January 29th, 2009
09:17 AM ET
8 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. BB

    If Gingrey and his "radio talk show heroes" are the new face of the republicans, I'd say the dems have a wrap on gov't for the next 12 to 20000 years

    January 28, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. bob in LA

    Are all Republicans sheep? What was wrong with having an opinion against the stupid statements of Limbaugh?
    Unfortunately this form of Pied-piper thinking is not just Republican, and it is because of that that this country is in such bad shape.

    January 28, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. w.l. jones

    Its appears some people is lock stock in step with Hitler in the name of conservative.

    January 28, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Camilo

    “Success is measured only by results and over long periods of time” So “my friends”, if you have been losing consistently, perhaps it’s the way think or that you don’t think at all.

    January 28, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. SteveDoylestown

    His own quote states "You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party." Sorry...I must have something wrong, but I thought our Representatives were elected to serve the people and do what is best for the country. I guess we are supposed to infer that what is good for the people or the country might not be good for his party. Of course they want him to fail...they did a superb job of creating an enormous mess. If our new President is capable of engineering the change he envisions and start our turn around to better days they will look like even bigger screw ups than have believed.

    January 28, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. a.a.Gorrell

    I consider Rush Limbaugh to be UnAmerican! Also any one who sides with him.

    January 28, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  7. SJW

    Why would anybody apologize to Limbaugh. He is an attention getter.

    January 28, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Polly

    Yes, I agree, we need some republicans to maintain their focus on putting the "country first." Our new President's first priority, behind beer is in maintaining and building many "friendships." He'll be drinking in Iran before long.

    January 28, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Bob

    When did we have to start apologizing to comedians like Limbaugh and Hannity WAKE UP REPUBLICAN our country need YOU.

    January 28, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. johnny Doughey

    Rush is the God that the Republicans worship. If they refuse, there will be hell to pay...

    January 28, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. D-MI

    I just sent the congressman a letter expressing my feeling that he should at least pretend he's got a pair.

    You can e-mail him too. It's real easy to find...

    January 28, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Texan for Progression

    Wow...in the Limbaugh piece, Rubulicans (Larry, Paul, etc) were all over Dems saying that Limbaugh had the right to free speach (when criticizing Obama). Funny how they don't seem to chime in here when Gingrey criticizes Limbaugh. To you Obama optimists and Limbaugh lavishers, go back and read that ticker. You're all over the place saying that Dems need to read the entire statement, and that Dems should not judge Limbaugh by a partial quote. Tell me, was this your position regarding Wright??? How long were Limbaugh's soundbites of Wright??? I say again, it's easy to double talk with a forked tongue.

    January 28, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. jeremy

    what a sad state the GOP is in if an elected member of the party is apologizing to a pill popping radio host.

    if Rush is your party leader, your party is in serious trouble.

    January 28, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. give me a break

    The Hannity and Limbaugh Doctrine is about fear and doubt.

    They will do everything they can to sow the seeds of negativity and chaos in America today. I am surprised that conservatives would support them and that folks run afraid of them.

    When you speak only negatively and make people afraid, this is what dictators are made of. This is the work of the devil.

    I for one, want to see the country grow and prosper, so I refuse to listen to hate, fear, and negativity.

    God Bless America!! and all the citizens in it.

    January 28, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Blogging is the legacy I leave behind!

    eddieblue is a perfect example of "Evolution of a Republican". They spread fear for years among the American people and now that we have wised up to it they have no one to spread fear to except themselves.

    Don't believe me, tune in to Fox news and take a sip of beer everytime you hear the words fear and scared, and be sure to have someone ready to take you to the hospital when you get alchohol poisoning.

    Fox News: Fear and Balanced

    January 28, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Thomas Paine

    Did you notice that by inference that he does what is right for his people and his party, not what is right for the American People.

    January 28, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Mary WA

    If you ever considered leaving the Republican Party-–the time is NOW!

    January 28, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Perusing-Through

    CAPTAIN LIMBAUGH WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY MUTINY FROM REPUBLICAN SENATORS, CONGRESSMANS, OR GOVERNORS

    Why is everyone surprise to find out how strong Limbaugh’s control is over the Republicans? Have people forgotten how Limbaugh forced the Republican Party against their will to support Airhead Diva Sarah Palin, no matter how far in deep space space this Palin cadet was flying?

    January 28, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Why Am I NOT Surprised

    Why am I not surprised? Georgia is ranked 3rd or 4th from the bottom in SAT scores, and these hicks are more concerned with remaining a true Red State than embracing the change at hand. The next time someone asks me why I am moving my family out of Georgia, I am going to point them to this article. I am teaching my children to embrace diversity, to think independently and to value the pursuit of knowledge. Far too many people in Georgia think like Gingrey's constituency. I can no longer allow my children to be raised in that environment.

    January 28, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. eric frank morrison

    WHY DO YOU PPLE LISTEN TO THESE NARROW MINDED ILK

    January 28, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. Polly

    LOL...he (Rush) gets carried away sometimes...and yes, can be offensive...but sometimes these guys are interesting to listen too, as well as entertaining...Michael Savage too...LOL...

    January 28, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. Marie

    Apologize to Hannity who is a alcoholic and Limbaugh a drug addict who both are only talk host? They should be talking to people that have problems of addictions and stop hiding behind their deceit They are not politians politicians if they could be they wouldn't be where they are just radio talk host.Isn't this country going through enough to worry about with people committing suicide because they are losing their homes and jobs I must say this is really sad. Hannity and Limbugh keep their ratings when people cater to listening in ....so just stop listening and let their ratings fall and then soon won't air.Gingrey needed to be the politian the people voted him for and stuck to his previous comments and not condoning what Limbaugh said ...... but no minutes after his statements the republicans were probably all over him to apologize leaving him looking like a sick puppy. Hopefully someday all politicians will stand for the american people and not their political status and greed and the likes of Hannity and Limbaugh

    January 28, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Allen

    i mean I can't do nothing but laugh at the outrage on here for the reason why? Did you guys really think the Republican party was going to change . Have they giving you guys any indications over the last 30 years that they've change. Take a look at the south, There's a reason why it's design that way by republicans. They have never cared about this country.They only thing they care about is their pockets and their friends pockets.

    January 28, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Obetwo

    Do you guys even listen to Rush?

    Theres more hate in this blog then you'll ever hear from Rush.

    I agree with him - Rush is Right - if your a conservative and want less government in your life.

    January 28, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. Jeff

    I am so sick and tired of partisan politics. Who cares about the American people, I'm voting along party lines "No matter what." This makes me sick, we should abolish both parties and have our elected officials do what the majority of us want, who cares what Limbaugh says!

    January 28, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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