A liberal-labor advocacy group has jumped on Rush Limbaugh's latest eyebrow-raising remark --about Senator Edward M. Kennedy's health -- as part of its crusade to tie the conservative radio show host around the neck of the Republican Party.
On his show Friday, Limbaugh talked about President Obama trying to shift attention to healthcare because he is failing to turn around the economy -- then suggested that Kennedy would be dead before a healthcare overhaul gets done.
"Before it's all over, it'll be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Healthcare Bill," Limbaugh said.
Americans United for Change, calling the remark "disgusting," has joined the Democratic Party in demanding an apology.
"That's really clever, Rush -- picking on the senator with a brain tumor," the group told its supporters. "We can't let the Republican Party stay silent about Rush's wildly offensive remark. Demand an apology now."
"Senator Kennedy has spent his entire life fighting for policies to put America back on track -- policies like ending the war in Iraq, raising the minimum wage, and ensuring every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare," the group's missive continued. "The only thing Rush Limbaugh has fought for is himself. Now that Rush Limbaugh is the undisputed leader of the Republican Party, we want to know: will Congressional Republicans defend or demonize their leader's latest antics against their friend Senator Kennedy?"
No word from Limbaugh as yet, though he could address the controversy on his show today.
Americans United for Change, meanwhile, launches its latest cable TV ad asserting the Limbaugh is now the GOP's titular leader. The Republican Party, it says, has adopted Limbaugh's “I Hope he Fails” strategy towards Obama and has become the “Party of No:” "No to the jobs package, no to the Obama budget, no to healthcare reform and no to bipartisanship."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.