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. Steve C - Atlanta, GA

    Sounds like old Rush has been visiting multiple pharmacies again!

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

    ...with his weight, isn't he due for a heart attack? Somebody give him a coupla cheeseburgers to hurry it up...

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Insult

    Just like Powell said the partyis moving too far to the right. This is why I made my final decision to vote for Obama.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. AllenTx

    Rush Limbaugh is so annoying. CNN didn't you have a better ticker than this drug addict?

    Had Powell's endorsement been about race, then he would have endorsed Obama months ago, campaigned for him etc. etc.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Ken in Dallas

    Lush Rimshot at it again, trying to use Colin Powell to excuse his own blatantly unrepentant racism.

    This is the cesspool where self-styled "conservatives" live. There are no new lows, just business-as-usual for the Lush.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Sue

    Whatever Rush, whatever. Don't you have some community service to do for your drug offenses or something?

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Judy

    Limbaugh why is race a factor here. If Powell would have endorse McCain would you have said Oh McCain has a great endorsement from a high level white man in the White House. I bet you would. Now people let bigot people like Limbaugh and the others cry and moan. Powll is not taking back his endorsement no matter what you say about him. He is a man and I bet you ant sit down with Powell under precondition and tell him he was wrong to endorse Obama.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Dennis

    I wonder what Limbaugh thinks about McNabb... freakin racist.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. No McPain

    Who listens to this idiot? Oh, that's right, McCain/Palin supporters listen to this idiot.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Dave

    Yeah, so what if it's race? I know a lot of people are staying away from Obama because he is African-American. I would think there are African-Americans that don't want to vote for a white man over an African-American man....big deal. The Powell thing is so not newsworthy. He waits until now to do this? It took him this long to decide what we all knew already.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Rock Allen

    I think if Powell was endorsing Sen. Obama purely on race..... the endorsement would have came many many month ago and Powell would be stumping as well...

    RL has zero credibility.....

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. SJA

    I honestly don't believe Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he is black. For Limbaugh to say "Why is it so hard to admit that its race" is then admitting that most of the Millions voting for McCain is about mainly race and that if McCain does win it's because the majority of country is racist.

    Just a thought from a Educated Black 19 year-old woman.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. tim

    Oh well, ol' Rush has been hitting the pills pretty hard again these days.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Matt

    Rush Limbaugh? Is he even relevant anymore? I thought after he was found out to be a drug addict and had to go to rehab that he was a complete non-entity.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. Steve C - Atlanta, GA

    Sounds like old Rush has been visiting multiple pharmacies again....

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. AEK

    Rush, dude, get your illegal prescription pad out and get yourself something to bring you back down. Now you are calling one of the most distinguished Americans of our time a lier because he doesn't think (and I use this term loosely) like you do. You and "your people" are the reason many moderate Republicans like myself have been running as fast as they can from the GOP for years. Thanks for reinforcing my decision along those lines!

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. SHIRLEY "60"

    WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR YOU PEOPLE TO BELIEVE THAT WE WHO ARE VOTING FOR OBAMA ARE DOING SO BECAUSE WE FEEL THAT HE IS THE RIGHT CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT, AND NOT BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN? WE ALSO BELIEVED THAT FDR, CARTER, KENNEDY, AND CLINTON WERE THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR THE JOB. UNLIKE REPUBS, WE HAVE MINDS OF OUR OWN AND WE USE THEM FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF THIS COUNTRY. LOOK AT THE MESSES YOUR PARTY HAS GOTTEN US INTO BY NOT PUTTING THE COUNTRY FIRST AND INSTEAD PUTTING YOU OWN GREED FIRST. MCPALIN ARE JUST AN EXAMPLE OF COMPOUNDING YOUR MISTAKES, AND I PRAY TO GOD THAT YOU ALL WAKE UP SOON.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. USAF RET

    At least he's consistent–consistently stupid. It's just too bad that he's getting paid well for his stupid comments while we have good people losing their jobs and their homes.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. dbcrum

    I agree with Rush, had Obama been white Powell would NOT endorse a radical liberal..

    His endorsements are a matter of record so go look for yourself!

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

    And I suppose Lieberman chose McCain because he's white? Come on Rush. You are usually a more convincing propagandist than this.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Limburger is bigited, racist, right wing, not even Republican, and totally out of touch with mainstream America. He probably thinks chocolate milk comes from brown cows. At least McCain said that it figured that Powell would back Obama, but did not say anything racist in Powell's decision.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Kris in Denver

    In the face of Powell's well-reasoned and rational endorsement of Obama, along with his thoughtful consideration with respect to the dynamics of the Republican campaign, Rush brings it all down to race. What a fool, Limbaugh.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Dallas, TX

    Please Obama supports are just as hateful. Rush is just speaking the truth!

    If Obama was white he would not be were he is, no one wants to say it, but it's true.

    Obama is not the man to lead this country, he does not have the experience.

    End of story.

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Lloyd from New York

    Rush Limbaugh is nothing but a FAT, IMPOTENT, RACIST, DRUG ADDICT. Does anyone really care what this bumbling moron thinks?

    This from the guy who gets arrested in Florida for smuggling suitcases full of Viagra....

    This from the guy who had to check his fat-gut into rehab due to drug addiction.....

    And this from the guy who was FIRED FROM ESPN SUNDAY FOOTBALL because of his RACIST inflammatory remarks regarding Donovan McNabb and the media's love of a "black quarterback"....

    MEMO TO AMERICA – LIMBAUGH IS RACIST!!!

    p.s. Am I the only one who can't wait for Limbaugh to FINALLY lose 100% of his hearing in both ears so he won't be able to talk/hear anymore????

    October 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Jenny

    Therefore, Joe Lieberman is backing John Mccain because he is racist and won't vote for a black man.

    October 20, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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