Rush Limbaugh charged that White House press secretary Jay Carney used language on “disabled children” during his explanation of President Obama's budget proposal in order to evoke the tragic mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. But Carney has used the example of parents with disabled children for months when explaining how Obama's tax plan would benefit vulnerable groups.
During the December 17 White House press briefing, a reporter asked Carney about the status of budget negotiations between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. On his radio program, Limbaugh accused Carney of referring to the Sandy Hook shooting by listing “parents with disabled children” among the groups who could be harmed by a continued lack of balance in tax rates.
Limbaugh further accused Carney of “politicizing” the shooting by claiming “Parents with disabled children now get thrown into the mix. I wonder why? So now we have to raise taxes on the rich for a new reason. So there is not an undue tax burden on parents with disabled children, which would include mentally disabled, which is meant to mean Adam Lanza-type children.”
But Limbaugh ignored the fact that Carney has been explicitly citing the tax burden on families with disabled children for at least two months when explaining President Obama's budget proposals. In his remarks today, Carney stated: “Thus far, the president's proposal is the only proposal that we have seen that achieves the balance that's so necessary. And the balance is so important because a plan that does not have it puts unduly the burden on senior citizens, through - or on middle-class Americans, or on parents with disabled children. And that is not acceptable.”
Carney's language in the press briefing following the Sandy Hook shooting mirrors language he has used throughout discussions of tax burdens. In November, Carney referenced parents or families of “disabled children” in three separate press conferences in response to questions about Obama's budget plans. Similarly, earlier in December prior to the Sandy Hook tragedy, Carney cited “families with disabled children” four different times, including once the day before the shooting.
The press secretary's mention of the tax burden on parents with disabled children is neither novel nor in response to the Sandy Hook shootings.