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. Anthony

    Dear Listen,
    Are the thousands of innocent people you mention the ones that died on 9/11, or are they the troops that were or are in this so called "senseless" war ? I am a soldier, I have a family, and I would give my life to protect you....Yes you! And you don't have a choice if I protect you do you? As so I will protect an unborn baby whom also does not have that choice!!!

    February 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. abacus101

    "Actually, Limbaugh is not widely admired by Republicans, either. I think his base is pretty much the Romney/ Huckabee crowd– about 20% of the electorate if not less."

    So where do these numbers come from? The geniuses here at CNN?

    February 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Not Chicken Little

    So many of the people who bash Rush never listen to him – or can't understand his humor when they do, because they are so humor-challenged.

    They also don't like him because he tells the truth, and they are invested in beliving in their childish fantasies of how the world works, or how it should work, if only the solcialists/liberals/leftists were in charge!

    February 12, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Lew

    The man has nothing better to do. Rush, Rush, you help no one. Go get some oxycoton and shut up. You are a worthless person with worthless comments and live a worthless life.

    February 12, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Randy

    Rush is the man! He speaks nothing but the truth and is very succesfull doing so. Libs hate him because he is so good at what he does and could buy and sell Air(head) America . You go RUSH! Rush for president in 08!

    February 12, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. surfer skip

    hey rush keep up the good work ,all these losers wish they made what you make each year,i listen everyday, hey losers what happen to your air america, oh thats rite it got thrown out with the trash .

    February 12, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. carl6352

    beth 20% of the public. the wacky left make up about 10% then. this guy has more viewers than howard stern. so 20% think your about 100% off

    February 12, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Kevin

    As a proud member of Rush's Army I'll stand arm to arm with my fellow conservatives as we watch Liberalism infect the USA and attempt to take
    it over. Uttering the names Carter and Clinton should be enough to make everybody vote for a Republican.

    February 12, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. HillBillery

    The meaning of irony is obviously not taught in liberal colleges today. Minds of mush!

    February 12, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. mark

    I am a registered republican. It is not OK to do either in my book. Just one of the reasons I will be voting third party.

    February 12, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. Algore

    You people are so ignorant.  You first have to have a brain and not be afraid to use it to understand what Rush says.  All I see here are a bunch of hateful liberals who have no idea what the real world is all about.  By the way, trust me when I say the McCain will never be president, at least not as a Republican, he is to deceitful.  Maybe he will run as a Democrat next time and he will fit right in.

    February 12, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. mrbill

    What you pinheads dont understand is that the mainstream media makes him an important person and he uses that to push all your buttons. What power he has over your small minds!

    February 12, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. goodthinker

    Gee people–it's clear you don't 'get ' Rush...this is called "self-parody". Look it up. Nothing like a bunch of self absorbed libs to miss the point. And you wonder why he has 20 milion listeners? Gee, they ALL must be nuts...right?? Guess again.

    February 12, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Terry

    I just LOVE this!!!! As you can see, Rush gets under these left wing liberal Communists skin & its just makes me LOVE him even more!! Go RUSH Go!!! Keep up the good work! If the Liberal Nuts liked you, you would be doing something wrong! My 2 Rush babies, like most others Rush babies, will soon be able to knock these Liberals NUTS down to where they belong. And the whole new Conservative movement will start running this country they way our Forefathers wrote the Constitution!! GO RUSH GO!! LOVE YOU DUDE!!!!

    February 12, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Danni

    February 12, 2008 4:11 pm ET

    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.
    What's more innocent than a defenseless baby? Was it shooting back at you? Women have a choice.If you don't want to be pregnant, don't let the guy in you! He's not the one that will be getting pregnant. Both people are responsible but lets face it.As a woman I control who I have sex with.Anything else is just carelessness.Oh I'll just kill it,come on be responsible for your actions!

    February 12, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. OBAMA08

    McCain is no different than bush..go Obama

    February 12, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. John R. Chicago, IL

    I think Rush needs to just shut up, granted hes a radio talk show host his voice doesnt matter much. Hes just talking out of his rear im thankful hes a republican cause if he were a democrat i would have shot myself awhile back. Wonder what the united states would be like if rush were the president? This man just needs to shut up because if he were in political office our society would be alot worse than it is with the current administration. Who is he to believe he has an effect on how people vote and if these people out there who listen to him and vote the way he suggests, their all just sheep.

    February 12, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Tim

    Rush your ratings are in the tank. We have had enough of your nonsense.

    February 12, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. Lau Pan

    I must say for those who believe we started this war, who was attacked? If this is not clear to those who think we are wrong to be fighting against these terrorists there is something wrong with their vision.

    February 12, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Hambone, Mich

    The Peoples Democratic Party must be flushed to the s**t pile of history where it belongs before it wipes out our America.

    Every thing the Democrats want to do puts one more nail in our country's coffin.

    Rush is the Voice of Freedom against the tide of communist socialism the new Democrat Party represents. Go Rush, Go America!!

    February 12, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. Sheesh

    I can't believe the hate with which you people are filled. Please, look at you comments, read the nastiness coming from you, and decide if that is really the kind of person you want to be. It is hateful, hateful people like all of you that are ruining our country. And go ahead, call Rush hateful too, if you will. Does that really make it any better for you to be nasty too. You should all be so ashamed of yourselves.

    February 12, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. DaveinFlorida

    I am amazed at the ignorance of the left and the majority of these comments here today. I`m most impressed with the awesome name calling, WOW.........You don`t know RUSH, you`l never understand RUSH, but most of all, you are wrong......

    February 12, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. Ruthann

    I found this blog because I followed a Drudge link. Rarely have I witnessed so much ignorance all at once, but I shouldn't be surprised because it seems like all these bloggers read and probably listen to CNN. My bumper sticker says CNN LIES. I wouldn't be caught dead watching or listening to that network. As for Rush, if no independents and liberals listen to his radio show, that group must really be small and insignificant because Rush's listenership is in the multi millions.

    February 12, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  24. DRJ

    There's a lot of hate here. Maybe you negative commenters should think of something positive to talk about on a successful liberal talk-radio site.

    Then again, there aren't any successful liberal talk-radio sites, are there?

    February 12, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. Jack-Jack


    February 12, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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