MR. DOOCY: Some Republican lawmakers are now firing back after Democrats took aim at host Rush Limbaugh over "phony soldier" comments that Rush said were taken out of context.
MS. CARLSON: Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia joins us now from Washington.
Good morning to you, Congressman.
REP. KINGSTON: Good morning, Gretchen, Steve.
MR. DOOCY: Good morning.
MS. CARLSON: So tell us about this response that you've had now to Democrats who wanted Rush to apologize, and they put together a letter and sent it over to Clear Channel. The guy over there said, "Hey, I'm not going to make him apologize." Now you're calling for a resolution. What does it say?
REP. KINGSTON: Well, what ours does is it just commends Rush Limbaugh for all of his support of the military. He's a very pro- soldier commentator. He's a private citizen, and yet he's raised millions of dollars for the Marine Corps and for military families. He's even gone to Afghanistan and held town meetings. And he's always open to the opposing views, and to say that he smeared soldiers by calling some "phony soldiers" because they disagreed with his view is absolutely ridiculous. He absolutely did not do that.
MR. DOOCY: Well, it appears, Congressman, what happened is his comments were taken out of context much like Bill O'Reilly's comments were taken out of context last week. And then you go back three weeks and you've got the smear going on with General Petraeus by MoveOn.org. Do you think something's going on behind the scenes?
REP. KINGSTON: I think there is, Steve. Even if you go back about maybe five or six years ago, Newt Gingrich made a statement once that the Health Finance Corporation would die on the vine. The Democrats used that to say Medicare would die on the vine, and they repeated that over and over again, and he absolutely never said it.
So it's the attack on the left, but it's also an attack on somebody's First Amendment rights -- freedom of speech. How can we have civil discourse in the United States of America if you're going to be attacked for things you did not say?
MS. CARLSON: Yeah. And exactly, Congressman, one thing that has crossed my mind in the last month as we continue to report on these episodes is, where is it going to end, because it appears to be getting more and more vicious.
REP. KINGSTON: Well, it really is. And you know, it's interesting: When Sean Penn or Barbra Streisand or Alec Baldwin say things, the left isn't so offended. They support their First Amendment rights, and I think the right does as well. Yet when Rush Limbaugh says it, he is a target.
And the other thing that's underneath this is a move to get him kicked off the Armed Services Radio Network. And yesterday General Wesley Clark -- Democrat candidate for president, Democrat operative -- put the card face-up on the table when he said, "We want him kicked off Armed Services Radio." So this is about trying to censor a right- wing, if you will, conservative commentator, and it's gotten out of hand.
MR. DOOCY: Well, Congressman, you mentioned it just a minute ago -- you know, MoveOn.org, Media Matters, outfits like that -- they are political. You know, they lean to the left. They are political operatives. This guy, Rush Limbaugh, is just a private citizen expressing his First Amendment rights. It seems extraordinary that the -- you know, 42 Democratic congressmen would go after a private citizen's First Amendment rights.
REP. KINGSTON: And Steve, the irony is, here's Harry Reid: He has time to stop what he's doing and get 41 senators to write a letter to the president of Clear Channel, yet only last night did they pass the armed services bill which has in it combat pay and quality of life issues for the soldiers. And under Democrat leadership, the bill still hasn't passed or made its way to the president in its entirety, and yet we not only have the Senate stopping what they're doing to attack a private citizen but the House now has two different resolutions introduced to condemn Rush Limbaugh. And you know, we haven't had our work done. The year ended October first and not one single appropriations bill has made it to the president.
MR. DOOCY: That's frustrating.
MS. CARLSON: All right. Jack Kingston, congressman from Georgia, thanks for joining us this morning.
REP. KINGSTON: Thank you.
MR. DOOCY: All right.