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. Do you want some cheese with that whine?

    Gingrey does not support the Stimulus package along with many of his fellow Republicans. Interesting how none of the Stimulus checks are being returned. You cannot tell me that everybody that gets the Stimulus check is a Democrat. They may complain about Stimulus Checks but as soon as theirs arrives, they go all quiet. Republicans = Sheep!!! Note* Not all Democrats Support the Stimulus package but if the Government wants to send me money, I will put it in the bank like a responsible citizen.

    January 28, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  2. Craig Shaver

    Looking at the House vote on Obama's stimulus package it would appear most Republicans agree with the mean-spirited Limbaugh and Hannity.

    That's great! Conservatives, just like liberals, just don't get it. That means there'll be fewer of them to deal with in the next Congress. But then it took the far left a while to get it too. We ended up with a lot more moderates in Congress.

    Like I tell my students "Annoy the left and the right. Think for yourselves."

    January 28, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  3. Ben in Dallas

    There are two things the radical right wing have in common with communists. 1. They have a party line. 2. They threaten honest thought every chance they get. And oh yeah. They are extinct.

    January 28, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  4. js007

    Pathetic. The Republicans have no leaders. Limbaugh and Hannity are two racist, dishonest, windbag bullies and as long as no one stands up to them their vitriol will seem like the truth to those ignorant 25% who approved of Bush until the bitter end. The last nail in the coffin of the Republican party will be the Palin 2012 nomination, which IS coming.

    January 28, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    They are all crooks and liers Dems and Rep and you people think Obama is God. Wake up!!!

    January 28, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. Mike

    What cracks me up is the Republicans think they know how to fix the economy, not to long ago they wanted to privatize Social Security, let the American people manage their Social Security by investing in the stock market. What a train wreck that would have been, not only have we seen our 401k / IRA disappear we would have seen our Social Security disappear. Leaving this country in a bigger hole than we are in now. Thankfully the Democrats were not at sleep at the switch and did not let this disaster occur.

    January 28, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. Kevin

    pandering to a blowhard drug junkie? is he serious? his comments were right on the mark. what a pathetic loser to kiss a talk show host's butt. oh yeah, Republican.

    January 28, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  8. Rich

    OH-MY-GOD! Rush has taken control of the Republican Party. OH-MY-GOD! They're going down in flames now for sure! It's such a beautiful thing to watch!

    January 28, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  9. Art

    Sorry, but other people should not apologize for the wreckless talk of someone else. For the past eight years we have been spoon fed lies one after another. This country faces its most darkest hours because of Bush and the GOP and Rush wants to wish that Obama fail. Let us be completely honest what scares Rush, White Supremists and the GOP is that when Obama succeeds it will be the last of the GOP. They don't understand that when Obama succeeds we as a nation, succeeds. Go Away Rush

    January 29, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  10. Not my taxpayer

    pelosi fake smile worth$2 , watch Jo leno make fun her smile like kitten

    January 29, 2009 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  11. Rush my HERO

    Rush Good FROM AMERICA , HE IS HAVE HONOR TELL THE TRUE ,LIBTARD HATE TELL THE TRUE BUSY WITH FREE CONDOM

    January 29, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  12. js007

    The only Republicans left in Congress are those from the extreme red districts. All they care about is self-preservation (getting re-elected). It has gotten to a point where they have to lick Limbaugh and Hannity's boots and suck up to the ridiculous ideology and vitriol they promote. This is a just repayment for decades of crooked policies based on lies, fear and deception. It will take real leadership to de-program the foolish "base" which no longer cares about facts or reality, about whether an idea is good or bad, but only about whether it is THEIR idea or not. Now, make way for Palin in 2012 and the destruction of the Republican party will be complete.

    January 29, 2009 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  13. DR

    What a joke. Elected officials now answering to Lamebaughlls? I don't get it. The doctor shopping, pill popping, perscription borrowing addict propagandist supported and sold the principles that got America where it is today: jobless, losing wealth, and MORE terrorists wanting to kill us! Let him rot in post-Dubya hell, along with all the other idiot dittoheads.

    January 29, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  14. emt2er

    Oh my god, what a coward. What the hell is wrong with Republicans. They had the power for 8 years and left a soup sandwitch. Absolutely no remorse.

    January 29, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  15. John

    Gingrey is nothing but a GUTLESS MORON !!!!

    He was right the first time but his brain dead people he represent calls his office and he goes on the FATMANS show to beg for Forgivness. If the Repo's want Limbaugh to be the leader of the party
    then go for it. Politics is not about sitting on a Idelog stance but it is about making compromises and trying to work together. The problem with people who listen to talk radio is that it is a entertainment forum
    which some idiots use as a news source and that is the sad thing to
    behold.

    January 29, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  16. Pete

    Mr. Gingrey and other Republicans worry excessively about keeping their "base" frothed up. This shouting base, epitomized by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Boortz (and Palin), is NOT the mainstream of the party. Until they once again become a reasoned, principled conservative party, Republicans will remain out of power.

    January 29, 2009 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  17. Barbara

    Gingrey is as spineless as the other Republicans. You allow Limbaugh and Hanity direct your thoughts. You succumbed to the ideas of tenth grade dropouts, and drug addicts. What is wrong with you? Is this going to keep you in office? If so, Your district is a bunch of DITTO's.

    January 29, 2009 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  18. Eugene

    No apologies necessary. The comments were spot on.

    January 29, 2009 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  19. Ken

    It is Rush who should be apologizing to the whole of the US for trying to play God with the election and his Chaos movement. Well, it DIDN'T work and he failed. Perhaps that is why he wants Pres. Obama to fail now. Let's hope that the US is finally free from the scare
    mongering of Hannity and Limbaugh. Get over the fear and you will no longer be victims of these two clowns!

    January 29, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  20. CJG

    What is truly amazing about this is a Rep from Ga and someone who is in a governing position in Washinton claims he sees eye to eye with Rush, because he has to uphold the "sacred values" of the Republican party.

    Yep the last I heard Rush is just filled with sacred values.....yep , I am sure God wants Obama to fail as Rush does . If you pray he fails we all fail...And this is certainly Christian values in action Mr Gingrey!

    Why is this party going so far away from real values but think they are the only ones that have them! .This is really frightening when a party listens to such hate filled speech and from people like Hannity and Limbaugh and call it values!

    As a Christian I am trully mystified and distressed by all the hate the deep south thinks are values.
    And when did politicians become so afraid of these blowhards spewing hate that they see eye to eye with them.

    I am truly worried about this country with the likes of this Ga Republican... As a fellow southerner , I am ashamed!!!

    January 29, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  21. Bob C.

    Anyone - make that ANYone - who sides with Limbaugh on this is a ridiculous person and deserves no respect. Rush Limbaugh is a FAT joke plain and simple! People are waking up to that with his "I hope Obama fails" fart.

    January 29, 2009 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  22. llis

    Anyone who watches Limbaugh and doesn't see him for the shock jock and hypocrite that he is, has more problems than can be solved in a CNN comment section. Hannity is just a Republican speaking head, along with his other Fox Friends. If they didn't all agree with each other, their feelings would get hurt.

    January 29, 2009 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  23. Ras-Disputin

    They stink !

    January 29, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  24. National_Insecurity

    I just realized these are the same scaredy-cat Republicans who are afraid of a bunch of scrawny wannabe "terrorists" we're holding it Gitmo.

    We're Americans! We are not cowards! We are no longer afraid.

    January 29, 2009 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  25. Kalik Crick

    I hope Obama fails..

    I am glad to see that not one Republican in the House of Representatives voted for Obama stimulus plan.

    I will now start to send money to Republican candidates again.

    Obama is wrong, his policies are wrong and he is wrong for America.

    January 29, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
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