On the January 16 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) a “half-minority” and said that “the media ... are in the midst of Obama-gasms” because “Barack Hussein Obama” has formed a presidential exploratory committee. Limbaugh called Obama “a half-minority” in the context of criticizing Obama for supporting his hometown Chicago Bears over the New Orleans Saints in the upcoming January 21 National Football Conference championship game.
Limbaugh presumably referred to Obama as a “half-minority” because of Obama's lineage: his father was black and born in Kenya, while his mother was white, born in Kansas. Similarly, conservative talk-radio host Brian Sussman previously characterized Obama as “Halfrican.”
As Media Matters for America documented, on February 7, 2006, Limbaugh said he “kind of like[d]” a caller's statement that Obama “is the Donovan McNabb of the U.S. Senate.” The statement was an apparent reference to Limbaugh's controversial comments in 2003 about McNabb, a quarterback for the National Football League's Philadelphia Eagles. Limbaugh, then an ESPN commentator, said that "[t]he media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well" and, therefore, McNabb “got a lot of credit for the performance of this team [the Eagles] that he didn't deserve.” As a result of his comments, Limbaugh resigned from ESPN.
In addition, Limbaugh also claimed that "[Sen.] Hillary [Rodham Clinton (D-NY)] had a 2 p.m. press conference today, but she canceled it because Obama's making such big news today," despite multiple media accounts that, as Media Matters has noted, reported that Clinton postponed the scheduled press conference the day before Obama's announcement.
From the January 16 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Well, this is hilarious. The media, the drive-bys, are in the midst of Obama-gasms. Because Obama -- that would be Barack Hussein Obama -- has announced the perfunctory and predictable exploratory committee to go out there and ask people what they think he ought to do. And on February 10th, he will announce his intentions -- which we all know. Really gutsy of Obama to do this while Hillary's out of the country. Hillary had a 2 p.m. press conference today, but she canceled it because Obama's making such big news today. It's kind of like the "Breck girl" was in New York yesterday ripping into Hillary while she was out of the country. Shows that they still fear her.
Greetings. You are tuned to the most listened-to radio talk show in America. El Rushbo, the all-knowing, all-caring, all-sensing, all-feeling, all-concerned -- pretty much all-everything -- Maha Rushie.
LIMBAUGH: We are ready. Talent on loan from God. Rush Limbaugh, making the complex understandable here at the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. One more thing about Barack Obama here. He says that New Orleans' football season is all but over. In a -- I don't know if he realizes how insensitive his comment here that the Saints are going nowhere in the playoffs against his Chicago Bears really is. This is a man who wants to be president. He's no longer an alderman, a state senator, or United States senator from Illinois. He's a citizen of the world. And as such, you have to understand in his position what the United States Saints mean.
They're not just the New Orleans Saints. As [ESPN columnist] Gregg Easterbrook calls them: They are the United States Saints. And they are playing not for championships, they are not playing for personal rewards -- they are playing to save and rebuild a city not only infrastructurally, but in terms of the self-esteem.
And for Barack Obama, a -- well, he's a half-minority -- to come out there and not identify with and bond with the suffering victims still scattered all over the fruited plain as a result of the unfair attack by Hurricane Katrina orchestrated by Bush, Cheney, Halliburton, and FEMA -- for him to callously just discard the Saints knowing full well what they represent to the Democrat [sic] Party because of their ties to New Orleans and Katrina shows an unsophisticated lack of understanding of just what his responsibility is as a Democrat [sic] presidential candidate.
He said it. New Orleans' football season is all but over. He said the Bears are going to the Super Bowl, a gleeful Obama told reporters Monday outside a church in suburban Chicago. He said, “I'm happy for New Orleans. I think it's a wonderful story for their city, but this fairy tale ends when they come to Chicago.” Ah-ha. It's a fairy tale as far as he's concerned. That means it's not even real. The Saints are not real. What they're playing for is not real. I am stunned.
This -- this is a -- if Barack were really Barack Obama, Barack -- do you know what Barack Obama would have done? I know you people think I'm kidding out there. Barack Obama would have come out for the Saints. I know you think it's just a football playoff game and he's got to show favoritism because he's got to be -- his home team's the Chicago Bears and so forth. But he's seeking the leadership of the free world. And Katrina and the Saints and New Orleans are a Democrat [sic] cause. But more than that, identifying with suffering and misery, starvation, thirst-ation, death -- that's what the Democratic Party is all about. And for him to just basically say to you people in New Orleans and your football team: pffft! And to gleefully predict your demise shows a parochialism on the part of this man that is somewhat curious to me given the lofty heights and the wide horizons that he seeks. A true liberal Democrat here, an understanding liberal Democrat, even though he's from Illinois, would pick the Saints while saying great things about the Bears, while hoping it's their turn next time, say it's really hard to pick a team here, but he understands how the country can come together. With the Saints winning the Super Bowl and pulling New Orleans out of the muck. And showing what can happen when people hang together and work together and put aside their differences. They can come together and win the Super Bowl. Out of the ruins of Hurricane Katrina.