about what Silverman called "mistreatment of the troops" at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Caplis attempted to deflect criticism aimed at the Bush administration over the controversy, claiming, "The way you abuse the troops is ... to pass a nonbinding resolution that says to the terrorists and the radical jihadists, 'You're gonna win, and we're gonna lose. And we just want to let you know that.' "
  • Parroting a conservative talking point during his November 29, 2006, broadcast, Caplis -- referring to Ahmadinejad's open letter of the same date to the American people -- claimed that the "second part" of the letter "is a loud-and-clear message to the Democrats: 'Hey, we gave you this election, so you better come through for us or we're gonna make you pay.' " Caplis also claimed that Dean "could have written much" of Ahmadinejad's letter.
  • During a November 8, 2006, discussion about the resignation of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Caplis stated that although he once thought the advantages of removing Rumsfeld were "outweighed by the encouragement it would give the enemy," he supported Bush's decision to replace Rumsfeld because "the enemy's going to be extremely encouraged already by the results" of the November 7 election. Caplis further reasoned that because of Democratic victories, "you've already got the encouragement working for the enemy; so I think the timing's right to get rid of Rumsfeld."
  • On October 19, 2006, Caplis declared, "If you want America to surrender in this war [in Iraq], then vote for the Democrats. You have a shared interest at that point with the terrorists."

From the September 25 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Caplis & Silverman Show:

CAPLIS: And, brother, as we get back to the calls, just a take, taste of Ahmadinejad today at the U.N.

AHMADINEJAD, VIA TRANSLATOR [audio clip]: -- while they do not even have the courage to declare their defeat and exit Iraq.

CAPLIS: Yeah, so it was remarkable listening. I only heard the first 30 seconds before I came on air of Ahmadinejad, but, you know, the guy's a tactician, because he was basically repeating DNC [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean-type talking points about America, and at least he and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid on the same page that the U.S. has lost in Iraq. But it hasn't. And I think both -- I think at the end of the day Ahmadinejad very afraid of U.S. staying and succeeding in Iraq, and I think he's going to be proven wrong in declaring our defeat there.

SILVERMAN: Dan, don't you think that's a partisan cheap shot, you turning it into "Ahmadinejad is part of the Democratic talking points; he echoes what they have to say"? Did you hear any Democrats say yesterday, "Hmm, this attitude that there really aren't any homosexuals, who does that sound like? Oh yeah, Jim Dobson, Focus on the Family." The week before we were talking about there really aren't any homosexuals, just we're all heterosexual in need of counseling and it can be changed around. It's really not good for this country to be comparing Ahmadinejad to Republicans or Democrats. He is an enemy of America, and I think we need to be united against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I see a big difference between Jim Dobson and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Surely you see a big difference between him and Harry Reid and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi. I don't think that anybody should try to make partisan points when we should really be united against a guy who threatens western civilization.

CAPLIS: Well, first of all, I was making a very accurate and legitimate point about Ahmadinejad's divide-and-conquer tactics. You, on the other hand, went off on a purely hateful and intellectually bankrupt attempt to compare Dr. Dobson to Ahmadinejad. My point's legitimate, which is this guy studies America. And you don't want to admit it, because you've always denied it, but it is undeniable now -- Osama bin Laden has made it crystal clear, Ahmadinejad has made it crystal clear. In their own writings, they monitor what's said here. They monitor the political debate. They use it to their advantage, right down to, you know, bin Laden talking about, you know, Noam Chomsky, and this debate and that debate, and how we've admitted in our own Congress that we've lost. They do that. They monitor it. So when Ahmadinejad comes in and opens his speech with essentially the Democratic Party talking points against President Bush, he is, that is not a coincidence. That is a conscious effort to adopt that same language to divide and conquer us to make himself appear more reasonable. "Well, these are the things that, jeez, I hear Howard Dean saying." So that is a legitimate observation. You don't want to acknowledge that the terrorists themselves -- you know, that bin Laden's camp, [Ayman al-]Zawahari has directly sent messages to the Democratic Party in his statements, telling them, we handed you your mid-term victory, now you'd better act right or you're going to lose those benefits. That kind of communication has been going on. That's real in the world right now. So it's no coincidence that Ahmadinejad is attempting this divide and conquer. And allowing him to speak at Columbia is part of that divide and conquer. But, so that was a legitimate observation, and --

SILVERMAN: And my observation would be the reality of the Iraq catastrophe punctuated by the consistent incompetence of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team has been of great benefit to Osama bin Laden and Iran. And that's very sad and regrettable and why the vast majority of Americans can't wait for this administration to be over with.

CAPLIS: But what you ignore -- and I don't concede your first point -- but what you ignore is that it would be to the everlasting benefit of Osama bin Laden and Iran for us to do what Harry Reid and [U.S. Sen.] Ken Salazar want us to do and leave. That would be to their everlasting benefit, to the extent that either of those enemy have benefited from the difficulties so far. Imagine the benefit to them of a permanent defeat of the U.S. in Iraq. And so that's why the [U.S. Sen. Barack] Obama, the Reid, the Salazar, all of their plans would be a consummate disaster for this country. But, hey, let's try to squeeze some calls in here.

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