August 19th, 2008
05:09 PM ET
10 years ago

Limbaugh warns McCain over VP

Limbaugh says McCain should not pick Ridge or Lieberman for VP.

Limbaugh says McCain should not pick Ridge or Lieberman for VP.

(CNN) - Rush Limbaugh, the popular conservative talk-show host who's long been lukewarm to John McCain's candidacy, warned the Arizona senator Tuesday picking a pro-choice running mate could devastate the Republican Party.

Referencing reports McCain advisors are seriously considering both former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and former Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman - both of whom favor abortion rights - Limbaugh said picking either of those men would ensure a GOP defeat, and damage the party’s brand for years to come.

"How about some discussion from the McCain campaign about a conservative who can be counted on across the board, who can help lead the country in the right direction?" said Limbaugh. "Who can help rebuild the Republican Party? Lieberman can’t do that - and rebuild the conservative movement? McCain nor Lieberman nor Ridge can do that.”

The comments come amid reports senior advisors to McCain are floating both Lieberman and Ridge's names among key social conservatives in an effort to measure the blowback the Arizona senator will face if he names either man to the ticket. One party insider tells CNN that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis has called several state party chairs and indicated Ridge will be the Republican vice presidential pick this cycle.

Limbaugh said Tuesday that the drawbacks of choosing either man far out-weighed any potential benefits.

"McCain has already seen to it that he can walk across the aisle that he’s the top of the ticket," Limbaugh said. "If anybody is going to attract moderates, it’s going to be the top of the ticket guy. He’s not going to help himself any additional way, he’s going to hurt himself by putting a liberal or a liberal Republican on this ticket, particularly pro-choice.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. nic, bellingham wa

    The "conservative movement" has generally failed because topics like abortion are completely unrelated to the country's economic direction.

    What does it take to be a good Republican these days?
    It used to be about fiscal conservatism. Now it's social conservatism?

    That's why people are running from this party. No matter how hard you try, "family values" don't create jobs or solutions to pressing logistical problems.

    The sooner Republicans figure this out, the sooner the rest of the country will start taking them seriously.

    August 19, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Mike Philly

    Gee, Rush. Did you ever consider that the only way to keep the Republican party alive is to start accepting the ideas of some folks who aren't so small-mindedly conservative? The party is dying for a reason: So much of what it stands for is crap!

    August 19, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Jonah

    Taking political advice from Rush Limbaugh is like taking foreign policy advice from Ahmedinijad. Extremist flagellations and hot air. That's what a golf bag full of Oxycontin will do to your brain.

    August 19, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Crush Rush

    Rush has nightmares about the reenstatement of the FAIRNESS IN BROADCASTING ACT.

    August 19, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. Skeeve

    Umm something else can devastate Republican Party? Besides Rush Limbaugh that is...

    August 19, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. SV, New Jersey

    Every time I see this druggy on TV with big cigar in his mouth, I imagine of Bill Clinton using those cubans in white house on Ms Lewinsky. I wish that McBakedPotato chooses Liberman or Ridge thus pushing whole party of Rethugs in Operation Choas. Remember operation Chaos. Rethugs should know by now that operation chaos infact happened to their own party when New Hampshire dems voted for McAlzeimer.

    August 19, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Steve

    Limbaugh gets hammered by the liberal faithful that frequent CNN on his past drug problem. The same lefty faithful never want to acknowledge their Messiah's litlle problem with cocaine. Rush got hooked as a result of chronic pain. Obama just did it for fun. More great Obama judgement. Obama is an empty suit as witnessed last Saturday night, no teleprompter, no answer. He criticizes Clarence Thomas on his experience!? He isn't sure when human life begins and it's above his pay grade to comment on it? McCain should absolutely listen to Rush. Why? 15 million listeners a week who agree with him.

    August 19, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Joe Reg

    Rush is irrelevant.

    Shut up already.

    You are going down.

    August 19, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Jeff

    Oh, Rush, did you forget John is a POW and Vietnam vet! I'm sure your words have him shaking in his boots.

    August 19, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Jim

    Now we now why they call it the Clinton News Network. This site is drowning in libs.

    August 19, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. Bayou Joe

    Marilyn,...I am with you on this one. McCain won the primaries with the
    Moderate Republicans and the independents, this is no time to pander to the extremist like Rush and lose the election. Lieberman will guarantee that the Jewish vote and the disenfranchised Democrats vote for McCain. Same for Romney. He does need to stay away from the Huckster and Gulianni.

    August 19, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Travis

    Didn't everyone know?....McWar fired Graham and hired Limbaugh

    as his advisor......Please Please Please McWar choose Lieberman

    August 19, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. Josh

    Wow, you libs are quite entertaining using such "witty" name calling to express your exhaustive opinions regarding Rush (E.G.. "Limoballs", "Rush Baby", "Adolf", "Pig", "fat doughboy", "clown").
    This is concurrent with your grade school word plays on McCain (McSame, McShame, McBush, etc...). Combined with your many repetitive catch phrases supporting Obama ("CHANGE," "Yes he can.."), I have begun to wonder where your viewpoints actually lie...

    August 19, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Obama-Junkie, IL

    Way to go Limbaugh! Since CNN ignored my comments on the McCain camp floating names like Lieberman and Ridge for VP, I will repost here.


    If McCain were to choose either of them, O'HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN (for the Democrats)!

    August 19, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. chris

    Big picture it's far more important to work on our problems in a bi-partisan way than the zero sum game partisan tactics now so deeply entrenched in Washington. What we've evolved to doesn't serve the American people and the direction of the country well. In fact, it would good a good start to a new direction for both candidates to find a running mate "on the other side". We're a diverse, free thinking, free speech society – we'll never agree on everything – the President that leads with a centrist direction is the most productive – not the polarizing "I win, you lose" partisian style of leadership that's become the norm.

    August 19, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Harold

    Liberals...only good at the invective, the name calling. Man, if Mr. No-Answers, loses, as well he should, there will be one hell of a tantrum in this country, not to mention the racist accusations.

    But then, you'll all fade away once again.

    August 19, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. Jeff from Jersey

    So a fat,bald drug addictted clown is advising McCain who he should and shouldn't pick?They ought to chain Limbaugh to Donovan McNabb for a full season.Maybe the NFL can either knock some sense into him or put this miserable excuse for a human being out of his misery!

    August 19, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Barbara

    It's a sad day when we the people can't be heard, but the Republicans constantly and consistently listen to the likes of Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh.

    Shame on you, Shame on the Republicans !!!!!!!

    Obama '08

    August 19, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. Concerned Texan

    McCain do yourself a favor and chose Hillary Clinton as your VP. That should show all sectors the maverick that you really are.

    August 19, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Dexter in Houston TX

    Limbaugh...what a windbag!!!

    August 19, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. Pierre G.

    Can Limbaugh please disappear. I thought for a time interest in his babblings was waining, but the media keeps giving his words weight. The man and his negativity is part of the problem within the Republican Party and U.S. politics. For the love of god, ignore him like you would someone handing flyers at the entrance of metro station and maybe his "influence" will truly be marginalized.

    August 19, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. REG in AZ

    Why doesn't he just pick Limbaugh and make it perfectly clear exactly what the Republican party has become.

    August 19, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. P. D.

    Just remember, the people who listen to Rush are the same 29% of people who think Bush is doing agreat job. Nuff said.

    August 19, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  24. The Last Refuge of the Scoundrel

    Is it just me, or can you actually smell Rush Limbaugh just by looking at a photo of him? The guy just reeks the most disgusting, vile smell imaginable.

    August 19, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. FlushRush

    Why does CNN continue to report the hatred and threats spewed by this convicted felon as news?? Why???

    August 19, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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