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.


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soundoff (658 Responses)
  1. Sherri

    Rush Limbaugh had his day back in the '90's and since then has become increasingly irrelevant. His comments are meant less to criticize Obama"s policies than to draw attention to himself and let the public know that Rush Limbaugh is still around. Poor Rush, he's a has-been and he knows it.

    January 29, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  2. Drew

    Now we know why Republicans didn't vote yes...

    January 29, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  3. Hareega

    Those are the symbols of the Republican party these days, a RADIO talk show host who wishes ill for his country for the sake of his show and another lunatic TV show host on Fox News. Apparently you cannot offend them these days.

    January 29, 2009 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  4. Carl

    Thank you Congressman Gingrey! As long as your ilk in the Republican party continue to pay homage to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, the overwhelming majority of the American people will reject you at the ballot box. The ranks of the GOP shrink with each election. There are no longer any Republican representatives in the House from New England. You would think that the smarter leaders of your party would have learned a lesson from the thumping they received this past November 4th. But that's ok... You keep burning incense at the feet of rightwing demagogues like Limbaugh and Sean Hanity. Would you please remind the last member of the GOP in Congress to turn out the lights when he leaves?

    January 29, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  5. scott

    For all you hardcore keyboard warriors ever listen to Rush. I never once heard Rush ever be negative on the radio unlike other leftist radio personalities like Ed Schultz.

    Rush is just the opposite very optimistic and cuts through the bs. Aparently you guys never listened to Rush.

    Oh yeah I guess Obama doing cocaine is better (in his book) is much better than prescription drugs.

    Or Barney Frank dating the ceo of an organization that helped cause the economic mess.

    January 29, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  6. barbara miller

    It's been a very long day – but I'm encouraged because this was..by far... the best and funniest news story of the day. I can go to bed laughing because Rush is leading the party and folks are bending over for his approval:)

    January 29, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  7. Joanna

    If you see "eye-to-eye" with Limbaugh, you're as big a crack-addict, pigheaded, steaming-pile-of-fecal-matter RETARD that he is. I will continue, as per usual, to blame the south for letting filthy conservative slimeballs like Gingrey into our government. People need to take an IQ test before they can go out and vote! THANKS FOR NOTHING, GEORGIA.

    January 29, 2009 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  8. cb

    Idiots....Rush is a joke and Hannity is another sore loser....They had 8 years of hate radio and TV to help promote the policies that put this nation in such a sad state....they are jokes....

    January 29, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  9. steve r.

    1 bad apple " can " spoil the whole bunch through.

    January 29, 2009 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  10. Cal

    If Gingrey became a democrat which he certainly is everyone would be happy!

    January 29, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  11. Alex

    REALLY people. Can you listen to the entire statement what Rush said and not take it out of context.

    January 29, 2009 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  12. barfly

    Rev. Limbaugh and Hannity and their church of "Hate and Negative Thinking". Wise up Right-Wingers and try being human instead of hiding behind the flag and throwing up your hate.

    January 29, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  13. Meg

    When the Republicans feel it best to follow the advice of Limbaugh (a man who flunked out after two semesters of college) and ignore the advice of a brilliant President who is a graduate of Harvard Law School, has an 85% popularity rating,, has surrounded himself with the best experts in the country, and who has the support of the business community, it is no wonder we are in the mess we are in. Watching the Republicans this last week has been like watching the Dodo birds go after the last watermelon in the movie "Ice Age." Without the business community, their only real remaining base is the far religious right, those hoping to hoard more cash in bonuses at the top of the corporate ladder, and hate filled drop-outs like Limbaugh. No one can survive on extremism alone.

    January 29, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  14. Nate G

    who is Rush Limbaugh?

    January 29, 2009 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  15. Mark Bigelow

    Phil show some spine and stand up to the self inflated demogogues. What has Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity ever done for this country other than criticize progress to promote their own careers. Please tell me if they ever performed a single act of public service.

    January 29, 2009 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  16. dreamer

    do the republicans really want to hold any office in america?seems they keep forgeting that the country voted for change in a big way.and only thing im seeing is the same old song and dance of division,even between members of thier own party.seems if they whole party got took over by hate and anger at anything that did'nt did'nt beleive the same as them.and by the way what do they believe in?way to many points of view and seems they lost the reason they started the party for in the first place,ironic really.

    January 29, 2009 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  17. tevis

    Bow, bow, bow to the FAT MAN!

    January 29, 2009 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  18. Hillary B.

    Wow, I guess his constituents really snapped him back in line, huh? Ay thar boy I know you ain't trashtalking dem good ole boys Rush and Sean, heh?

    January 29, 2009 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  19. EL CAPITAN

    Yeaahhhh lets all follow the two uneducated radio personalities, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hanity!!!! They sure can teach us a thing or two....oh....no...wait they droped out of college and they just have a High School diploma....What can they teach me??? I have a Masters Degree in Phsycology. I guess not a thing.

    January 29, 2009 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  20. BEEZY

    Republicans are a sad, sad people... This is why I am , and forever will be a Democrat! Rush, you are a moron!

    January 29, 2009 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  21. John K

    This would be silly and funny if it weren't, in reality so sad. How dare anyone inject any thought, insight or at least attempted logic into political discourse. Gosh, that sort of behavior could lead to constructive approaches to the issues, or even, perish the thought, solutions!

    January 29, 2009 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  22. bless the US

    WOW
    If a Talk Radio host and a TV News anchor are the pinnacle and most powerful people in the conservative movement, then their party is doomed.

    You don't see democrats calling Howard Stern their "pinnacle of liberalism and sole liberal movement"

    Liberals have real people like Clinton, Gore, Pelosi, Kennedy, Dean, Obama.... real folks that just don't talk the talk, they actually campaign and write bills and whip the govt to push the liberal movement.

    You don't see Democrats taking orders from Tom Cruise

    January 29, 2009 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  23. Lisa

    For all you hardcore keyboard warriors ever listen to Rush. I never once heard Rush ever be negative on the radio unlike other leftist radio personalities like Ed Schultz.

    ................................................................................................................................
    Are you kidding? How about "I want the Obama administration to fail"!? Not negative huh? You must be as high as Rush!

    January 29, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Jeez

    Don't want to upset fatboy now do we.

    January 29, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Kevin

    Ok, keep having them be your spokesmen if you want, and the RNC will live out the rest of its life in political purgatory.

    January 29, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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