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. Mike S. New Orleans

    Hagel is one Republican with integrity and grit. I hope he joins the next administration.

    November 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Annette

    Hear! Hear! Sen. Hagel. Rush is the joke of the century!

    November 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    He sounds like EXACTLY what Obama needs in his admin. This guy knows what the people want and need. I hope Obama seriously considers this man for the job. Finally someone bashes the hate mongerer. (rush)

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Craig - Hastings, MN

    Run this past me again !!!!!!! "Bout time someone stood up to this gas bag Limbaugh and his ilk. Bravo to you Sen Hagel.Yes, Bravo, Bravo.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. spirkjerk

    Well said, Chuck. I stopped listening to that limbaugh flatulence long ago. He's a liar and ripoff.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. s

    I agree with Senator Hagel. Yet this is more pervasive than in just politics. This us-vs-them approach, this win-lose mentality, this my-way-or-the-highway mode has become rooted in US culture and works against the potential of this great nation. A. Lincoln got it right: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Or if you prefer, the old adage: "The handshake is stronger than the fist."

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Billy J , TX-

    If the republicans had more Chuck Hagels and less Rovian disciples they may have not buried their brand so deep in the mud. As it is ... it will take a lot of people replaced in the party before they can come close to the stranglehold they used to have. Alot of folks have caught on to the dillema that 'don't question the talking points' is getting our country into. I want all our citizens liberal and conservative to have a say and to feel like they are not being ignored by their government, but it is a two way street and the 'demonization' of the other party is not getting anything constructive done. It is just helping hate radio and your local facist (dem or rep) politician stay on the air and in their position.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Personal to eva:

    Rush Limbaugh is the personal attack dog of the RNC, and they don't deny it. "Forget issues, attack the personality!"

    This is the guy who called Chelsea Clinton a bow-wow and printed t-shirts proclaiming it. Nice guy!!!

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. MS

    I love how people who don't listen to a program know so much about it. Once again the 'open minded people' are hypocrites. Allowing 'leaders' like this to govern is ireresponsible at best.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Art Michaelson

    Russ is a foul mouthed, divisive, rabbel rouser whi should have his mouth washed with suffuric acid. He brings out the worst emotions os the ill informed bigots.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Frank, Las Vegas

    What a nice surprise, a Republican who is honest, who has integrity and is not afraid to stand up for facts. If the GOP is looking for a way to come back, listen to Chuck. The American people have caught on to the attack, smear, lie tactics of the past. Try telling the truth and the GOP just might get some Senate and house back. If not, the GOP can count on even more lost seats in 2010.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. cpndave

    Allen Brothers steaks are actualy moose meat shot by Sarah Palin from a helicopter.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. J

    Right on, Chuck

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Ken Sawyer

    Limbaugh makes it harder for the crooks to operate in Washington.The crooks in the Senate and the House was responsible for letting the problem with Fannie Mae and Freddie mac ruin the country not Bush. Democracy is formed by Conservatism and used by Liberals until it turns into Socialism. You might want Limbaugh after 4 years of more giveaways for the mess that happens when Obama can not keep all of the promises. I don't expect anything from Obama but the ones who elected him do. The money that was in the stock market still exist. It was pulled out by the smart ones who live by the Golden Rule (he who controls the gold rules) hope to gain by these bailouts.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Amen

    Hagel tells it like it is. Obama would be wise to put him on his team. We need more Chuck Hagels!

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. david harrington

    If Hagel is so honest why did he wait until he was leaving? He is afraid of Rush, that is why, had he said this when running for election he would have lost. He has no loyalty or he would have helped John McCain, he lacks integrity on his timing.

    November 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Borat

    America would be a Better Place if Idiots like Limbaugh and Hannity had no Voice to spit their Hate !!!!

    November 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Retired Navy

    To Republicans –
    You lost the election becuase of the partisan, negative talk. Now when you have one of your own call you on your bad behavior, you act like spoiled brats.

    Proof you can dish it out but can't take it!

    November 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Carole

    Liebermann is a jerk. I hope his voters get him. Then again, he will retire being the COWARD and PUNK HE IS!

    November 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Gene

    To RKW:

    His Comment: Hagel is a left wing idiot.

    Yep... Chuck is an idiot. Only an idiot can make the observation that guys like Rush like to scream about everything that's wrong with this country yet offer no solutions. And only an idiot would suggest that we need to get past the partisan gridlock to get anything done. Because the smart thing to do would be what... accomplish nothing and offer no solutions?

    You're an idiot RKW. If you're going to make a statement like that... at least back it up with some kind of substance.. why you think he's an idiot.

    November 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. robert

    this guy is brilliant and truthfull he is so different from liebermann if you asked liebermann the same question he will tell you limbaugh is smart.

    November 18, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. mike-wpb

    Isn't it nice that now that his career is ending, he has the backbone to speak out about the partisanship in Washington... gee... where was he for all the previous years he was in office? I don't remember him on the news programs railing about "partisanship"... He has been part of the problem for years, certainly not part of a solution!

    November 18, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. sackie

    Chuck Hagel has always been critical and out spoken about the republican party. He's a fair man and I hope he is given a position in the Obama White House.

    November 18, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Old Dominion

    Oh my god, I love this man. Too often politicians will take shots from the left and the right and act as if it is beneath them to respond. Im glad he took aim right back at them. And he is 100% correct.

    Chuck Hagel is a great American statesman. Not afraid to speak his conscience when he is compelled to. Pond Scum like Limbaugh arent fit to take his trash out

    November 18, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. mw

    Thank You Chuck Hagel. Rush is a deterrent to progress, a disgrace to intelligent Repugs, a hate monger, a very poor comedic wantabee, a nuisance, a migraine, a hemorrhoid, a disgrace. Who listens to that jerk anyway. If I accidentally tune him in on the car radio, I turn him off. I would rather listen to fingernails scratching a blackboard. Too many people in the Repug party listen to losers lie him, Hannity and Coulter.

    November 18, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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