Republican talk shot host Rush Limbaugh doesn’t know how else to describe Planned Parenthood clinics other than to call them “death squads.” Or, at least that’s what he said on his show Wednesday afternoon.
Limbaugh made the outrageous claim while trying to equate yesterday’s Huffington Post story about how wealthy El Salvadorians funded the rise of Romney’s private equity firm Bain Capital with Democrats enjoying financial support from pro-choice activists.
While it’s no knock to Huffington Post reporters Ryan Grim and Cole Stangler, Wednesday’s report contained mostly aggregate information from reporting by Salon in January and The Los Angeles Times in July, and both of those publications launched their probes based upon even earlier reporting by The Boston Globe and The Salt Lake Tribune in the mid- to late-90s.
The crux of it: a small portion of Bain Capital’s seed money came from wealthy El Salvadorian families that also had links to right-wing death squads which terrorized dissidents during El Salvador’s long civil war. For Romney, there’s no getting around that, although he’s insisted that Bain tried to ensure none of the money came from drug trafficking.
But apparently that’s not a good enough defense for Limbaugh, who told his conservative audience on Wednesday that any time someone mention’s Romney’s ties to south American death squads, they should immediately equate the Planned Parenthood network of women’s health clinics with “death squads” as well.
“Lemme ask you a question?” he began. “What’s the difference in that and the Democrats being underwritten by Planned Parenthood and NAARL? If they’re not death squads, I don’t know what is.”
For Limbaugh’s favored candidate Mitt Romney, those comments can’t do much to help, especially when the formerly pro-choice governor’s campaign is being hammered by President Obama for taking the wrong side in a so-called “war on women.” And for Limbaugh himself, he’s again testing the waters with the same female voters and activists who chopped into his ratings and sent advertisers fleeing after he called a Democratic activist a “slut” earlier this year.
It also complicates the campaign narrative for Romney by again putting a spotlight on his intention to defund Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation, and confirming to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) that he’d sign a so-called “personhood” bill banning all abortion and even hormonal birth control methods like the pill.
Planned Parenthood says that the vast majority of its services every year are related to pregnancy and disease prevention, including breast cancer and STD screenings for lower-income women. About three percent of visits to Planned Parenthood clinics are to secure an abortion.
This audio is from “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” broadcast Wednesday, August 8, 2012, as snipped by liberal media watchdog group Media Matters.