One week after claiming that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's suggestion that Sen. Barack Obama "has not done the kind of spadework" that Clinton has done was "not coincidental," Rush Limbaugh returned to the subject on his January 14 show. While discussing Obama, Limbaugh twice used the word "spade," which can be used as a racial slur. Specifically, Limbaugh said that "Obama is holding his own against both of them [Bill and Hillary Clinton], doing more than his share of the 'spadework,' maybe even gaining ground at the moment, using not only the spade, ladies and gentlemen. But when he finishes with the spade in the garden of corruption planted by the Clintons, he turns to the hoe. And so the spadework and his expertise, using a hoe. He's faring well." "Spadework" is a common term among political figures and the media.
Rush Limbaugh falsely asserted that if "you look at" the legislative record of Sen. Barack Obama, "you won't find a Senate bill with his name on it." In fact, Obama was the primary sponsor of a bill in the 109th Congress to "promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo," signed into law by President Bush in December 2006, was a key co-sponsor of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, and has so far introduced 55 bills in the current session of Congress.
While discussing a recent campaign event during which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's voice broke as she talked about why she is seeking the presidency, several media figures described Clinton's actions as "calculated," reviving a characterization frequently made by the media that Clinton is "calculating."
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh aired a clip of Bill Moyers saying: "And you couldn't say, 'How are we going to defeat the nigger?' How are we going to -- which is the word that was so common when I was growing up in the South. 'How are you going to defeat the kike?' referring to Jews -- you wouldn't do -- that woman would not have done that, I don't think." After the clip, Limbaugh said: "I have no idea what he's talking about. I do -- I'm pretty sure he's lost his mind. Meanwhile, they accuse us of saying those words and harboring those thoughts, and now look who's out saying them on PBS." At no point during the show did Limbaugh note that Moyers was discussing Sen. John McCain's response to a woman who asked him: "How do we beat the bitch?"
On his radio show, Limbaugh claimed that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "were right on the money, and nobody has disproven anything they claimed in any of their ads, statements, written commentaries, or anything of the sort." In fact, most of the allegations the Swift Boat Veterans made about Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam War service during the 2004 presidential campaign have been thoroughly discredited, often by official military records, but also by the Swift Boat accusers themselves, who struggled to keep their stories straight.
Rush Limbaugh, discussing Sen. Harry Reid's floor speech criticizing Limbaugh's September 26 comments characterizing service members who support U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers," asserted that Reid "didn't mention VoteVets.org. They never hold press conferences with them." Limbaugh continued: "I never see Dingy Harry with members of VoteVets.org standing with him on the podium. Why is that? ... The reason Dingy Harry and the rest of the Democrats do not show publicly with members of VoteVets.org is because they don't know -- they don't want you to know -- the intricate degree of coordination between these anti-war groups and elected Democrats in the House and the Senate. And that's why they never cite them." In fact, Reid has appeared with VoteVets representatives at press conferences, and Democrats have issued press releases citing VoteVets.
On October 4, Rush Limbaugh asserted that he "didn't call" wounded Iraq veteran Brian McGough "a suicide bomber" on his October 2 show and said he was "grateful" for McGough's service. Limbaugh said on October 2: "[T]his is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into."
Responding to criticism of his "phony soldiers" comments, Rush Limbaugh again asserted that he had been referring to multiple military imposters -- including Jesse MacBeth -- rather than service members or former service members with whom he disagrees. Limbaugh described MacBeth as "the man I was referring to and others like him as 'phony soldiers.' " But immediately after the controversy erupted over his comments, Limbaugh twice claimed that he was "talking about one soldier with that 'phony soldier' comment, Jesse MacBeth."