November 18th, 2008
03:13 PM ET
5 years ago

Hagel takes aim at Limbaugh, Senate colleagues

Hagel had sharp words for Rush Limbaugh Tuesday.
Hagel had sharp words for Rush Limbaugh Tuesday.

(CNN) - As his Senate career nears its end, Republican Chuck Hagel isn't holding back when it comes to criticizing members of his own party - including conservative talk radio hosts.

"We are educated by the great entertainers like Rush Limbaugh," Hagel said Tuesday during a speech in Washington, according to the Huffington Post.

"You know, I wish Rush Limbaugh and others like that would run for office," a sarcastic Hagel continued. "They have so much to contribute and so much leadership and they have an answer for everything. And they would be elected overwhelmingly. [The truth is] they try to rip everyone down and make fools of everybody but they don't have any answers."

Hagel has increasingly become critical of his party in the aftermath of the Iraq War and notably held back endorsing his longtime friend John McCain during the presidential campaign. He's reportedly under consideration for a cabinet post in the Obama administration.

Speaking at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Hagel also faulted Washington lawmakers for "raw, partisan, political paralysis."

"The American people don't like what is going on... they want us to start doing what leaders are expected to do, address the problems, find some consensus to governing. Get along. There will be disagreements, sure... but in the end we can't hold ourselves captives to this raw, partisan, political paralysis."


Filed under: Chuck Hagel
soundoff (410 Responses)
  1. Well, alrighty then!!!!

    Ha Ha Ha...I have been waiting for so long for this..Finally! I thought I was the only one seeing through all Rush/Sean's hate mongering, self righteous, bigoted talk show. Actually, I have to thank Rush/Sean.....He inspired me to vote Obama. It was clear to me they are just willing to tear down instead of bring them up...I honestly believe they want to see the US be worse off so they could say "I told you so" WOW! True Patriot, huh?

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Frank

    And nobody feeds the raw, partisan, political paralysis like the King of idiots, Rush Limbaugh. Just as bad are the mindless lemmings who think that he is an expert and knows what he's talking about. Just like he was an expert on Parkinson's.

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Love it...

    Nice to see a Republican that can call a spade a spade.

    I've always respected Chuck Hagel even when I don't always agree with him. He is thoughtful and intelligent, neither of which apply to ideologues like Hannity and Limbaugh.

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Joko

    Most Limbaugh listeners are morons.

    November 18, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. John Reith Jr.

    People who listen to Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly and others like them are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Right on Chuck. John.

    November 18, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Thank you Chuck Hagel for telling it like it is.

    I don't care what is said by Rush Limboob, Ann Coultergeist and Bill O'Lielly. I won't even mention any other dolts on Fox Noise.

    November 18, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. DH

    Rush Limbaugh does not have the brain capacity to know when not to solicit prescription drugs illegally and even get caught doing so. So why would anyone think he has the intelligence to give any solutions to anything. He has an audience of hate mongers who relish in degrading others. Just what are his credentials? Is he any more than a RADIO talk show host on mostly AM stations? Really, has he progressed any, other than his salary which is only because of ratings which are dependent on the old white men who regurgitate his works rather than reading and educating themselves. I will go with the more intelligen.

    November 18, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. kevin(proud bleeding heart liberal) from washington state

    the reason why radio hosts like limbaugh hannity and medved havent run for office is becuase what would they run on...they have spent their careers talking about poitics and making "bleeding heart liberals"like me a bad word...(i cry when i see reports like i saw today about moms in haiti having to choose which child eats and which one starves MOST republicans have no problem ignoring the plight...not my problem)the talk show hosts havent had the opportunity to show the public they can get things done...they talk talk talk gripe complain and trash the other party....to be fair ill say the same for ron regean of air america all though talk show hosts have a good grasp of the issues(the better to be paid the big bucks)they havent been in the trenches of public services proving their worth..............realistically they wouldnt have any thing to run on but name recognition and money...

    November 18, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. JP

    Hagel was never a Republican in the first place. He was a Dem in Republ clothing, as is Lindsey and the rest of the so called liberal Republicans. What the American people want is for a Republican to be a Republican and a Dem to be a Dem. We have no idea who or what is in Washington anymore. Hagel, you were and are part of that whole issue. A bunch of Stepfords!!!!

    November 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. EJ

    Amen to that. I'd like to see the day Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Rielly spend a major part of their lives solving the world's problems (feeding the hungry, helping HIV/AIDS victims, housing refugees, ANYTHING...). It's so easy to be a critic.

    November 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Zman

    RUSH; LOU DOBBS AND GLEN BECK ARE THE DUMBEST AND IGNORANTS AMERICANS EVER WHO THINKS THAT THEY KNOW IT ALL.

    November 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Tomkat in Seattle

    Rush Limbaugh-like a scab on a sore, if you scratch it, it never heals and often the sore becomes worse. Ignore it and the sore goes away and heals. M2C

    -Tomkat-

    November 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. last Honest Man

    Hagel like most of the Democrats.....is dung. Further more shame on the media for now scrutinizing Obama. They wouldn't do it during the election.
    Communism, socialism....take your choice. Its alive in America

    November 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. steve jones

    Limbaugh is an entertainer and nothing more. This kind of debate over his commentary to him, is like feeding steak to a hungry lion. Hagel's frustration is really with people who listen to Rush, like those who listened to Jim Jones 30 years ago in Guyana.

    November 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Steve, New York, New York

    Chuck Hagel is an amazing individual.

    I think this guy has "what it takes" to be president, some day – and I hope there's a cabinet position for him in the upcoming Obama administration.

    November 18, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Kris MD

    I like Sen. Hagel. He is a great independent voice. I am an independent as well. We need more politicians like him.

    November 18, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. AMGC

    I knew I liked this guy.

    November 18, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. J

    If you're going to call out Rush, you should also call out the Democratic Poster Child...and I say "child" because that's what he acts like on his program...Keith Olbermann.

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. David in Charlotte

    Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Hannity are nothing but entertainers... and gavones, of course.

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Average Joe

    Are you seriously implying that Rush supports the Constitution? The man couldn't be farther from the intentions of the Founding Fathers. He's a fear monger who treads on the Constitution as frequently as possible. Remember the "Go register as Democrats and vote for Hillary to tamper with the Democratic processes" movement he touted? Catch that TAMPER as in voter fraud, as in an insult to the Democratic processes. What has been perpetrated over the last eight years with respect to the Administration and their decimation of the Constitution is a travesty. There has been more damage to civil liberties that can be measured. What we have seen from the current incarnation of the Republican party with Bush, Cheney, and bigots like Rush have robbed America of its democratic principles. That is why there was a clear message sent by the voters on November 4th. Right now, the Republican party is not a national party, just a niche party of the old South. Please, those of you who are so blinded by partisan politics, do not speak ill of a man who truly has and continues to put "Country First".

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Adam

    MS, to respond to your comment about those who don't listen to a program . . . you apparently presuming that if listening to Rush would make one more agreeable to the program.

    I tune into Rush every once in a while, and within 1 minute I am insulted as a Democrat. In other words, in less than one minute, I hear something entirely partisan and completely insulting. Liberals this and liberals that . . . Rush makes O'Rielly look like Ayers.

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Steve

    0% NARAL record, 0% HRC record. 100% Christian Coallition. 0% League of Conservation voters. At least he does ok with the ACLU (60%).

    An anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-environment, pro-oil Republican who bends over backwards to religious zealots? Come on Chuck, your record on everything except a single issue (Iraq) indicates you'd vote exactly the same way Rush would.

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. dave

    Chuck
    just shut up.... rush preaches smaller gov't, smaller taxes, stronger military, more self-reliance, and less gov't entitlements from the democratic "sugar daddy" party. Why don't you rip barney frank, chuck schumer, jimmy carter, bill clinton, chris dodd and the rest of the dems who injected socialism into our capitalist economy and it failed miserably. Shut up chuck

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Just another CNN poster

    MS November 18th, 2008 3:42 pm ET

    MS, I couldn't understant what this post meant so I ran it through an online translator. It came back with, "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Chut Pata

    Rush Limbaugh + Sarah Palin would be the dream ticket ... for Democrats.

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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