Rush Limbaugh asserted that troops returning from Iraq “will not receive anything from the Democrat [sic] Party along the likes of 'Job well done. We're proud of you.' And this is highly distressing. Not only will Democrats not say, nor leftists, say to any returning troops from Iraq, 'Good job. Job well done. We honor your service.' No, they did just the opposite. They sought to secure defeat of the U.S. military in Iraq.” In fact, many Senate Democrats recently honored the service of U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On the July 2 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh asserted that troops returning from Iraq “will not receive anything from the Democrat [sic] Party along the likes of 'Job well done. We're proud of you.' And this is highly distressing. Not only will Democrats not say, nor leftists, say to any returning troops from Iraq, 'Good job. Job well done. We honor your service.' No, they did just the opposite. They sought to secure defeat of the U.S. military in Iraq."
In fact, many Senate Democrats recently honored the service of U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in floor statements supporting the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007, a bill to expand education benefits to veterans that was introduced by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), provisions of which were incorporated into the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008, which was passed by Congress and subsequently signed by President Bush:
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) stated: “Democrats are committed to honoring troops in deeds and not just words. This call should be a cause for all of us. Passing this new GI bill will send that message loud and clear.”
- Sen. Barack Obama also stated: “We have asked so much of our brave young men and women. We have sent them on tour after tour of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan. They have risked their lives and left their families and served this country brilliantly. It is our moral duty as Americans to serve them as well as they have served us. This GI bill is an important way to do that.”
- Sen. Hillary Clinton stated: “I rise to support strongly the GI bill that has been proposed in the Senate. I thank Senator Webb for his hard work on this bipartisan legislation, as well as Senator [Frank] Lautenberg [D-NJ] , Senator [John] Warner [R-VA], and Senator [Chuck] Hagel [R-NE] -- each one a veteran who understands, deeply and personally, the importance of honoring the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. ... It is time we started acting as Americans again. We are all in this together. Let's send this legislation to the President and let's serve the men and women who served us.
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) stated: “I am a strong supporter of our troops in the field. They have done a tremendous job under difficult circumstances.”
- Sen. John Kerry (MA) stated: “All of us -- and I would underscore, all of us -- are incredibly grateful for the remarkable sacrifices our troops have made in Iraq. They have done whatever we have asked of them, and they have served brilliantly.”
OBAMA: For those who fought under the flag of this nation -- for the young veterans like Vince, the young veterans I meet when I visit Walter Reed; for those like [Sen.] John McCain who have endured physical torment in service to our country -- no further proof of such sacrifice is necessary. Let me also add that no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters of both sides. We must always express our profound gratitude for the service of our men and women in uniform. Period. Full stop. Indeed, one of the good things to emerge from the current conflict in Iraq has been the widespread recognition that whether you support this war or oppose it, the sacrifice of our troops is always worthy of honor.
In the speech, Obama also called the “fail[ure] to honor those veterans coming home from Vietnam, something that remains a national shame to this day.”
Additionally, in a May 12 speech in Charleston, West Virginia, Obama said that our troops “deserve our admiration, respect and enduring gratitude” and stated: “It's time to honor the full measure of sacrifice of our troops, and to prepare for the cost of their care.” From the speech:
OBAMA: One of the saddest episodes in our history was the degree to which returning vets from Vietnam were shunned, demonized, and neglected by some because they served in an unpopular war. Too many of those who opposed the war in Vietnam chose to blame not only the leaders who ordered the mission, but the young men who simply answered their country's call. Four decades later, the sting of that injustice is a wound that has never fully healed, and one that should never be repeated.
The young men and women who choose to serve and are defending the very rights and freedoms that allow Americans to speak out against government actions we oppose, they deserve our admiration. They deserve our respect. They deserve our enduring gratitude.
Now, at the same time, we must never forget that honoring this service and upholding these ideals requires more than saluting our veterans as they march by on Veterans Day or Memorial Day. It requires marching with them for the care and benefits they have earned. It requires standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our veterans and their families after the guns fall silent and the cameras are turned off. At a time when we're facing the largest homecoming since the Second World War, the true test of our patriotism is whether we will serve our returning heroes as well as they've served us.
OBAMA: There is so much more that we need to do in this country. It starts with being honest about the sacrifices that our brave men and women are making. For years, this administration has refused to count all of our casualties in uniform. In Iraq alone, tens of thousands of troops who were injured or fell ill have not been counted in our casualty numbers, going against the military's own tradition from past wars. It's time to stop hiding the full cost of this war. It is time to honor the full measure of sacrifice of our troops, and to prepare for the cost of their care.
Obama and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act of 2007, legislation "aimed at ensuring injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan receive the care they deserve," after The Washington Post exposed poor conditions for wounded service members at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2007. Obama said of the measure: “Caring for our returning heroes is one of the things we can still get right about this war, and that's why the deterioration of the conditions at Walter Reed is both appalling and unacceptable,” He continued: “The brave men and women wounded at war should receive the best we have to offer and the highest quality of care, and that's why this legislation would cut red tape, improve service, and require frequent inspections of all active duty military hospitals.”
Limbaugh made his remarks after discussing his recently renewed contract with Premiere Radio Networks and Clear Channel, which will reportedly pay him about $38 million a year for the next eight years. Limbaugh has reportedly said he also received a “nine-figure signing bonus.” Limbaugh said of the deal: “It's actually a cut, because I was projecting much more. And since I didn't get what I was projecting, I'm looking at this not as a raise, but as a cut, because I was expecting twice this. What I am going to call this is the Contract for America 2008. I know that the liberals and others will resent this -- the class-envy crowd -- but don't resent it; I earned it.” Limbaugh also said: “I wanted to tell you what this means to me. ... [I]n terms of my mind and my heart, you know, we all, in this audience, you and I, we cherish this country. We cherish the freedoms that we have in this country, and especially, you know, when we stop to think about it on the Fourth of July, Independence Week, and so forth. It takes on an even more important relevance.”
From the July 2 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, I am -- I want to speak to you from my heart, as well as my mind. I do this most of the time anyway. I'm terribly conflicted here. I'm getting advice from both staff and many of you in the emails who acknowledge what was headlined on the Drudge Report today, and I -- these things are always tough to, I mean, to talk about. I mean, I can tell you that I have extended my partnership with Clear Channel through the year 2016. I am not going anywhere. I am going to be here with you.
I think it is -- I'm just -- I'm ecstatic that this has happened, and I'm happy that I can be able to tell you about it during the Fourth of July week, because -- and I've said this on many occasions, none of this would have been possible without you, and I can't thank you enough. There aren't -- it's a debt that I can never repay you. Just like we can never repay the debt that we owe the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.
And I am in -- constantly in awe of the bond, the loyalty, the length of time people have been listening to this program -- 20 years coming up on August the 1st. So, yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have extended through 2016. And yes, for the most part what you've read is true, but I want to say a couple things.
It's actually a cut, because I was projecting much more. And since I didn't get what I was projecting, I'm looking at this not as a raise, but as a cut, because I was expecting twice this. What I am going to call this is the Contract for America 2008. I know that the liberals and others will resent this -- the class-envy crowd -- but don't resent it; I earned it.
LIMBAUGH: I want to take one more stab here at something I was talking about just before the previous hour concluded, and that is the news that popped up everywhere today on the Drudge Report -- and my syndication partners at Clear Channel put out their own press release announcing that I have extended my partnership arrangement with them for eight years through 2016. That's why I am your host for life. I've always said, I am not going anywhere 'til everywhere -- everybody, every American agrees with me -- a daunting challenge. I have not shrunk from it nor shall I.
But I wanted to tell you what this means to me, because the -- in terms of my mind and my heart, you know, we all, in this audience, you and I, we cherish this country. We cherish the freedoms that we have in this country, and especially, you know, when we stop to think about it on the Fourth of July, Independence Week, and so forth. It takes on an even more important relevance.
For example, I have a story in the stack of stuff today, the last batch of troops sent over to Iraq for the surge will be soon coming home. They will not receive anything from the Democrat Party along the likes of “Job well done. We're proud of you.” And this is highly distressing. Not only will Democrats not say, nor leftists, say to any returning troops from Iraq, “Good job. Job well done. We honor your service.” No, they did just the opposite. They sought to secure defeat of the U.S. military in Iraq. They sought to discredit the surge before it had even begun. They called the architect of the surge, General Petraeus, essentially a liar before he had even opened his mouth to give them in Congress a report.
We face really challenging times. The left wing in this country is on a tear to restrict as much freedom and as much movement as they can. I -- two days in a row, I've had stories in the stacks of stuff here celebrating -- drive-by media stories -- celebrating the end of the SUV. And this is because people can't afford the gas price anymore. They -- SUVs use a lot of gasoline, so people -- a) -- aren't buying new ones, and they're trying to sell the ones that they have. And there are people happy about this.