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Politics

Berkley Gets Pushback on Limbaugh Petition

March 10, 2012

Rush Limbaugh's insult of a Georgetown law student has garnered reactions from all corners of the political world, but few candidates have latched onto the issue as much as Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. Sensing an opportunity to damage Republican Sen. Dean Heller's standing with female voters, Berkley's campaign has used Heller's vote for the controversial Blunt amendment to link him to Limbaugh.

Berkley succeeded in coaxing Heller into condemning the conservative radio host, but her campaign didn't stop there. She is now circulating a petition calling on the Clear Channel to cancel Limbaugh's show, and she has chastised Heller for not signing the petition. A Berkley spokesperson even referred to Heller this week as "Rush Limbaugh's waterboy."

This isn't the first time Berkley's campaign has attempted to drive a wedge between Heller and a specific slice of the electorate. Earlier in the campaign, Berkley and her allies at the DSCC used a similar tactic with Hispanics, releasing a Spanish-language radio ad comparing Heller to Sharron Angle.

But not everyone agree with the strategy. In a Friday editorial, the Reno Gazette-Journal writes:

"...Berkley is right, and within her rights, to take issue with Limbaugh, who eventually apologized for his 'choice of words.' Launching a petition drive to force him off the air is going too far, however."

And Las Vegas Review-Journal political columnist Steve Sebelius also questioned Berkley's decision on Friday:

"My question for Berkley: Why? Aside from the incongruous image of a U.S. congresswoman working to silence a citizen, I don't get why would Berkley or any Democrat want to silence Rush Limbaugh."

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