October 20th, 2008
02:55 PM ET
6 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. Dorlene

    I wonder if he was on oxy-cotton when he said that.

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

    He needs to shut his fat mouth and get off the air!!!!

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

    If Barack Obama wins it's because he got the majority of the support. Limbaugh needs to find another platform. Maybe there is an opening in weather or sports. He never was very good as a political commentator.

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

    Why can't you be excited about a candidate on their own merits and also be excited about the prospect of the USA breaking down another barrier as part of the "great experiment"?

    Republicans don't seem to have any trouble canonizing black atheletes – in fact – they laud them in every sport imaginable. They've even overcome the concerns over black quarterbacks. So why the outrage over Obama?

    Power, or lack thereof, that's why. They want to be in power at any price to the country and the world and they are in the process of losing it.

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

    Rusty Limpballs, why hide behind the fact that it is your job to be the Rethugs hitboy. You will do anything to further their agenda, especially make sensational comments about race. So I guess all the white Conservative Repubs who have endorsed him, did it because he is half white. According to your logic that would be true, since Powell gave very similar reasons for the endorsement. You and Buchanan are pathetic.

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

    Obama was black six months ago. Why would he endorse him only now?

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Nando, Florida

    The more we give a voice to these hateful idiots like Rush Limbaugh , and Shaun Hannity. The more we look like fools to the rest of the WORLD !!!!!

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Garry Glowacki

    Does that mean that his opinion and others of the 'right-wing" persuasion are also racially motivated ?

    Is that why he is so adamantly oppossed to a black man named Barack Hussein ??

    Heaven forbid the USA becomes one nation with everyone equal.

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

    Rush, Take a chill pill. That is, if your housekeeper can buy some for you.

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

    "This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare," Limbaugh added.
    Limbaugh is a disgusting person. If it was about race then why didn't he endorse Obama months ago. I think Powell was clear in how he came to the decision to back Obama. Powell is an American first and foremost. It is evident in the fact that he has served his country for most of his life. That's more than what I can say for Limbaugh. Who does he serve besides himself??

    "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."
    Well Limbaugh, none of these "inexperienced white liberals" have run against a more despicable, race-baiting campaign as John McCain has. Many White Republicans are turned off by John McCain and have publicly said so. Oh yeah. Maybe they're Black too and we just can't tell.

    Limbaugh, this is going down as one of the stupidest things you have ever said.

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

    Does anyone watch Limbaugh???? Ha !! I dont! cause hes always been a jerk, and a judgmental Idoit! His opion has never matterd to me. and it never will.

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

    Collin Powell served for his country and even back Bush for the first 4 years. Why are the republicans trying to separate America? First they say pro-americans, anti-americans, and now playing the race card. That is just sad. America is better than this, Rush.

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

    Rush Limbaugh is an ignorant, drug addict coward. He can't seem to formulate an argument on issues or ideas, so he falls prey to the "race" card. Idiot. Say what you will about Powell's role in the Iraq war - prior to that he was an honored, brave soldier who risked his life for this country. He would vote for Obama if Obama were white, muslim, jewish, or hindi. Race and religion don't matter. Intellect, trustworthiness, and temperment do. Did Rush not listen to a word the man said? Just shows how ignorant and desperate he is. Pitiful.

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

    It doesn't what Limbaugh says anymore. His audience has already made up their mind who they are voting for. His opinion is meaningless.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Voting for Change

    Limbaugh is beyond racist......he's un-American!
    Stop putting party before country!
    Stop trying to divide our country!
    If you don't like it here then get out Rush!

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

    Why do people listen to this ignorant person; he is the reason why we will never rid this country of racism; he is the reason why this country will never move forward or progress....race will always be an issue. This man is filty rich, he don't care about the small person, he's pretending, just to get his racist views across, because there is always some dump, ignorant person like Peggy who will listen and carry the torch for him.

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

    Are you inferring that General Colin Powell LIED about why he chose to support Barack Obama's candidacy?

    He was very clear in his support of Joe Biden, Barack's intelligence, thoughtfulness, judgement and more. He explained why he waited so long to endorse a candidate. It was clear in his delivery that this was a difficult and serious decision for him. To suggest otherwise is incredulous.

    Once again, Rush Limbaugh, you sicken me.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Although I don't care much about Limbaush–this Presidental race is all about race, age and gender.

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

    I don't think you (CNN) should be giving Rush a forum and propagating his rhetoric. He needs therapy, but we should be focusing on the positive aspects of Colin Powell's endorsement and not the right wing media who are upset about it.

    October 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Nick - Arlington, VA

    Idiot...of course Powell is proud that an African-American can become President, but that isn't racism and it is definitely not the sole reason for Powell's endorsement. He was equivocal about why he is supporting Barack Obama. He believes he is the right man for the job, but I feel he only came out to support publicly because of the destructive type of campaign the Republicans are waging. If McCain had picked Lieberman I think Powell might have said nothing or even endorsed McCain. Rush Limbaugh is a mental midget with a soap box to infect people with.

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

    Rush, you're despicable.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Shannon

    I get it, it's ok for all of Obama's supporters to call people who don't support Obama racist, but we can't say anything back. there is nothing more hate filled than an Obama supporter.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Margaret in Germany

    Hey, Rush! How many other Black liberals has Powell endorsed? Have you worked your fingers to the bone to find that out, too? Could it simply be that Powell thinks Obama is the better choice, regardless of race? Could it be he is right? YES!

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. former republican for OBAMA

    Well the same could be said about voting for John Mccain only because He's white. How many black guys has Rush voted for? This man(I use the term loosely) is a hate monger!!!!

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Dean P Valencia Ca

    Rush Limbaugh is the epitomy of everything wrong with the GOP. He's a very hateful person. He can't admit that Republicans have made many mistakes. He can't acknowledge that Dems have some good ideas. People like him and Hannity keep our country polarized and prevent the "United" States from coming together and supporting common causes.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12