March 4th, 2009
12:08 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP leaders accuse Dems of using Limbaugh as a distraction

House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner said Wednesday that Democrats were using Rush Limbaugh as a distraction.
House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner said Wednesday that Democrats were using Rush Limbaugh as a distraction.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republican leaders seem to be a little tired of all the chatter about conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

“The White House has created this big distraction,” House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner said at a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday about recent claims by Democrats that Limbaugh leads the Republican Party and is rooting for President Obama to fail. “So nobody will pay attention to what they’re doing in their budget. We shouldn’t be distracted. This budget calls for higher taxes and more spending.”

“Political operatives in the White House are trying to divert attention away from the challenges facing our economy, the sinking stock market, and the irresponsible spending binge they are presiding over,” Boehner said in a separate news release Wednesday, titled ‘White House Attempting to Divert Attention from Economy and Its Fiscally-Irresponsible, Tax-Raising Budget.’ “This diversionary tactic will not create a single job or help a single family struggling in today’s economic crisis. That’s where our focus should be. President Obama has said we must change the way Washington operates in order to address the challenges we are facing. In the midst of a deepening recession, White House staff should have higher priorities than this cynical strategy.”

Boehner’s sentiments were echoed by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who also said Wednesday that the political discourse needs to be focused on fixing the nation’s recessionary economy.

“It is not about Rush Limbaugh. It’s not about Rahm Emanuel,” the Virginia Republican said. “This is about real impact on families across this country. Again, the stock market is not a tracking poll. It’s real money. . . .This is where the focus of discussion needs to be. This is where the American people expect us to be.”

Cantor’s comment was a dig at President Obama’s recent comments about the economy. In a press conference Tuesday, the president said "the stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics. It bobs up and down day to day, and if you spend all your time worrying about that, then you're probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong.”

The comments by Boehner and Cantor came as Democrats continued to highlight the GOP’s struggles to come out of the political wilderness and redefine itself. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out http://www.imsorryrush.com Wednesday. The Web site allows users to create an apology to Limbaugh on behalf of Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia; South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford; or Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

David Plouffe, who managed Obama’s presidential campaign, also penned an editorial in Wednesday’s Washington Post arguing that Limbaugh has become Republicans’ de facto leader.

Updated: 12:08 p.m.


Filed under: Eric Cantor • John Boehner • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Pa Santigie

    We must be in Oz, the nreve of the Republicans. They ran the economy to the ground and did as they pleased in congress. Took away constitutional rights and made America the most disliked country in te world. While paying no reverence to the Democrats who had larger numbersthan the Repunlicans have now and deserved far more respect than they got from the Republicans. Now that they are no longer in power, and can afford not show up for votes, because of their numbers, they still want to dictate the terms. I tell you they have some blinking nerve. Barack meant well when he said he wants to work with them, he did not say he was going to abdicate his authority to them. there is a big difference between consultation and capitulation.

    March 4, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Susan

    "no teleprompters allowed." That's funny, since Rush had an earpiece bigger than his head at CPAC. Was he listening to music, or was someone feeding him lines? Just wondering. He also stumbled a couple of times and corrected himself. But he was totally off the cuff? Right.

    March 4, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Denise

    don't blame me......LOL, Surely you jest! Only dittoheads believe that Rush is looked upon as an educated, brilliant, economist and constitutional law scholar on the national stage. Quick, quick dittohead, when has Rush been right in recent memory? Hmmmm, he was wrong about the war, wrong about neo con economy, wrong about McCain, wrong about Palin, wrong about Obama.....Knock yourself out though still looking for Obama's birth certificate.

    AND who knew that Donovan McNabb is a highly paid NFL quarterback only because he's black. See what happens when the BLOB comes out from behind the dittohead lala curtain!!

    March 4, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. Dan

    Andy J in Upstate New York:

    First of all, you clearly ARE republican ... stop posting that you aren't.

    Second, you say that Sniffit is "bashing people who ACTUALLY believe in small government, low taxes, personal privacy, minimal government interference, low government spending" ...

    Um, correction: Republicans today like to TALK about believing in all of those things; in theory, it sounds nice. However, under the last eight years of Republican rule, personal privacy became a thing of the past, people were arrested and shipped off without being told why, and taxes were only lowered for the wealthy in hopes that the wealth would "trickle down." How'd that work out for us, hmmmmm?

    There's a reason the election results were what they were.

    March 4, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Mike Ft Collins , CO

    Did the GOP leader Limbaugh tell Boehner what to say????

    March 4, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. venue

    Advise to repubs. back the president. lets get out of this mess, then you can go back to the polictical games.

    March 4, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Beverly, NYC

    Belle" still a Republican apologist I see. Now you've joined the fringe ditto heads. You're dealing with adults sweetie, don't try to revise what Limbaugh said. He was clear the first time, he was asked to give 400 words why he disliked Obama. Limbaugh's response was I only need 4 "I hope he fails". Just because he fleshed it out at CPAC to include his usual deluded rants of socialism and communism the message is still the same He wants Obama to fail thereby leaving the country in a mess, so the Republicans can get back to power in 2012. Of course someone making 38 million a year can ride it out, can you?

    March 4, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. paul oregon

    boehner , cantor and all repub. remember at election time this symble is very powerful ( X )
    as far as the GOP spokesperson it appears limbaugh is calling the shots. and if rush isnt calling the shots why is bothering the gop
    what the dem. think??????

    the party of no

    March 4, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. God Bless America

    The DEMS aren't doing anything but working in UNITY to start cleaning up the BIGGEST ECONOMICAL MESS OF THE CENTURY that you Bush Republicans in the Congress and Senate have created! 80% of Americans DO NOT have their money in the Stock Market!!!!!!! It's the greedy theives that you represent which is why you are speaking about the Market. The DEMS are creating legislation to help the rest of America survive The Bush era of fiscal irresponsibility and WAR!!!!!!!

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. CTSadler

    You bet they did! And the idiots in the GOP fell for it hook, line, and sinker! Now they can't get themselves out of it! Ha ha.

    March 4, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Kendall

    The fun part about this is that since the democrats have crowned Rush as the leader of the Republican party, is that now Rush has issued a challenge to Obama to debate him 1 on 1, Conservative against liberal on live radio. And Rush even offered to pay Obama's expenses to get him there.
    I hope that Obama accepts the challenge.
    No teleprompters allowed.

    What? That is moronic, Hey let's the the President of the most powerful office in the world debate Rush. And who benefits... Rush's ratings because everyone from Kenya to the US would want to hear it. Don't be stupid. Common sense is supposed to be free

    March 4, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. TjayeInLA

    I suppose accusing the Dems of using him as a distraction is safer for their careers than calling Limbaugh out for BEING a distraction.

    March 4, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Denise

    Susan........Rush was on the phone with Larry Craig. Larry's flight had been delayed and he couldn't get to the rally on time.....Keep this clown front and center!

    March 4, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Bash-Bash

    Just keep it up America with the help of the media and political

    spin...the bash-bash will bring about the real crash...People on all

    sides unite and save A M E R I C A.....******************************

    The media won't do...Political Leaders aren't doing it People start

    your on debate and unite as a people...****************************

    March 4, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Real-Repub

    Limbaugh IS a distraction. Somone of power in the Republican Party needs to SLAP HIM DOWN and then not apologize afterward. I have already expressed this to Chairman Steele to no avail. I am disappointed with the so called leadership of the party. I can only hope somone of note will actually start a VIABLE third party.

    March 4, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. JonDie

    Rush Dumbaugh IS the GOP.

    March 4, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. Rush Limbaugh

    Real American =/= Rush Limbaugh

    March 4, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. ran

    At this point all I can do is just laugh at Boehner. I can only hope he does not get re-elected.

    March 4, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Steve J, Michigan

    Didn't the Repubs do this to themselves.....LOL Their RNC leader Steele is the one who gave Rush the power by apoligizing for nothing. Boehner says they want to look out for small business and taxpayer but he forgot to say just the top 2%..

    March 4, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. ~~ July ~~

    John Boehner ---------- BUSH!

    March 4, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Justin

    Why would anyone in there right mind even pay any attention to this limbaugh guy. He's just a big pig who's on drugs and wants some attention!

    March 4, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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