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?"


- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (425 Responses)
  1. conservatave v.s rush

    Rush does not care about the people of this nation he does not care about conservatives all he cares about is power and money?

    I am not a mccain supporter but even I can see that rush has told lies about mccain.

    February 12, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. RealCON

    Ohhh, looks like a lot of looney libs on this site just can't stand the truth...long live Rush!

    February 12, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. Blank

    Good job Rush, you are the best! We need more people like you in our counrty. This liberal wackos have no idea what they are doing! You are a great man. God bless you.

    February 12, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. kahill

    Rush Rush Rush...Shame on you for tweeking these clueless, humorless and obsessive liberals! Tisk Tisk. Don't you know no ego can be bigger than their own!

    February 12, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. yep

    Get-em Rush!! McCain has been selling out GOP principles for 15 years to keep his "maverick" rep. He should have remembered that it takes us dumb pro-2nd amendment, anti-illegal immigrant, fiscal conservatives to get in the WH.

    February 12, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. threadprotector

    Judging from 90 percent of the comments, Rush seems to be 100 percent right as usual

    February 12, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Ken

    All you liberals are idiot's!!! Conservative's like Rush prosper while you idiot's can't keep shows on the air!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. bemused

    Wow. Sometimes I think Goebbels could have taken lessons from Rush on the manipulation of reality. Backing yourself into a corner with your big fat mouth? No problem. Turn it into a SECRET STRATEGY. Turn the tables. Say whatever. Just as long as you come out on top.

    February 12, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. DavidS

    What makes Rush Limbo think he's so important?

    February 12, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Michael

    I've seen way more hatred and emotional rants on these comments than I've ever heard from Rush.

    February 12, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. gerald meadows

    Thanks for your fair and balanced report, oh wait that's Fox news isn't it. In that case thanks for being the Clinton News Network.

    February 12, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. TED

    Go Rush! I love you

    February 12, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  13. Barb M.

    how pitiful...trying to delude himself that he's still relevant...trying to spin until the very end...give it up Rush, you sound pathetic

    February 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. David

    Many Rush haters on this site have either said they wouldn't vote for someone Rush endorsed, or act a lot like it. They are just proving Rush's point.

    February 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. carl6352

    to listen. how can you equate the killing of innocent babies to the slaughtering of thousands by hussein and the terroists. evern though they dont keep records(they should!!!) . there are more abortions each year than the total amopunt of soldiers who have given there life for a just cause. you are deff. a valley girl. go watch clueless that's you.

    February 12, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. David

    Many people have also said that Rush didn't help John McCain win. You're right. He is talking about helping him in the general election, idiots.

    February 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. Mike

    John McCain has endured being a POW and the political process – hopefully he can
    endure this cyclonic windbag.

    February 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Dewey

    Doesn't matter. McCain's already a loser.

    February 12, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Rhonda

    John McCain will never be President no matter what Rush does or doesn't do. Too many Republicans have vowed that while they won't vote Democrat, they won't vote for McCain either. I'm not sure if they will end up writing in another candidate or just opt not to vote altogether but they are not voting for McCain. If the GOP keeps forcing him on us and telling us he is a conservative, the Democrats are taking the election without question.

    February 12, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Chappy

    Rush, you need to come back to Florida to get some more Oxycotin's.
    Sounds like your withdrawing again.

    February 12, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. CV_Gas

    For somebody that is an irrelevant blowhard, he sure seems to garner a lot of input. 181 comments at this point (and counting I'm sure). My guess is his wit is above the heads of the majority of individuals posting here...

    February 12, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. EJ

    Score one more for Rush, CNN took the bait, hook, line and sinker; for those of you in Rio Linda (stealing a line from Rush) this means they took not only the bait but the line and the weight attached, maybe even the pole, Just love this

    February 12, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  23. Ronald

    I love reading these comments. It appears only half of the liberals can spell. It should be easy to defeat them in the fall. GO RUSH.

    February 12, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. Joe

    Say what you like about Limbaugh, but look at all the people making comments. Ignore him at your own peril...

    February 12, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. J. Daniel, Houston, TX

    Quick! Go out and buy more Breathe-Right strips, so Rush remains relevant!!!! He's a shock-jock, and his only purpose in life is to sell advertising. Anyone who elevates him above that position is a hopeless fool....

    February 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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