January 29th, 2009
09:17 AM ET
7 months ago

Gingrey apologizes for Limbaugh criticism

Gingrey, with his family and President Bush in 2005, represents a conservative district of Georgia.
Gingrey, with his family and President Bush in 2005, represents a conservative district of Georgia.

(CNN) – Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia apologized Wednesday for criticizing conservative hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hanity, assuring his supporters that "I am one of you."

"I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives—that was not my intent," Gingrey said in a statement. "I am also sorry to see that my comments in defense of our Republican Leadership read much harsher than they actually were intended, but I recognize it is my responsibility to clarify my own comments."

The mea culpa comes one day after Gingrey appeared to take issue with Limbaugh's recent criticism of congressional Republicans. The conservative radio host said GOP leaders weren't adequately challenging President Obama on his proposed stimulus package.

"I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks," Gingrey told the Politico. "You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party."

The comments, published in a Politico story Tuesday afternoon, immediately prompted a flood of calls from aggrieved conservatives to Gingrey's congressional office, prompting the Georgia Republican to issue a clarification reasserting his conservative bona fides.

"As long as I am in the Congress, I will continue to fight for and defend our sacred values. I have actively opposed every bailout, every rebate check, every so called 'stimulus,' Gingrey said in the statement. "And on so many of these things, I see eye-to-eye with Rush Limbaugh."

Gingrey represents a conservative swath of Georgia stretching northwest of Atlanta to the Alabama border, and easily won reelection last November with close to 70 percent of the vote.

Still, many rank-and-file conservatives from both inside Gingrey's district and around the country openly expressed their dismay with the remarks, sparking concern within the congressman's office that the comments were being misinterpreted and could ultimately prove damaging.

"Those guys are some our biggest supporters, and we need them," Chris Jackson, a spokesman for Gingrey, told CNN of Limbaugh and Hannity.


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soundoff (658 Responses)
  1. J Yeanoplos

    Limbaugh and Hannity are pulling the strings on the republican puppets now, huh? That's frightening that republicans are afraid of and beholding to these talk-show hosts. Really scary!

    January 28, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. Jim

    Well, you can't go around insulting your base... Because this bloated gasbag, this 21st Century Goering, IS the Republican Party.

    Which is fine. With each broadcast he only serves to demonstrate the increasing marginalization of the GOP and the complete bankruptcy of their political agenda.

    Of course, that bankruptcy is just as readily ascertainable– both literally and figuratively– by glancing at each day's headlines.

    January 28, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. John, Long Island, NY

    It is scary to think that an elected official has to apologize to Rush Limbaugh, considering all the horrible things he says with impunity. I think Gringey needs to grow a set.

    January 28, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. America Speaks

    If it is true Rush Limbaugh would like America not to succeed, then he is UnAmerican. Our country needs all of us working together to turn our economy around, help create jobs in the United States and caring about our family and neighbors.

    If this politician favors Limbugh's beliefs, then he too does not care about the majority of citizens in the Untied States and both men are unAmerican. To wish that our new Administration does not succeed, then it finally makes sense why Rush would support the past 8 years. Rush Limbaugh must believe that the past 8 years have been a success????? How do people without jobs listen to Limbaugh? He sure is not helping families get ahead in the United States. Rush Limbaugh is sick in an insane, unhealthy way.

    January 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. Bubba

    I am pleased that the usual GOP apologists are silent today.

    January 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Who's the real Coward?

    I would rather see Gingrey apologize to a fellow American like Limbaugh than Obama apologize to the Muslim World! Who's the real coward?

    January 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Peter

    Limbaugh and Hannity are morons, are you one too then?

    January 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. HenryO

    Good Lord, man, grow a pair. You meant what you said now stand by it. Why be intimidated by a couple of knuckleheads? This is a ridiculous as Limbaugh's "accidental" Oxycotin addicition.

    January 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. jacq

    the republicans are the reason the American people are losing there jobs,home,and looks like taking their lives

    January 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Ron

    SPINELESS!!!!!!!!

    January 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. SA in OO

    Sit down, shut up and for God sakes don't take the name of Rush Limbaugh in vein. Are you with us or "agin" us.

    Maybe this will teach all of you waffeling Republcans that the single issue, hot button rabble right coalition you have built won't understand any of the criticism you might have of Rush or his vindictive. These are believers, not people who think a lot about . . . well about anything.

    January 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. GiroGeezer, Calif.

    "I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks," Gingrey told the Politico. "You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party."

    For one brief fleeting moment you started to think like the rest of us about the objectivity, priorities, and professionalism of politicians and journalists, and then quickley recomposed yourself and reconsidered your reelection opportunities.

    January 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Unreal

    These republicans might as well say that they want the American people to fail, because the American people are the ones who elected Obama.

    January 28, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. Donald Maier

    As a white voter for Obama, I am in a minority here in the middle of RED Georgia, but when I heard what Rush had said it made me sick. If our new president fails, our country will fail. Rush makes his living by being outrageous. But this goes too far and is so stupid a statement that I have trouble believing my ears. Most people want our government to solve our problems right now and stop the politics as usual. Let it go Rush! I would love to see you loose your following by saying such things, but unfortunately, so many will repeat your destructive words just to cause trouble and think they are right because YOU said it!

    January 28, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Obama 2012'

    Guess this guy is for more deregulation so we can all have ponzi schemes!

    January 28, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Mike

    Rush needs to lay off food, drugs and the Democrats.....in that order ... he is irrelevant, as is Hannity. They are bitter, angry right-wing wack jobs spewing nothing but hatred and venom. They need to get new lives. They have been repeating the same crap for two months, with nothing new to add.

    January 28, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. laura

    LOL!!!!!!!!!

    Wow ......... now a Republican Rep. is DEFENDING Rush and Sean? .... man Rush must be dumping a litle something on his cool aid jajaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa .. what a complete LOSER!

    January 28, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Shannon

    Rush reminds me of a worn out 8 track-useless and outdated. I am a Democrat and I have never been more engerized to put my efforts in the upcoming elections. Did I mention, any and all elections.

    January 28, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I am deeply sadened to see that ideology still trumps
    reality. The reality is that after 8 yrs we clearly have had a
    philosophy that at this point in time has left us in deep
    fiscal trouble. Now is the time to change it or at least
    give new ideas a fighting chance. If this fails, we all fail
    and Rush should be ashamed of his " I hope he fails"
    ranting. What kind of American is he anyway???????????

    January 28, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Mark-Atlanta

    Limbaugh is now running Republican party.. he sets the agenda and coordinate attacks on Obama…it is just sad to see a major political party being ran by a college drop-out and drug addict. One would think that Reps would get smarter after seeing what happened to our country after being run by intellectually challenged president (Bush), but… there is something about intellectual mediocrity and language of racism and intolerance that attracts so many Republicans…let them be…let them praise their new leaders Palin and Limbaugh.

    January 28, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Rush pills

    Rush ........... hide your pills! .... better yet ask Sean to send you more .... since you are running low after such a high!

    January 28, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Gerald Brisby

    Let`s not forget that Limbaugh had his Housekeeper get drugs for him...remember ,you do the math.

    January 28, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. Too many oxy deaths!

    Rush Limbaugh is known as an addict...and suspected of selling an opiate at one time. it has been reported he actually take 30 pills a day. I doubt that any one who enjoyed Oxy....ymmmm would still be alive...So where did the rest of the tab's go...? He is disgusting....... Of course he had a hearing problem and was prescribed. Maybe he still can't hear! Most drug addicts...aka movie stars who have died from legal drugs are basic addicts, lets give them all an award!

    Lets all continue to be in denial! How this man continues to serve up his daily serving of bull is beyond me. I can't believe he still has a radio show with an audiance....perhaps they are all on legal drugs or in denial.

    One death too many of peeps I know from Oxy .... Lets make it illegal unless you are terminal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 28, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. Enough Already

    Well...it just goes to show you that the republicans have not changed. They think tax cuts are going to help the economy...the last tax cut didn't help so how is this one going to help. The republicans have a difficult time changing and by supporting Limbaugh and this like him reflects that. The republicans ran up a huge deficit ubder Bush and now they are stopping the way they played for the last 8 years. I have heard their reasonings and they just do not make sense and we the people are the ones who have to suffer because of the inability to play fairly.

    January 28, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. Georgia Moderate

    For the love of Pete Mr. Gingrey! You just don't get it, do you? Your party just took one hell of a beating and your fellow Republicans didn't have a cake walk in Georgia, either. Can't you see that the GOP's hold on Georgia is slipping? You and every other Republican should not only criticize that idiot Limbaugh, but should be repudiating him in the most strong terms and telling your constituencies that Limbaugh's brand of hate-mongering and political divisiveness are no longer welcome in the GOP. We're sick of this garbage - all of us, not just liberals.

    Barack Obama and the Democrats need only be moderately successful in cleaning up the mess your party created in order to gain even more power in 2010. If that happens, the GOP becomes insignificant and will remain so for years. You are supposed to be a leader, so lead your people instead of pandering to some of their baser instincts.

    January 28, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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