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PALM BEACH, FL — From the upscale Palm Beach corporate headquarters of his Excellence in Broadcasting Network, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh unloaded on America’s men and women in uniform, insinuating their motives as less than pure.

The comments came during Limbaugh’s second hour on Monday. A caller had voiced support for President Obama’s signature Affordable Health Care Act, the crowning achievement of Obama’s administration thus far and a piece of legislation that conferred health care coverage on 40 million of the nation’s poor and middle class. When the caller identified himself as a retired Army Master Sergeant, and compared the AFA to the military’s free medical care for all servicemembers and their families, Limbaugh cut him off and began the controversial response.

“You see, Master Sergeant,” began Limbaugh, rubbing his hands together, “you have exposed yourself. I thank you for the call — and I thank you for your service, I really do — but you’ve exposed yourself. Of course you like the idea of the government putting a band-aid on every little boo-boo you get, wiping your nose for you, giving you free prescription Advil when you could buy it at the drug store like the taxpayer, so on and so forth. You like that idea because you’ve lived with that your whole life. You said you joined the Army at 18. My guess is that before that, before you enlisted, you were on welfare. When you joined, you were essentially on welfare, because whether or not you ever go to war, you get free medicine, free food, free place to sleep, even free clothes to wear to work every day. The taxpayer even gives you years-long paid vacations to exotic foreign lands. I’m not saying you’re not appreciative, but when you’re used to people giving you free ice cream for forty years, if you suddenly have to pay for your own ice cream, you’ll understandably be upset.

“You’ll also probably think, well—” and here Limbaugh inclined the intonation of his voice to imitate that of a child, “Mr. Limbaugh, if only everyone could have fwee ice cream, Mr. Limbaugh, then the world would be all sunshine and unicorns and happiness. The only problem,” continued Limbaugh, returning to his normal voice, “is that ice cream, folks, like health care, is not free. It is a product, created by a producer. And you have just as much a right to getting it for free as you have to getting ice cream for free. That is, you do not have a right to it for free. And if you believe otherwise, you are not a defender of the nation. You’re a welfare queen — or more appropriately, a welfare grunt.”

Mr. Limbaugh then launched into a tangent on what he called the “distressing trend” he’s noticed in younger servicemembers to be supporters of the President.

“It used to be, back when I was of age to serve, back in the Vietnam era, that soldiers were stout, upright, conservative young men. They were Southern. They voted Republican. Their wives stayed home and had babies and knew their place. Cooked dinner, had a highball waiting when the husband got home, so forth. But nowadays we have a new generation of young military youth — low-information voters raised on liberal propaganda like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers and PBS, what have you. Get their news from the drive-by media. They learned welfare, mooching, kumbaya and hand-holding from those sources. They learned mooching from an early age, folks. And even in uniform, still moochers. Can’t change a leopard’s….well, in this case, you can change a leopard’s spots, folks. But he’s still a leopard. Still a moocher. A little Obama jihadist, ready to march out and drone-attack American citizens in Yemen or Pakistan.”

When reached for comment, Clear Channel Communications, which carries Limbaugh’s show on over 400 stations nationwide and dozens overseas, distanced itself from Limbaugh’s comments.

“Clear Channel honors our servicemen and women and the great sacrifice they make every day to keep us free and safe. For that reason, we offer Rush Limbaugh’s show to them free of charge via Armed Forces Network in over thirty countries around the world. The views of one radio host, even one who accounts for over half of our ad revenue, do not in any way reflect the views of Clear Channel.”

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