March 3rd, 2009
01:57 PM ET
5 years ago

DNC chair: Limbaugh is the GOP's 'Wizard of Oz'

Limbaugh is 'the godfather' of the GOP, said DNC chairman Tim Kaine.
Limbaugh is 'the godfather' of the GOP, said DNC chairman Tim Kaine.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The chairman of the Democratic National Committee persisted Tuesday in calling attention to his Republican counterpart Michael Steele’s apology to Rush Limbaugh, describing the radio host as “the Wizard of Oz” and “the godfather” of the GOP.

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine told CNN that Steele’s backpedaling from earlier criticisms of the talk show host proves that Limbaugh is "the Wizard of Oz, you know, who kind of oversees everything" in the Republican Party.

Earlier in the day, Kaine told MSNBC that Limbaugh is “clearly the godfather, or the he-who-must-be-obeyed in Republican politics these days.”

“When Chairman Steele over the weekend pointed out that the kinds of comments that Rush Limbaugh has been making, hoping the president will fail, pointing out that those were ugly and incendiary, I thought that that took some guts to say that,” Kaine told CNN.

“But then the fact that he backtracked immediately leaves me wondering, okay, so is Rush Limbaugh the guy that's really in charge of the party?”

Democrats are eager to highlight the GOP skirmish: Kaine made several cable appearances Tuesday and released two statements criticizing Steele after the RNC chair called Limbaugh to apologize for calling him an “entertainer” and saying his comments can be “ugly.”

Story updated 12:36 p.m.


Filed under: Michael Steele • Rush Limbaugh • Tim Kaine
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. sngeorgia

    It is evident that Rush Lim is the leader of the Republican party. For republicans to say otherwise, and run as the conservative party, that is confusing within itself. This just goes to show how "farfetched" the thinking is of this party. Good for America, I think not. Anyone who stands on a stage occupied by a man of his thinking and character, is of the same thoughts and character. The republicans are good as under estimating the intelligence of the American people. They are becoming a "dangered species", as Americans move forward on rebuilding our country and the world.

    March 3, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    To Axl in Iowa:

    I just love the ignorant bashing of "socialism". If it weren't for "socialism" your mother wouldn't get her Social Security check, YOU wouldn't be getting that Unemployment check, there would be no such thing as "Free TV", your kid couldn't get a Pell Grant to go to college, and there would be no such thing as Public education. These are all forms of socialism. Communism and Socailism have nothing to do with one another, except that they were simultaneously tried several places in the last century. England is largely Socialist. France has an excellent Socialist Healthcare and Retirement plan. Socialism is not a dirty word. It is just the description of any program that we all pay for and all benefit from according to our needs and our means (unequally).

    March 3, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Mrs. Thang

    Rush sound like Bush a fool

    March 3, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. David

    A radio talkshow host holds more sway with the Republican party than the RNC Chairman... this, in a nutshell is why the Republican party is becoming less and less relative in this country...

    March 3, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. John

    The bigger threat, much worse than Llimbaugh are the mindless, ditto headed, idiots that fall for his nonsense. No wonder this country is in trouble when we have so many fools that can not see through this clown. If you don't think that Rush is an idiot, than you are.

    Sidenote to all you "Fans" Why do you think Rush never allows debate? Why do you thing he never talks to anyone that does not think he is a king? WHy does he never do interviews. HIs nonsense does not stand up to question, that is why he must attack when threatened so the fools don't start thinking for themselves!

    March 3, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Paula

    I honestly feel sorry for this man-in addition to his personal problems, he has sold his soul to the devil (big business which had it easy until Bush left office).

    March 3, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Briana the college student

    The media must be hungry for drama. How about we try to fix the economy instead of complaining about it.

    March 3, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Joe

    Oh so now the shoe is on the other foot.

    Guys like Olberman, Matthews can spew liberal vial for eight years when Bush was president and it was all fine and dandy with you zombie like Obama supporters.

    Now that a conservative is voicing his opinion of a liberal president all we hear is WAAAAAH! WAAAAAAH! WAAAAAAAH!!!!

    For the person that said Rush is a domestic terrorist: They should take your login away for being such a moron.

    March 3, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. lynn

    "WHO RANG THAT BELL???"

    March 3, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Luene Dorsey

    Liberals, the main stream media and many Republicans just don't get it.
    Rush isn't the leader of the Republican Party. He is a professor at the Institute of Advanced Conservative Studies.

    March 3, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Jeff

    Ever wonder why radio shock jocks are so popular among angry conservatives? Here's the answer.

    Talk radio exploits the conservative mentality of shared victimization. Underneath all their bluster, conservatives feel like victims. Why else would they be so angry? Rush excels at appealing to that sense of victimhood. He didn't become popular by making his listeners feel content and empowered.

    Remember: when you are dealing with conservatives, you are dealing with people who feel desperate and victimized.

    March 3, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. U gotta be kidding

    this is one of those sound bites. just print a little of it so it make news. and don't worry Z if the dems get thier way first they will take the guns then freedom of speech. everyone might laugh but look at england!!! George Orwell might be right here we come 1984 while we all say it wont happen here.

    March 3, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Carolyn in Memphis Tennessee

    Rush Limbaugh makes me want to read more.

    March 3, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Cathryn

    I think we all need to pity poor Rush Limbaugh... I think deep inside is a sad, lonely man,, who so needs power to make him feel any sort of self worth... He is loving all of this silliness for it brings him attention and glory.. In his mind anyway... Too bad the Republicans and the conservatives who hang on his every word are not able to see, he is just using them for the limelight.. Deep down, the only person he cares about in my opinion is Rush Limbaugh.. Oh well, sooner or later, he will be replaced with a younger, good looking ,and clearly smarter person.. I think his days are numbered and he knows it, so it is now or never..

    March 3, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Jay in Va

    Well Mr Kaine said that he was only going to do this DNC job part time until his term as Governor of Virginia was completed next year. I don't think even his supporters believed that was true and I guess they were right. Compared to some states Virginia isn't in awful shape maybe we don't need a full time Governor anyway??

    March 3, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. aware

    I am an Independent and former democrat who can say with conviction that Rush in context makes more sense than anyone I have heard recently! :)

    And I have never listened to him before.

    In comparison Obama has no moral center or code of ethics. He is a postmodern relativist who believes that concepts such as right and wrong, goodness and badness, or truth and falsehood are not absolute but change from culture to culture and situation to situation.

    So kill babies or deny medical services to the elderly if it saves money! :(

    March 3, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Alicia

    Why have my post not been put on with all the ignorant ones that seem to make it? What givers? What are ther rules? If there is no profanity, what does the moderator do?

    March 3, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. regina

    I think it is extemely irresponsible for CNN to broadcast anything Rush LImbaugh has to say and give him any kind of legitimacy. I feel he is fueling the fire of conspiracy against our government and that could certainly come in the form of another Timothy McVeigh or who knows what other hate-filled, paranoid, racist lunatic who certainly could be encouraged by Limbaugh's tirades. I don't know why he says the things that he does. However, it seems unimagineable that someone could spew such evil idiocy with wanton disregard for the repercussions it could have. It sounds as though LImbaugh hates everything that is American, except, of course, the abillity to get richer and richer at the expense of others.

    March 3, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. arithmetic is liberal

    Tom in Wheaton, Illinois.

    Don't forget about our socialist Fire Departments, socialist Police Force, our socialist Army, and the reason why our friend Axl can type out his rant: our socialist Power Grid, Cable and Roads.

    March 3, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. chicago4obama

    I have unbelievable respect for Rush Limbaugh. He is doing exactly what he does best. Creating ratings and garnering a huge audience. Look at the reaction he is getting from the readers of this blog. He is putting himself in a position to negotiate a Howard Stern type of radio deal. As much as I despise he views, I admire his business acumen.

    March 3, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. John

    Tom in Wheaton, Illinois March 3rd, 2009 3:22 pm ET

    To Axl in Iowa:

    I just love the ignorant bashing of "socialism". If it weren't for "socialism" your mother wouldn't get her Social Security check, YOU wouldn't be getting that Unemployment check, there would be no such thing as "Free TV", your kid couldn't get a Pell Grant to go to college, and there would be no such thing as Public education. These are all forms of socialism. Communism and Socailism have nothing to do with one another, except that they were simultaneously tried several places in the last century. England is largely Socialist. France has an excellent Socialist Healthcare and Retirement plan. Socialism is not a dirty word. It is just the description of any program that we all pay for and all benefit from according to our needs and our means (unequally).

    John March 3rd, 2009 3:17 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    What happened to the moderator?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    John March 3rd, 2009 2:15 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    It looks like lush limpbaugh took his token 'house boy' out behind the proverbial republican woodshed and got him straightened out.

    why are comments being published an hour after I submitted mine???????????????????????????????????????????

    March 3, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Becky

    How about the Republican Party just start over, from scratch, and read what their party actually represents? Right now their recipe spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R. Trying to please too many (of the wrong) people.

    March 3, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. you suck!

    rush jerkoff should be known as the repubichairs "jabba the hut"

    March 3, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. MEL

    Bullies and cowards go hand by hand. Thank you America, now we have a great President Barack Obama. lets roll up our sleeves and work hard for a greater America.

    March 3, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Some Guy

    So we're a capitalist country now? I thought we were a democracy. I'll have to go back and read that pesky constitution.

    March 3, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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