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During an appearance with nationally syndicated radio host Ed Schultz, former Democratic congressional candidate Paul Hackett responded to Rush Limbaugh's baseless accusation on the August 2 edition of his radio show that Hackett served in Iraq "to pad his resumé." As noted on the weblog MyDD, Hackett retorted that Limbaugh "doesn't know squat about patriotism." "I went to Iraq because I wanted to serve my country and be with my Marines," he said. Hackett later described the reactions to Limbaugh's August 2 comments. "Ask him why his phone lines were clogged up," he said. "That's because he was getting thousands of calls from veterans from this war and other wars who were clogging up his phone lines, giving him an earful."
Hackett, a Marine Corps veteran, re-enlisted last year. The New York Times reported that "Mr. Hackett spent seven months in Iraq leading a civil affairs unit in Ramadi and Fallujah before returning to Ohio in March." On August 2, he narrowly lost a special election to Republican Jean Schmidt for Ohio's 2nd Congressional District seat.
From the August 9 broadcast of The Ed Schultz Show:
SCHULTZ: Well, I know you inspired a lot of people in this country and gave a lot of people hope. Because eventually, this is going to start to turn. You weren't given half a chance, in many respects. And you were vilified. In fact, the No. 1 conservative talker in this country, Rush Limbaugh, said you went to Iraq to pad your resumé. How do you take that kind of conversation?
HACKETT: That's typical for that fat-ass drug addict to come up with something like that. There's a guy -- I didn't hear this, but actually when I was on drill this weekend, I've got to tell you, he lost a lot of Republican supporters with his comments. Because they were coming up to me, telling me, "I can't believe he said that! And besides that, he called you a soldier. He doesn't know the difference between a soldier and a Marine!"
So generally, the consensus is, you know, Rush doesn't know squat about patriotism. He's typical of the new Republican. He's got a lot of lip, and he doesn't walk the walk. The fact of the matter is, I went to Iraq to serve my country. I left my nice house, my nice wife, by my choice because I thought it was the right thing to do. And man, if I was good enough to be able to see into the future that Rob Portman was going to step down from Congress, I mean, I should actually be running for something a lot more than Congress. I went to Iraq because I wanted to serve my country and be with my Marines.
I think it probably says more about Rush Limbaugh than it does anybody else that he comes up with those thought processes. And I think it's indicative of today's Republican Party, which is patriotic-lite translated to anybody who serves their country who truly who truly serves their country and demonstrates it by their actions as opposed to their flapping gums.
They want to attack us. But the fact of the matter is, they can attack me, but I punch back just as hard as I get. Ask Rush how come he wasn't taking phone calls for the two days when he was on the attack with me. Ask him why his phone lines were clogged up. And that's because he was getting thousands of calls from veterans from this war and other wars who were clogging up his phone lines, giving him an earful.
From the August 2 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: OK, if you go to the top of our homepage at RushLimbaugh.com, you'll find a link to see this Hackett ad, and it is amazing. The libs, once again trying to hide behind a military uniform. It didn't work for Kerry. I can't imagine it's going to work for Hackett, but we'll see. But you gotta see this ad to believe it.
Now, the thing that is interesting about that is, is this ad. What we have here, folks, is a Democrat who is, once again, a liberal. Let's not even say Democrat. He's a -- but he is -- but he is a liberal and, once again, as a caller said not long ago from Ohio, Paul Hackett is trying to hide his liberalism behind a military uniform. Stop and think. When was the last time the Democrats tried that? When was the last time the Democrats tried to hide their liberalism behind a military uniform? I think his name was John Kerry, ladies and gentlemen.
Let me tell you what this really is. This is more a test of Hillary Clinton and her new deceptions about being a moderate. Let's just see if a liberal Democrat can win an election in a Republican district lying to the voters. That's the test here. If there's anything bellwether about this, it is this question. Can a liberal Democrat, hiding behind a military uniform, win in a Republican district while lying and denying his liberalism?
Well, you're just -- I mean, you're illustrating here the deceit that makes up this whole campaign, and the whole ad. So, you know, to get into a parsing of it is, you know, it's not the point. You know, that's getting into process, missing the big picture. The big picture here is they got another liberal Democrat trying to hide behind a military uniform and fool people in thinking he's a hawk when he's just the exact opposite.
Some Democrat somewhere, some lib, is tutoring this guy on how to be fraudulent and deceptive. He may have -- as a liberal, he may come by it naturally. I have to grant that possibility. Was [Democratic strategist James] Carville out there? Carville was out there campaign -- so Max Cleland was out there cam -- well, now, Cleland's uniform didn't help him in his re-election either. Back in, what was it, 2002, so, hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm. Plot thickens, James Carville advertising assistance to Paul Hackett.
By the way, folks, don't -- [former Sen.] John Glenn [D-OH] was there? John Glenn was helping him. Well. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. So, we do have a high-ranking Democrat help, and so we know that the strategy from the highest levels of the Democratic Party is deceit, lies and deceit. You would think after Kerry that they would learn you can't win hiding behind a military uniform when you're a lib. But they're trying -- I guess they do -- and I think Kerry was the wrong guy. This guy Hackett's the right guy.
All right, we've learned a couple other things. This Paul Hackett is a trial lawyer, folks (laughing). He's a personal injury lawyer like [2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate] John Edwards. And it appears that, you know, he goes to Iraq to pad the resumé, come back and run as a big supporter of the war, or at least finishing the project over there.
This is a personal injury trial lawyer in the mold of John Edwards, the Breck Girl, who is trying to hide once again his liberalism behind a military uniform. You would think they would learn.