March 3rd, 2009
03:35 PM ET
5 years ago

McAuliffe asks Republican to condemn Limbaugh remarks

McAuliffe is trying to make Rush Limbaugh a campaign issue.
McAuliffe is trying to make Rush Limbaugh a campaign issue.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As national Democrats eagerly point to Rush Limbaugh’s influence among Republicans, one Virginia Democrat is looking to make the radio host a flash point in this year’s governor’s race.

Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman now seeking his party's nomination for governor, sent a letter Tuesday to the de facto Republican nominee, former state Attorney General Bob McDonnell, asking him to reject Limbaugh’s recent statement that he wants President Obama to fail.

“I know that you and I disagree on many issues, but I'm hoping that we can agree on this: hoping for failure isn't the right way to get our economy back on track,” McAuliffe wrote in the letter. “That's why I'm asking you to join me in condemning the remarks Rush Limbaugh made wishing for the President to fail.”

McAuliffe wrote that Virginians are concerned with getting the economy back on track and that Limbaugh’s comments are not constructive.

“I hope you'll join me in calling for Rush to start taking an approach that reflects the best of what our system stands for,” McAuliffe wrote.

McDonnell campaign spokesman Tucker Martin said McAuliffe "desperately wants our attention."

"And if he wins his competitive and tough primary in June he will get it," Martin said. "Until then, we wish him the best of luck.”

Current Virginia governor and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine highlighted Limbaugh’s influence in the GOP in multiple cable appearances Tuesday, calling the polarizing radio talker “the godfather” and “Wizard of Oz” of the Republican Party.

McAuliffe is competing against former House delegate Brian Moran and state senator Creigh Deeds in a three-way Democratic primary.

Story updated 5:00 p.m. EST


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Rush Limbaugh • Terry McAuliffe
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. blarff

    he said he hopes that obama's socialist agenda fails - he isn't the only one

    many don't like the direction the country is taking

    if your going to quote him - use the whole quote - not just selected parts of it - typical news reporting and politicians looking for newstime and votes

    March 3, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Andy in Texas

    Rush Limbaugh IS the republican party. They will never condemn him, and if they do, he will destroy them.

    March 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Lynn

    Spineless Repubs

    March 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Cindy

    The line is drawn in the sand... who's going to cross it. Anybody? Any brave Republicans?

    Nope? I thought so...

    March 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Where is the OUTRAGE when in 2001 GW BUSH gave 1.35 trillion dollars in TAX CUT to the RICH & CORPORATE AMERICA

    probably never gonna get a response from these chickens republiklans who tremble and bow before their messiah rush druglord!!!!!

    March 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Chuck

    Why are you so scared of Rush. He is just sharing his opinion. You know just like Terry M. You always make mountains out of mole hills. You should worry more about the schools or the economy or you know maybe the rest of the people out here. Take that kids idea in California and try and talk about something that we all care about. Its not that hard.

    March 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Noah

    It won't matter what Rush wants, Obama WILL fail. Socialism has failed everywhere it has ever been tried. Unless you want the U.S. to look exactly like Cuba, where everyone lives in government housing and everyone drives 1960 chevy's because that is all they can afford, then you should hope Obama fails as well. There simply is not enough wealth to spread around to everyone, so instead the government makes everyone poor. That is the solution in a Socialist state.

    March 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. arynn

    Lump them & toss them.

    March 3, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Typical White Person

    Was this hypocrit calling for the condemnation of the liberals who wanted Bush to fail and hoping the Surge would fail?

    Tea Party Time!

    March 3, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. frank , pennsylvania

    Republicans are taking a great risk by allowing a mere radio talk-show to be the bedrock of their party. This will undermine any respect, independents will have for the RNC; besides there is a great risk of splitting the party between ultra-conservatives and moderate conservatives; there is also a risk of the RNC being seen as inciting anarchy in the country. It is certainly disgraceful for Steele to back-out from the apt comments he made about Limbaugh – it makes him nothing more than a stourge without any principle or opinion! Shame on you Steele!

    March 3, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Shayne

    Whether you are for or against...I just wish people would stop playing politics and do some fixing. Prove that you are worth the vote that was cast for you, regardless of the party to which you claim allegiance.

    The problems that exisit need everyone's help, and if we bicker like two siblings fighting over who sits in which seat, then maybe, just maybe, we are reaping what we have sown.

    March 3, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Jay in Va

    Geez somebody straighten me out here, all these high up Dems are starting to give Rush all this press. I am not very politically astute I guess but why do the Dems all of a sudden care that the Reps are shooting themselves in the foot? There must be some political strategy here, somebody please explain.

    March 3, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. bsmith171

    ask mcauliife to respond to clinton, pelsoi, reid and biden.

    and chief racist clymer.

    March 3, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. B

    Don't fall for it McDonnell. You don't have to make a comment about Rush just to appease McAuliffe. I think most of Rush's listeners must be liberal they seem to know more about him than most of us. I watched his speech and agree with everything he said. Obama is taking America to her knees. Can't wait till they start reporting "Rush is a cult leader", I know it's coming. They really don't want to get on the cult thing since most of Obama's cult voted for him witthout knowing anything about him. Even after they voted for him they still knew nothing. Sad

    March 3, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Jeremiah Grant

    Enough already!!! My goodness.

    CNN – are you seriously telling me you don't have anything more important to cover than the childish name calling going on back and forth between Rush and others? Seriously. This is the level of journalism I would expect in a 3rd grade school newspaper.

    End the circus!

    March 3, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Bev

    The Democrats clearly have made Rush Limbaugh a target...because Rush Limbaugh is clearly on his game and knows how to call out the Democrats and is effective at doing so. This is more desperate attempts by the Democrats to "attack" "attack" "attack" and then turn innocently to the public and acuse the Republicans of being the attackers. It's also a good diversion from their President who is spending money faster than it can be counted. The $410 billion pork projects that Obama just signed is a lot more important to me than a radio show announcer. Stop the diversion tactics and do what you're supposed to do! Stop campaigning and do your jobs!

    March 3, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. gt

    well the dems need to ask rev al sharpton and the shake down jessie jackson , are those two the voice of the change party ... all 3 of these loud mouths are just trying to line there own pockets ,,,, get a life terry ,, your just getting fee air time ,,,

    March 3, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. matt

    Not only do I hope Obama's liberal spending policies fail, I hope McAuliffe fails. They're two crooks in a pod...

    March 3, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. babydoll

    Rush Limbaugh is a loud mouthed, self-serving blowhard...

    March 3, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Kiddo

    I'm not a democrat or a republican, liberal or conservative. I'm pretty middle of the road. I'll condemn Limbaugh's words. The guy's a hatemonger that blows smoke out his... ::ahem:: ... ears.

    March 3, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Steve (the real one)

    Strictly a political move, no more no less! Give it up Terry!

    March 3, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. SoCalGal

    The sooner he fails [and he will fail], the sooner his Obamaniacs will see through him, the sooner we can get off the socialism track and back to getting on with capitalism.

    March 3, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Jeremiah Grant

    Rush just doesn't agree with "your system". It has nothing to do with wanting America to fail.

    Wow...these Libs now think that if we aren't all jumping up and down with glee for forced socialism that somehow we just want America to fail. That's not it at all.

    We just think there's a different path forward that can help America succeed again, a path that doesn't require more destruction of the Constitution, a path that doesn't require more big-government, socialist deficit spending.

    March 3, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Leslie

    We should all be thanking "Blowhard" Limbaugh! As long as he keeps spewing his hate, more intelligent people will start realizing that the Republican Party is getting more extreme and dangerous. It keeps looking better and better for the Democratic Party in 2012 and on.

    Democrats have an open door policy. Come on in...............

    March 3, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Les

    correction:

    LISTEN TO TERRY!!!!!! THERE ARE MANY OF US DEMOCRATS WHO WANTED OBAMCHIMP TO FAIL!!!!!! THE FASTER OBAMACHIMP FAILS, THE FASTER FOR US AMERICAN TAXPAYERS TO RECOVER FROM THIS NIGHTMARE YOU AND YOUR BUDDIES IN THE WHITEHOUSE ALL THE WAY TO THE HALL OF CONGRESS HAVE CREATED THIS MESS WITH YOUR HOPE AND CHANGE!!!!

    THERE IS NO HOPE, WE ARE LEFT WITH LOOSE CHANGE!!!!! YOU PEOPLE WANTED TO TAKE EVEN THE LAST PENNY WE HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR SOCIALIST PROGRAMS WHILE PUTTING AMERICANS OUT OF WORK!!

    THIS IS ONE LIFELONG DEMOCRAT WHO WILL NEVER VOTE DEMOCRAT AGAIN!!!!!!!

    March 3, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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