February 12th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Limbaugh: I'm McCain's 'most valuable asset'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/12/art.limbaugh.mccain.afp.gi.jpg caption="Limbaugh has been highly critical of McCain, but on Tuesday the talk show host said he is actually doing the Arizona senator a favor."](CNN) - He's aggressively targeted John McCain ever since the Arizona senator began his meteoric rise in the polls, but conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday he may actually be the Arizona senator's "most valuable asset."

Commenting on the mainstream media's fixation with his feelings about McCain, Limbaugh said there may be more to his criticisms than meets the eye.

"If I really wanted to torpedo McCain, I would endorse him," Limbaugh said on his radio show. "Because that would send the independents and liberals who are going to vote for him running away faster than anything."

"What people don't realize is that I am doing McCain the biggest favor that can be done for him by staying out of this," he continued. "If I endorsed him thoroughly and with passion, that would end the independents and moderates, because they so despise me and they so hate me."

Limbaugh, along with several other prominent conservative radio hosts, have long spoken out against the Arizona senator over his stances on a range of issues and his history of working with Democrats on issues such as immigration and campaign finance reform.

Limbaugh's attacks in particular got so heated that former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole wrote the talk-show host last week defending McCain - calling him a "mainstream conservative" who supported the party on critical votes during Dole's time as the Senate Republican leader."

Limbaugh later said of the letter that McCain was "manipulating" Dole.

Yet despite the fiery rhetoric, Limbaugh on Monday suggested members of the media weren't digging deep enough into his comments.

"Couldn't it be said, if somebody wanted to…that I am secretly supporting McCain, because I secretly do want him to win, but I know full well that if I come out and endorse him, he's cooked?" Limbaugh asked. "Who may be in this whole kit and caboodle, this who shebang, the most valuable asset McCain has?"

"Me."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (425 Responses)
  1. LISTEN!!!!!

    i dont get republicans. its okay to start a useless war and kill thousands of innocent people, but its not okay to have an abortion?????? someone please explain this.

    February 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    I think Rus needs to leave the 'et' off the last word in his comment.

    February 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Unbelievable...

    I love it!

    February 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Jason in T-Town

    Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. What a bunch of claptrap.

    February 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Richard, Ewing, NJ

    Rush is shameless. He is now claiming credits for McCain's sucess by opposing him? I wonder had McCain lost to Romney, he will also claim credit for Romney sucess. Disgusting.

    February 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. keep your dogma off my government

    stop giving this drug-addicted buffoon news coverage.

    February 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Mk

    good ol'e Rush. He yammers on and on and still says nothing except...
    of course, how wonderful he thinks he is.

    February 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Steve Bancroft

    My goodness – can this clown be more full of himself than he already is? Rush buddy, John McCain managed to survive years of torture in a North Vietnamese prison camp and he actually did it without your help. I think he can win this nominiation and election without you greasing the skids for him.

    February 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Eric

    Looks like Limbaugh is starting the rationalization for his impending flip-flop to supporting McCain against the eventual Democratic nominee. Flip-flop, flip-flop,...

    February 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Lily

    Someone thinks he is too important.

    February 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. J M R

    To quote another of Rush's beneficiaries: Give me a break!

    February 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. abner aviles

    Rush is the typical Republian who talks to much and he is not realy a good example.

    February 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Beckfanatic

    Glen Beck said the same thing a few days ago!

    February 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. newz4i

    "...the independents and moderates, because they so despise me and they so hate me."

    Limbaugh enjoys being hated?

    Just weird. Just weird.

    And Limbaugh is backed by evangelical Christians?

    Is it Jesus who's the one with a message of love?

    Weird. Just plain weird.

    Limbaughtimized minds are the devil of our country.

    February 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. kristine

    You can leave "ET" at home Rush...

    February 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. pth

    Who cares about this pathetic self absorbed narcasistic idiot. People listen to him because he is an idiot and keeps your blood pressure from dropping to much at work.

    February 12, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Miller

    Oh, Rush, Liberals don't hate you - we pity you.

    February 12, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Amy, Kazoo

    he's certainly the biggest something....

    February 12, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Dale, Prescott, AZ

    How in the world do you get your head off the pillow in the morning, that ego must weight a ton.

    February 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Bruce, Charlotte NC

    Yea Rush, it's all about you.... Geez, give me a break...
    BUT you can't ignore his basic admission that there is the vast right-wing conspiracy to bash McCain but hope that it drives independents and moderate democrats to vote for McCain. Who's manipulating who here?

    February 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Adam from Ohio

    Rush really needs to get over himself–his ego, and his sense of importance, have inflated along with his waistline and lust for pain pills.

    February 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. john richardson

    well, as jack nicholson said in Bucket List,
    Limbaugh, nobody cares what you think.

    February 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Raghu

    Unbelievable that is totally obnoxious person is still being written about and as though his opinions mean something/anything.

    February 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Sean, Santa Barbara, CA

    He wants any Israeli appeaser to win thats why he'll help MCain

    February 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Dyo

    What a blowhard.

    February 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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