January 29th, 2009
09:17 AM ET
9 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.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (658 Responses)
  1. Devin

    If Rush Limbaugh is a valued and needed supporter of congressional Republicans, than the Democrats really are in a commanding position.

    January 28, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. aby

    GO RUSH! President Socialist is going to run this country into the ground with his social spending agenda and Rules for Radicals tactics. Debt is what got us INTO this mess, so heck, why not pile on more of it and secure welfare Dem votes for all our kids and grandkids?

    I'm just sitting back here, reading all these similar comments from different names. Ok, you one liberal wacko out there who posted all these hate filled comments, time to go back to your padded room.

    January 28, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Pam Williams

    He appologizes for not agreeing with an idiot like limbaugh.

    what will it take for "republics" to find a backbone?

    January 28, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Pat

    I knew that today's Republicans were being led around like a bull by a nose ring by the likes of Rush Limbaugh but I didn't realize how much until reading this article. If some of these conservatives don't wake up they will find that they have no Republican party left at all. The day you allow your party to be run and manipulated by a radio pundit is the day you may as well go looking for another party.

    January 28, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Once you vote Black

    He must think Rush is more important then Obama.

    January 28, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Sye the Pychic

    Gingrey is a wimp for retracting the truth.General Sherman should have finished the job in Georgia.

    January 28, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. Sharon, Tampa

    WOW!! Are you seriously concerned with what a Meth head and next in line of the Aryan Brotherhood think? And Republicans wonder why their party is sinking...

    January 28, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. Chris F.

    What a coward? Why appologive? But it is Georgia, some people in that state probably think Rush is smart. I would repected him if he would of stuck to his comments. Maybe he is afraid of
    Rush and Hannity.

    January 28, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Bill

    Give me a break, typical Republican who can't stand by his words as if limbaugh and hannity, both uneducated bafoons are the voice of your party. There is a reason republicans lost power.

    January 28, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. FanSlwHnd

    How sad that anyone would want to align themselves with Rush. And even sadder that this man lives someplace where the population is aligned with Limbaugh's values. To ever wish for your government to fail in doing their best or to feel that voting along party lines – whatever the party – is more important than working together for the betterment of all shows a true lack of patriotism and a lack of understanding of what this last election was all about. President Obama was elevted because we are tired of being Democrats or Republicans, Conservatives or Liberals. We're ready to be Americans.

    January 28, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. wawaweewa

    the brainwashed do not know that they have been brainwashed. you all talk about how theyre all hate-mongers. but you stoop down to a level by calling them childish names and lash out at them. so whos really the hate-monger? you people are filled with malice and ill-will. its disgusting

    January 28, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. NC Female Christian

    "And on so many of these things, I see eye-to-eye with Rush Limbaugh." In other words, he is a proud attention-seeking, loud mouth, ditto-head. Sir, no need to fear Rush; he's all bark and no bite, cheesburgers notwithstanding.

    January 28, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Chuck

    Rush Limbaugh does not Know and Understand the Definition of “Socialism” and “Communism”. He is an Illiterate and Talkative. Canada and UK have healthcare provided by State, does it mean Canada and UK are Socialist Countries? We have Free Education till the 12th grade, Social Security System, does not make USA a Communist Country. Even Democratic States are “Welfare States”. Limbaugh is a Duffer who does not understand what a Welfare State is. He wants Obama to fail, just because Obama is trying to Regulate Banking, Finance and Taxation. Does Limbaugh know and understand that Unregulated Banking, Finance and Taxation can lead to Thuggery, Exploitation and Lawlessness? Limbaugh has the Freedom of Speech, but he should not speak Nonsense. He is Misguided, Disillusioned and an Idiot.

    January 28, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. ONE WORD

    COWARD!!

    January 28, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Perusing-Through

    EVERY REPUBLICAN IN THE SENATE AND THE CONGRESSIONAL HOUSE IS A RUSH LIMBAUGH DITTO-HEAD.

    This is more evidence to illustrate why nearly all common sense Americans believe every elected Republican, whether Senator, Congressman, Governor, or Mayor, is beholden to "Lord of the Druggies – the Evil and Wicked Rush Limbaugh".

    January 28, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. John Gleason

    I have listened to Limbaugh. He has legitimate policy disputes with among other things, the stimulus package. The left is simply trying to stifle debate by proclaiming the Obama administration off limits. I don't expect the political left to display any intellectual integrity, so it is pointless to revisit attacks on Bush during his 8 years. Which of course, the left justifies because they had policy disputes with his administration. Objecting to millions of stimulus dollars going to the NEA, birth control,and STD prevention is hardly un-american, racist, homophobic or my favorite, "mean-spirited"

    January 28, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. AMERICA FIRST!

    YOUR RIGHT MARY, WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE WE HAVE THE FREEDOM TO BASH OUR PRESIDENT AND CURRENT ADMINISTRATION, BE ANTI-AMERICAN IF WE CHOOSE TO. THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY OF OURS. THE PROBLEM WITH WHAT COMES OUT OF RUSH'S MOUTH IS S-T ALONG WITH HIS LISTENERS, JUST A BUNCH OF RACIST, BIGOTS WHO FEEL THAT TRYING TO GET THIS COUNTRY OF OURS BACK ON IT'S FEET IS A BAD THING. MARY YOU CONTINUE TO SUPPORT RUSH AND MOVE TO CRAWFORD TX OR WHEREVER CHENEY LIVES.

    January 28, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Mark

    Why is he bowing to Rush Limpbaugh? He was right on what he said – it's a new era of politics – one of negotiation and compromise. Enough of the obstructionist politics of the past 8 years – the narrow minded politics of the Bush and his fellow Republicans – the public said loud and clear in the last election that enough of this divisive politics – that is why the Democrats have significant majorities in both the Senate and the House – enough is enough.

    If Republicans want to get back in the public eye, they will have to stop the Limpbaughs, Hannities, O'Reillys and their neofascist-conservative divisive language.

    January 28, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. greg

    the republicans are looking for a leader, i guess they found one... too bad he is a drug addict, then again look at their vice presidential candidate, nothing surprises me about these people, they are just weird...

    January 28, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. joseph simmons

    hello , hello , hello ?? does anybody hear me ? this emergency package would have been alot simpler, and more effective, if only the monies were given directly to the people who would have used it to pay bills and make purchases that would have stimulated the country most effectivly.

    January 28, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. Polly

    Great, Obama's hosting a cocktail party tonight. He sure is the life of the "parties."

    January 28, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. TomD

    Hey Dittoheads....why do you think you're called that? LOL

    So the media brainwashes everyone except the "republicans"? Yet you call yourself dittoheads??

    January 28, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. One vote

    Too bad Gingrey did not have the spine after-all – I guess he is back un-board with those that hope that we fail as a country. Good to know!

    January 28, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Robert

    Coward.

    January 28, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. DT

    I'll tell you... Crap like this only makes the democratic party stronger and reaffirms what most people ( the smarter half) already know... That is there are no leaderships, agendas and principles in this GOP, just a bunch of lost souls and cowards that point fingers and whine. They will say and do anything to safe their seats. Apologize to Hannity and Limbaugh??? Are you kidding me??? What a bunch of sell out. Where is Reagan's GOP???

    January 28, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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