Limbaugh Haiti Comments Draw White House Rebuke
January 15, 2010 at 10:46 AM (PT)
RUSH LIMBAUGH's comments WEDNESDAY on the HAITI earthquake and donations to relief efforts drew widespread disapproval and a rebuke from the WHITE HOUSE THURSDAY.
The PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS host was reported by several outlets to have told listeners on WEDNESDAY's show not to donate to Haitian relief; a transcript of LIMBAUGH's remarks show that the comments came in context of discussing with a caller the WHITE HOUSE website taking donations for the relief effort, asking the caller "Would you trust that the money is going to go to HAITI?... Would you trust that your name is going to end up on a mailing list for the OBAMA people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes?... Besides, we've already donated to HAITI. It's called the U.S. income tax." The commentary, accompanied by criticism of President OBAMA and comments by Rep. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL) that LIMBAUGH characterized as making HAITI's poverty AMERICA's fault, was part of LIMBAUGH's "Media Tweak of the Day" segment, where the host says things intended to get indignant responses from politically-opposed media.
On THURSDAY's show, a caller, citing the HUFFINGTON POST, asked LIMBAUGH why he discouraged donations to the relief effort, and LIMBAUGH responded, " They reported a lie. I did not discourage donations to ... I mean you call here and ask, 'Where do I get off suggesting that we don't donate to HAITI because we do in the income tax?' and I tell you I said that, but I also said private donations are going to be much better than a government donation. They're all going, go to the RED CROSS, do other things, don't go through the government. It's just going to go through hands and bureaucracies and a dollar is going to end up being 30 cents by the time they get through with it. I did not say, 'Don't make donations.'"
WHITE HOUSE Press Secretary ROBERT GIBBS, remarking on LIMBAUGH's comments, told reporters THURSDAY, "I think in times of great crisis there are always people that say really stupid things. I don’t know how anybody could sit where he does, having enjoyed the success that he has, and not feel some measure of sorrow for what has happened in HAITI."
Madison: Leave Politics Aside
Meanwhile, SIRIUS XM RADIO "THE POWER" talk channel host JOE MADISON is calling on the chairmen of both major political parties to suspend all political fundraising for 90 days and instead raise money to support the relief effort in HAITI "in the spirit of bipartisanship and humanity." MADISON made the appeal on FRIDAY's show to REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE Chairman MICHAEL STEELE and DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE Chairman TIM CAIN.