(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.
Phil is my Congressman and this is not the first time he has let me down. Sounded like he was being reasonable at first, but if he apologizes for not agreeing with Rush and Henity, I have no use for him and I am appalled by his caving in to the small minds that want our president to fail in his attempts to pull us out of this financial abyss. Way to go Phil, you jerk!
What exactly did he say that was so offensive that he had to say he was sorry? It has to be more than the 'bricks' one. It would be one thing if he had said it about some other politician. But these guys are just media people. Regardless of their politics they arent important enough to apologize to for such a simple thing.
What a coward! One more Republican afraid to do and say the right thing! No wonder these jerks remain clueless, weak as water!
I hope this loser gets voted out of office in 2010.
Pretty sad if you have to censor yourself out for fear of offending people like Limbaugh or Hannity. The first part of his original comment was spot on, it's the job of a representative to do what's best for your people.
It is unfortunate the inability (or unwillingness) of people to shove aside blind alliegance to party ideology in an effort to meet the needs of the people.
You big Gerogian chicken!
I believe...oh, wait...I don't believe...well, maybe I do. Or not. I can't decide.
Typical COWARD. Anyone who thinks Limbaugh or Hannity or even any of the GOP knows how to fix this screwedup mess made by George Bush is just as CRAZY as the rest of them. I WAS a loyal republican until G. W. Bush was allowed to steal the election from Gore with help from a loser like Kathryn Harris. That was my first lesson in how the GOP does business. They are a ME FIRST group of nuts so out of tuch with reality it is sickening.
Implicit in this statement is the crux of what is wrong with our political system:
"Those guys are some our biggest supporters, and we need them...."
Need them for what? To align public opinion and get Gingrey re-elected that is what!
For the goal of to many politicians is not to be found in service to what is best for the country, but in what is best, and only in what is best, in getting them re-elected time and time again.
It seemed obvious to me that Gingrey meant exactly what he said, but was caught with his pants down (at least in the eyes of his supporters) because he momentarily forgot the politicians creed and instead lapsed into thinking about what is best for the country.
Shame on him indeed!
Since the article on the Democratic petition against Rush Limbaugh, “Stand strong against Rush Limbaugh’s Attacks,” has closed I’m providing comments here. Those of us, who are American first and foremost and desire that our great nation succeed, dispense with signing a partition. What about the idea of boycotting sponsors of his radio talk show—use a bit of capitalistic leverage?
Rush is right!! Go Rush!!!!!
RUSH AND HANNITY ARE IDIOTS. THEY ARE MILLIONAIRES AND DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE AVERAGE PERSON – THEY ONLY WANT MORE MONEY, DRUGS (RUSH) AND TO BRING THIS COUNTRY DOWN. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN – WE DO NOT WANT THESE CORRUPT PEOPLE INVOLVED IN GOVERNMENT AND ANYONE IN GOVERNMENT THAT LISTENS TO THEM WILL BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE!!!! STOP THE HATE AND FEAR – PEOPLE DO NOT RESPOND TO THAT ANYMORE!!
wow this guy panders almost as much as the liar hillary!
guess working for the best interest of the entire US instead of just a bunch of redneck radical religious rightwing nutjobs is too much to expect from a GOP Congressman
You are truly afraid of Senate Speaker Rush and House Minority Speaker Shaun Hinnity.
Obviously, as we have always figured.....Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity run the Republican Party, and if you are not with them then you are a liberal, socialist democrat. That is also the main reason why this country is in such a deep mess after 12 years of Republican control of Congress and 8 years of Republican control of the White House.
It would also be the reason why President Obama and the Democrats in Congress got such a huge mandate from the American people back in November. They were obviously not feeling the love from the Cheney/Limbaugh/Hannity/Bush administration.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Lapdog! Get some spine.
Only Satan can apologize to Rush Limbaugh for making him evil.
I don't know why these evils (Rush Limbaugh and Sean) are still relevant in this party. Republicans will continue to lose if they believe in these "twins of deception". The world is moving and people need to change. Values don't mean HATE. I am a native of America and I don't HATE and I can't imagine that we still have people in this country who are listening to these evils.
Brett here is the real scoop,
We live in the real world, that is why I am writing now you see in the real world we have jobs.
Republican diplomacy of Peace thru Superior Fire Power kept us safe for seven years after the do nothing Clinton Administartion...
Senators Franks and Dodd (both Democrats by the way) got us into this mess with help from Clinton and "Affordable Housing" Sir, "Your" financial grasp is atrocious, thank you and all that voted for Franks and Dodd for the recession.
Your comment on WW II eludes me...
Proud Georgia Republican and Retired Military Officer...
Phil is my Congressman and this is not the first time he has let me down. Sounded like he was being reasonable at first, but if he apologizes for not agreeing with Rush and Henity, I have no use for him and I am appalled by his caving in to the small minds that want our president to fail in his attempts to pull us out of this financial abyss. Way to go Phil.
If Obama fails our country wil fail. We need to work together to get out of this financial situation.
RUSH, HANNIKI all preach and incite racism.
Rush Limbaugh, is a tradjedy set on America to bring focus on an archaic thought process, and a Republican loser. No wonder the Republican party is going down the drain. All that is left is Rush, Sarah, the Defense Industry CEOs, and a few other companies in their pockets. Thank God America is changing, and leaving these dinosaurs behind.
LOL people are still talking about this guy and Rush Limbaugh.
Talk about a couple of two-faced failures in their own right.
What a wimp. It's telling that his conservative supporters would much rather have him toe the party line than criticize the backseat drivers like hannity and limbaugh who chirp and snipe at politicians, when they have no idea how the governing process is done.
I agree – Rush and Sean perfectly represent the Republican's views and everyone should remeber this when deciding which party to vote for in future elections. As Republicans have shown, they speak and vote in lock-step and Rush and Sean are a true image of what they represent. (Oh and throw Palin in there too!)
Heaven forbid that Limbaugh and his ilk be criticized. After all, THEY are the people represented by the right wing of the Republican party. The American people are merely insignificant chaff to be disregarded.