October 20th, 2008
02:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Limbaugh defends comment about Powell

Limbaugh defended his comments about Powell Monday.
Limbaugh defended his comments about Powell Monday.

(CNN) - Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh Monday strongly defended his recent remark that Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama largely because of race, and lashed out at members of the media and Democrats for appearing to take issue with his comment.

"So what if it's race?" Limbaugh said on his radio show. "Why is it so hard to admit that it's race...What's so problematic about admitting it?"

Limbaugh's original comments came in an email to Politico reporter Jonathan Martin Sunday, when the talk-radio host took issue with Powell's contention that his endorsement of the Illinois senator did not have anything to do with the color of his skin.

"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race," Limbaugh wrote in the e-mail. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."

The comments immediately caused a stir on several Democratic blogs and an Obama campaign spokeswoman called them "disgusting." They were also heavily reported on several news programs Sunday night and Monday morning. But Limbaugh made clear Monday he is not backing down from them.

"I thought it should be about race," he said. "I thought you liberals thought this was a historic candidacy because finally we are going to elect a black guy...why hide behind this, why act like it's not about race?"

"This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare," Limbaugh added. The talk radio host also criticized members of the media for not addressing his claim that Powell likely hasn't endorsed white candidates who, according to Limbaugh, have similar political leanings and experience as Obama.

"Just so you know, I haven't come up with any," he said. "I worked diligently on this on the airplane on the trip home from Green Bay yesterday. I can't find any of these inexperienced white liberals that Powell has endorsed."

In announcing his endorsement of Obama, Powell said his decision was not based solely on race, but added "I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president."

"Should that happen, all Americans should be proud - not just African-Americans, but all Americans - that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen," Powell said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday. "It will also not only electrify our country, I think it'll electrify the world."

soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. David in Minneapolis

    I guess it's "old home day" for the Republican bigots...first Governor Palin and her comments on her support for a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage...and now Rush Blowhard making Powell's endorsement about race. I watched the endorsement yesterday AM and he clearly said that if it was just an issue of supporting Obama because of race, he would have done it months ago. I believe him; if that was the case, Obama could have used his political clout all along, rather than just the last two weeks of the campaign.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Woman for Barack

    IGNORANCE!!!!!!!!!!!Why is this garbage making the news? Rush is an idiot and has always been.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Schneider (I) - CA

    Who to choose?

    Candidate A endorsed by Colin Powell and Warren Buffet, or
    Candidate B endorsed by George "90%" Bush...and Rush Limbaugh?

    hahahahahaha

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. B. Hawkins

    I wonder what this jerk would have said if Powell had endorsed McCain. My quess is that he would have said too bad this wonderful man is not running .

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. B, Atlanta

    Truth hurts. There is no other reason other than race for Powell to endorse Obama. Rush has a point.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Jim

    He's absolutely correct. I'm not a fan of Limbaugh...but leftist media (and idiots on this board) are too caught up in not making this about race...that they're purposely painting over the subject.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Ken

    I'll tell you what, big boy. It is about race. It's about the intelligent race versus the stupid race. You sir, are of the stupid race. And after 8 years of the stupid race being in power, I'm highly prejudiced against 'stupid'.....I've had enough of it! I'll be voting for the intelligent race this Nov.

    Franken had it right: Limbaugh is a big fat idiot - and nothing proves it more than for him to try to contradict Gen. Powell. Where were Limbaugh's questions of Gen. Powell's motives when he was fronting for G. Bush's invasion of Iraq? Hypocrit.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. nitro

    There is a reason why racist radio continues to let Rush Whitesheet speak an their behalf.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Lisa

    That's just like saying everyone that's voting for Mccain are voting based on race. It's not because his policies because Mccain is clearly for the rich, most of his supporters are broke. He can't seem to understand that spreading the weath would benefit the rich as much as the poor.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. tulsa

    You thought wrong, Rush.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. kayla

    IF THIS WAS ABOUT RACE, YOU IDIOT, WHY IS IT THAT THERE ARE SOME BLACK AMERICANS THAT ARE REPUBLICANS? IF THAT WAS THE CASE SEN OBAMA WOULD HAVE 100% OF BLACKS. . STOP LOOKING AND SOUNDING REDICULOS.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Chad Blanton

    But I have lots of black friends!

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Dar

    Rush, Rush, you've been on radio much too long. I don't listen to you hear, mainly I get darn tired of you conservative talk show host, who are really a bunch of idiots, who act like they have the answer to everything! But Rush, you take the cake. You are a racist, if there ever was one. I am a white older American and I will vote for Barrack Obama because I believe he will be helping me, an older person, and he will help the country. Come on, Rush, we gave you guys 8 years to keep this country strong like it was when Clinton was in office and what did you do? Well, look at us now. No jobs, no homes, no allied friends!

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. ag

    Leave it to Rush to be short sighted that this comparison is between Obama and McCain and not Obama and the rest of Powell's history of endorsements

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Beth

    This Rush guy is so quick to comment on everything – comments that only the ignorant ones believe.

    But it is surprising that Rush has not made comments about Palin's SNL appereance – how about it Rush? Or is there simply a desire to hide the huge humiliation?

    btw, look at Rush's website – only the true hillbilly, ignorant types could believe anything this guy says!

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. WHY

    is this drug addled PIG paid millions and millions of dollars to spew his ignorant, uneducated garbage?

    Obama 2008!

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. S. Boatman

    We All Know That Mccain Would Have Walked Over His Own Mother For That Endorsement!

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Leslie, MO

    Barack is going to give Rush lots of material. He is a comediene who doesn't deserve to be respected.

    This is the same guy who pays a black man to say stupid things about black people. It's crazy and moronic.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. JWB

    I don't know if many of you have the stomach to listen to republican talk radio but his morning was simply amazing! The people who called in to say that they knew Powell was a closet liberal and now a racist. All along they have been claiming that Obama was raising race as an issue in this campaign – now since Powell endorsed they are crying foul and claiming Powell endorsed because of race. If this race remains close we are in for some scary times because it will not come down to the issues, but who hates who more which always leads to violence.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Jason

    I am surprised that there are people who listen to his radio talk show. What an idiot.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Ersoz

    Because if it was about race, he would have endorsed Obama a year ago.

    He said it specifically that the reason he lost faith in McCain is because over the past several weeks, McCain has demonstrated that he doesn't really have a solid grasp of the economic crisis we're in, and how to fix it.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Glenn

    Typical Limbaugh.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Papa Boulder

    Limbaugh's claim that the General Powell's endorsement of Obama must be because of race is outrageous. Limbaugh attempted to defend himself by stating that he was "now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with." Limbaugh does not have to dig too deeply to do his research.

    The truth is Powell has endorsed liberal candidates before. I remember him once speaking about a time in 1964, when he was a young man driving in the Deep South and he was pulled over by a Southern sheriff for having a Lyndon Johnson bumper sticker on his car. While LBJ was not "inexperienced," he was "very liberal" and "white." Obviously, Powell thought in 1964 that Johnson was a better choice than Goldwater, just as he thinks today that Obama is a better choice than McCain.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Cathy Agu

    Patethic saad sorry old man.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. DJK20042

    Rush is STILL right!

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12