On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh made numerous false statements about Obama's health-care plan, his employment history, his legislative record, his work on behalf of veterans, and whether he puts his hand over his heart during the national anthem.
During a monologue in his October 2 broadcast, radio host Rush Limbaugh repeated numerous falsehoods about Sen. Barack Obama, including false statements about Obama's health-care plan, his legislative record, and other issues:
- Echoing a false attack on Obama's health-care plan by Sen. John McCain and others, Limbaugh stated, "Obama wants to change the American system for another system." He later added: "If somebody tells you, for example, they want the federal government to take over the health-care system lock, stock, and barrel, what do you call that?" In fact, Obama has not proposed having the federal government "take over the health-care system"; Obama's plan calls for individuals to choose their own insurance. As The New York Times reported in a May 3 article, the suggestion that Obama is "proposing a single-payer, or even nationalized health care system along the lines of those in countries like Canada and Britain ... is incorrect."
- Limbaugh asserted that Obama "has never held a real job in this country," defining "real job" as "one that requires you to get up every morning, go to work, make a profit for yourself or for your employer." Limbaugh then added: "He has been paid by foundations and the taxpayer most of his life to promote a socialist agenda that'll destroy everything that you have worked for." In fact, Obama held positions as associate and of counsel at the law firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland (known as Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland when Obama joined) from 1993 to 2002.
- Limbaugh falsely stated that Obama "has authored a bill ... that would require you, the hardworking people of this country, to pony up $85 billion per year to give to other countries to fight global poverty through the United Nations," a false claim Limbaugh has made in the past. Limbaugh was referring to the Global Poverty Act of 2007, a bill sponsored by Obama. However, Limbaugh's assertion that it would require Americans to "pony up $85 billion per year" is false. As Media Matters for America has documented, the bill would establish no specific funding sources and would not commit the United States to any targeted level of spending.
- Limbaugh stated: "I would ask those of you who have served in the military or are serving in the military, can you name anything -- anything Obama has done prior to running for president to show his support for you?" He added: "Did he speak to veterans groups? Did he do interviews with veteran- and military-related media? Did he visit military hospitals and shake hands with the wounded? No." In fact, in addition to serving on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs since 2005, as Media Matters has documented, Obama has also spoken to veterans groups and visited military bases overseas before the start of his presidential campaign. According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times on January 22, 2005, Obama visited a group of 500 veterans at the American Legion Hall in Evergreen Park, Illinois. He also visited Iraq in January 2006 as part of a congressional delegation, during which time a January 8, 2006, Sun-Times article reported that "Obama played basketball with soldiers and dined with members of the military from Illinois."
- Limbaugh falsely claimed that Obama "didn't start putting his hand over his heart during the national anthem until a few months ago." As Media Matters has documented, on October 23, 2007, Inside Edition featured a segment on the national anthem "controversy." The segment included two photographs of Obama placing his hand over his heart during the national anthem, which Inside Edition said it received from an Obama spokesman.
- Limbaugh falsely claimed that Obama has not voted to fund troops "on the battlefield," stating: "Did [Obama] vote to fund the troops? To send them the armor and the bullets and the reinforcement they needed while they were on the battlefield? No." He added: "He spoke out against it. All of it." In fact, as Media Matters has documented, Obama has repeatedly voted to provide funds for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote, "Obama has frequently voted to finance the war but was one of 14 Senate Democrats to oppose a war-funding bill last year -- after Republicans removed troop withdrawal deadlines -- saying he did not want to be 'validating the same failed policy in Iraq.' "
From the October 2 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Obama wants to change the American system for another system. A system that is foreign to you and me, but which has been talked about and written about for 150 years. It's promoted in colleges and universities among far-left professors. It has been pounded into Obama's head by the likes of Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright his entire adult life.
If somebody tells you, for example, they want the federal government to take over the health-care system lock, stock and barrel, what do you call that? If somebody tells you they want the federal government to run the human resources departments of every private entity in this country -- deciding who should get paid what, and what benefits they should receive -- what do you call that? If somebody says we need to raise taxes on pensioners by increasing the capital gains tax when they sell their equities, what do we call this? When someone says that we need to increase taxes on anyone who earns $42,000 or more, what do we call that? When somebody says that we need to increase taxes on every small business in the country that makes $250,000 a year, what do we call that?
Well, I'll tell you what Obama calls it: He calls it middle-class tax relief. It is nothing of the sort. Obama intends no tax relief for anybody. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the agenda of a person who has never had a real job in this country, much less never run a business. Much less never earned -- made a payroll. He has never held a real job in this country, and by that I mean one that requires you to get up every morning, go to work, make a profit for yourself or for your employer. He has been paid by foundations and the taxpayer most of his life to promote a socialist agenda that'll destroy everything that you have worked for, and your parents, and their parents worked for. He's out to destroy it.
Let me put it this way. How smart -- all of you people who think this guy's brilliant because of the way he speaks -- could you snap out of that for a second? I understand the idea that you want to be proud of the president, you want people around the world to be proud, and you think a bumbling, stumbling, stuttering president embarrasses you. Get past that. You're looking at a bumbling, stumbling, embarrassing guy if he gets anywhere near the Oval Office.
How smart do you have to be to raise taxes and spend other people's money? That's what we're talking about here. How smart do you have to be? This is a man, Barack Obama, who has authored a bill -- one of the few, by the way -- that would require you, the hardworking people of this country, to pony up $85 billion per year to give to other countries to fight global poverty through the United Nations. In other words, he would take the New Deal and the Great Society and export them to the Third World, where you will be responsible for paying for it. Does this sound like a moderate or a centrist Democrat to you? Does it sound like a centrist-independent-moderate anything to you?
You know, these debates are all well and good, folks. But the truth is we know all we need to know about Obama, do we not? I would ask those of you who have served in the military or are serving in the military, can you name anything -- anything -- Obama has done prior to running for president to show his support for you? Did he speak to veterans' groups? Did he do interviews with veteran- and military-related media? Did he visit military hospitals and shake hands with the wounded? No. In Berlin he specifically cancelled such things.
What's he done for you? What's he done for you? He hasn't done anything for you. What he has done is impugn you. What he has done is impugn your mission. What he has done is attempt to block your success on the battlefield around the world. This man, Barack Obama, was invested along with Harry Reid and Dick Durbin. He was invested in the defeat of the United States and the United States military.
He believes, along with his brother from Illinois, Senator Durbin, that American interrogators and soldiers are no different than Pol Pot's thugs, the people that ran the Soviet gulags, and Nazi commandants. Durbin said it. While they were attempting to secure defeat in the Iraq war, Barack Obama believes the same things. He didn't start wearing the American flag lapel pin until a few months ago, and he didn't start putting his hand over his heart during the national anthem until a few months ago.
Did he support the surge in Iraq? No. Did he vote to fund the troops? To send them the armor and the bullets and reinforcement they needed while they were on the battlefield? No. He spoke out against it. All of it.
And once again, Obama's frame of reference is the far left. He spent his years in Chicago working with radical pro-Palestinian elements, although today he says he's pro-Israel. But again, where's the evidence for this? There is none. Our allies have much to fear in an Obama presidency. Our enemies have nothing to fear. And, yet, the drive-by media continually tell us that polls they take of citizens of the world desperately want Barack Obama. Nobody who understands what's at stake, nobody who has taken the time to delve into who Obama is, wants him anywhere near the presidency of the United States, except our enemies.