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.