Currently under fire for misogynist and sexist comments, in particular his attacks on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, Rush Limbaugh's broadcast career has also featured an ongoing campaign against unions and union members. Limbaugh regularly describes union members as "thugs" and questions the patriotism of their actions.
Here are some of the worst attacks Limbaugh has made against unions.
On May 16, 2011, Limbaugh invoked rape while discussing private sector unionization:
LIMBAUGH: Would you prefer to be unionized and -
CALLER: No sir.
LIMBAUGH: Okay, so you don't want to rape fellow citizens.
On November 7, 2011, Limbaugh said voting to repeal union-busting laws was a vote in Ohio would be a vote to "rape themselves":
"Public and private polling indicates that Ohioans, by a substantial margin, want to overturn the new law." Which means, if this is true, that people in Ohio want to rape themselves.
On August 11, 2009, Limbaugh theorized that a "union person" might go to an Obama town hall meeting "wearing a Klan uniform or carrying a swastika sign" to smear opponents of health care reform:
I just want to make an observation, because I know the tactics of ACORN and AFL-CIO and other union people. If, in the next hour, or however long this town meeting takes, if somebody breaks up the meeting, interrupts it, wearing a Klan uniform or carrying a swastika sign, it will be an ACORN person or a union person, using political jujitsu to try to make it look like opponents of Obama's health care plan are these radicals that have been described by the state-controlled media at various -- I'm not predicting it. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but if it does, know full well that it is not a genuine opponent of Obama's plan that will do this.
On February 23, 2011, Limbaugh described public employee unions as "money laundering operations" for the Democratic party:
The union as a money laundering operation -- public sector unions as a money laundering operations for the Democrat party is now under assault.
On March 2, 2011, Limbaugh said public sector unions are organized "against the children":
Well okay, who are the public sector unions organized against? Isn't it against us? Taxpayers? And actually when it comes to their fight against merit pay and firing incompetent teachers they are organized against the children.
On March 10, 2011, Limbaugh described protests in Wisconsin against union-busting legislation as "mob-ocracy" and "thuggery" by "bused-in union thugs":
I think it's pretty ironic that the bused-in union thugs are trying to prevent the elected representatives in the Wisconsin legislature from doing their work by chanting "this is what democracy looks like." Meaning their protest, meaning their thuggery. Yeah, shouting down elected representatives, buying off the Democrat party, subverting and intimidating the elected majority, who are doing the work of the people, doing what they were elected to do. That's what these people call democracy. Well, it's exactly the kind of democracy they want anyway, but it's not what most people think of as democracy. This, in fact, ladies and gentlemen, is mob-ocracy.
On April 22, 2010, Limbaugh said public-sector union employees are "freeloaders":
Here are the freeloaders. "Rush how can you say they're freeloaders? They're union people, they have jobs. " They're freeloaders. They know. These are public employee union people, they know what they live off of. They live off taxes. These are not private sector union people. These are not for the most part. There's some teachers -- well even the teachers, they're not private sector. These are people that live off of your tax payments, and they want more. They want you to have to pay more taxes, so that they continue in their freeloader gigs.
On August 7, 2009, Limbaugh claimed Obama had sent out "union thugs" involved in "Mussolini-type stuff":
Obama sends out his army -- folks this is Mussolini-type stuff - this is the president of the United States who cannot deal with opposition. There will not be any. He is going to silence it. Sending his union thugs out to physically assault in some cases and to, in all cases, intimidate average Americans who just want some answers.
On February 25, 2011, Limbaugh suggested that if "union thugs" found out the name of a caller he might be "in more trouble than an apostate from Islam":
Now if the union thugs ever find out the ID of that last caller, he'd probably be in more trouble than an apostate from Islam. That's why we didn't mention his real name or any of that.
On February 18, 2011, Limbaugh said "we are either on the side" of "unionista" protesters in Wisconsin, or "we are on the side of our country":
We are either on the side of the Wisconsin protesters or we are on the side of our country, which can only have economic future if we make these cuts.