January 29th, 2009
09:17 AM ET
6 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. Ellie

    AAhhhhhhh, here the Republicans go. See they can't even make a decision and stick to it. One minute Rep. Gingrey is critizing Rush Limbaugh, and then the Republicans decided to use Limbaugh as their "Attack Poster Child" and ALL of a sudden Rep. Gingrey is PRAISING Rush Limbaugh and saying "We are One".

    REPUBLICANS = THE PARTY OF LIMBAUGHS DIVISIVENESS AND OBSTRUCTIONS!

    IT'S NO WONDER THE REPUGS ARE SORRY LOSERS!!!

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

    January 28, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Zach B

    And Rush is the new Republican Minority Leader. Good job Republicans. You can't even stand up to a radio guy. The people voted you in, and you can't even stand up to someone who is obviously on the fringe of your party. Keep it up, because the rest of America is sick of this nonsense. We need help. Not apologies to Rush. While you're sobbing over hurt feelings, we are losing jobs.

    January 28, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Dace Tucson AZ

    What does he mean "Those guys are some our biggest supporters, and we need them," they are the leaders of the party now and their toxic hate filed ideology is all they have after destroying America. So the get their $400 million contracts and continue to drag the rest of us down for their own perverted and sick need for attention and power. And the whitehood wearing high school drop-outs he represents are just as sick and hateful.

    January 28, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Julie

    In relation to this article, for the first time in years, I agree with a comment made recently by Rush Limbaugh. Basically, that we get it, there's a Black President, now get over it and stop all the glorification and adoration – Obama now has to prove there was substance behind his campaign words and promises (same as would be expected of any other politician who has been elected to run this country).

    January 28, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. jill

    they still don't get it. the republican base gets smaller by the day and that's all these politicians cling to. keep digging the hole, folks.

    January 28, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Jeff

    this just makes me sick. what a wimp.

    January 28, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. williefloyd

    "You don't have to do what's best for your people and your party"-Strange, I thought the idea was COUNTRY first-not PARTY!

    January 28, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. For Real

    Regardless of how you feel about Al Franken, he had enough 'sack' to ante up and become part of the process instead of a (very well paid) spectator.

    January 28, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. lil

    I had admired your outspoken broad minded thinking. You do know
    your party is still living in the 60s.

    January 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Is this what's called a "gutless wonder" in English? (English isn't my first language–though I think I fake it nicely–and many of its colloquialisms escape me.)

    January 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Nat Turner

    Phil Gringrey, like most politicians, should quit pandering and grow a spine.

    January 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. mike

    funniest thing, I left a comment earlier on CNN's article about Rush and the majority of those comments were very pro-Rush. I looked back a few hours later and they are almost all removed to make it look like it's very anti-Rush. Bad enough you have to steer the flow of the news now you need to steer the flow of your blog responses. I wonder what whining whould be coming out of the Comunist News Network if people could filter out CNN stories.....

    for those who were deprived of the original post.... ( I even left in my mis-spellings.

    "You want a good start, have beat cops and cruisers in the bad areas 24/7 in large numbers, really large numbers and highly visible too. Before the cries of harrashment and racisim start flowing you should remember that you are not being harrased if you are not breaking the law. No cries of no resources either – they are there it's just being spent improperly.
    Silly liberals, you would have thought that they would have learned after the Harry Reid debacle. Reid writes a letter to Clear Channel to protest Rush, Rush auctions it off on EBAY for our US Troops and matches the 200k+ out of his own pocket. Don't be foolish you'll lose.
    Funny all the actual democrats in congress (not a free citizen like Rush) openly wanting Bush and our soldiers to fail where cheered as champions of free speech by the press."

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Doug in New Mexico

    I guess in the Republican party it is better to be Republican and conservative than to be an American.

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Voted for change in Texas

    Surely the republicans are out of ideas if they need to apologize to rush nimbaugh!

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. rena

    They need to OUST this fool! He is not good for America nor the American people. We are fighting as a nation not for a certain group or selected people. This man should not have this kind of power over the airways of radio. If we got reed of that fool Amas; we should do the same to this nutcase. We do not need people like this at a time like this now or ever. People like this need to be taught a lesson. Instead of letting him make millions off of the American people over the radio airways; we need to send him packing and see if he can manage out there in the world with his hate and bigotry.

    Hannity need to be the next one they target; he is just as bad. He hides behind christianity, but is really a wolf in sheep clothing. They need to take him off the air altogether.

    True, Bush most certainly wasn't one of our favorite Presidents and he want be the last, but I will not bash him or disrepect him. He was an authoritive leader that God allowed to take office. So, in the same token we should give the same respect to this President , all future Presidents, and those of the past. We as Americans really, really need to grow up and start behaving like adults. We have lost respect not only as Americans, but as a country who suppose be a country that stands together. But look at us we are so divided.

    I am so ashame of us as Americans. Yes, we have done a great thing by coming together to select our first Afican American President, but I am not so much concerned with us making history, but how can we as a country for once in our lifetime come together as one people, and not be known by titles, color, or sex. Boy, it sure would be nice.

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Joe

    Wow–this poor guy had to issue an apology for making that innocuous comment about vapid talking heads like Limbaugh and Hannity? The vehemence with which these right-wingers came to their heroes' defense makes it clear why the right-wing was completely marginalized in the last election. Anyone who idolizes these morons deserves to be marginalized.

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Kevin

    Uh oh, better not offend Rush Limbaugh with comments that are actually reasonable. It is sad that republicans are so deflated and void of leadership that they must now deify the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity.

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. mike jones

    I live in Phil's district. (West Cobb) and I know him to be a real conservative. I was saddened to hear his comments being used against Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the conserative party. I am sure he will not make negative comments again.

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Patty in the CA mountains

    What has the country come to.....

    This guy feels the need to apologize for saying that Rush is wrong?!?!?

    OMG

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Cleaning up after W

    And with a crack of the whip, one more republican falls back to the extremist far-right. Back in your place, Gingrey. Be a nice sheep and get back in the herd. I'm starting to get concerned that too many politicians are giving comedian Rush "Oxycontin" Limbaugh too much attention.

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Viet Vet

    this is pretty sick -You sir should be Drawn & Quartered!
    How dare you upset the conservative talk show god. Limplips is a fat a$$ed, lying sob. You apologizing to him puts in the same slop bin that he rolls in. You are truly disgusting

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Lee

    Yeah, we need them like we need terrorist!

    January 28, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. jim

    Wow, those are the supporters they need? They might as well take drug dealer's and murderers while their at it.

    January 28, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    DON'T APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE LIKE RUSH WHO SAID HE WISH OBAMA FAILS, THAT'S WHAT OSAMA BIN LADEN WANTS US TO DO. THINK ABOUT IT.

    January 28, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. facts are facts

    Well there it is the proof that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are the face of the Republican Party and control their policiies and ideology.

    If Americans don't wipe these political morons out in the ensuing elections then they deserve exactly what they get.

    January 28, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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