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. barb miller

    Like I'm going to listen to an x drug addict like Rush, who gave us the likes of Bush will be a cold day in July!

    February 12, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Rush Fan

    Ha ha ahaha

    RUSH rules!

    He is so insignificant that all you important folk had to come here and ignore him right?


    February 12, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Lucille

    Have liberals ever heard the terms "satire" or "sarcasm"? They don't understand the tone in which Rush made his comments. Now I know why liberal talk shows don't last.

    February 12, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. christy Maltese

    to the very first poster:

    It is not okay to terminate a nascent human life that has done nothing to harm anyone. It IS okay to terminate a terrorist whose stated goal is to destroy you and your society. The US military goes to extreme lenghts to avoid harming civilians.

    February 12, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Dale

    It makes me laugh when liberals complain about how Rush has no following. He likely has one of the largest audiences in the country. Like him or not, you cannot deny he has PLENTY of people who agree AND LISTEN to him. If you don't, you would never understand his point or his humor. By the way, is liberal Air America still running a viable company? Oh yeah, it went broke.

    February 12, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. JT

    Is he taking pain killers again? The delusions of grandeur are impressive.

    February 12, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. Kristina

    Kathleen of Illinois, you have no idea what you are talking about if you think the men and women in the military are voting for the Democrats. The military vote always has and always will go overwhelmingly for the Republicans, Remember a guy named Al Gore who sued in Florida to disqualify thousands of absentee military votes? Why do you think that is so Kathleen? Try a simple google search on the the patterns of the military vote, before posting something so stupid. You may save yourself some shame in showing your ignorance.

    February 12, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Brian

    Rush is admired by conservatives. Today a republican and a conserative are two totally different ballparks. The conservative base was not happy with the republican line up this election. The reason why there has been more potential on the democratic side regarding a candidate is because liberals are bred 24/7 at these ivy league schools with thier how to control poor and stupid people 101. Real conservatives are not interested in polictics so much, they are out running businesses and making a good life for themselves and their loved ones. Rush's comments are simply to humor the liberal media. It is them who constantly look to him for reaction regarding the political arena. Rush is one of the few personalities that hasn't throughout this whole process endorsed any one candidate. He actually wants his listeners to decide for themselves. How many of you can say that about your beloved personalities. Regarding Rush's addiction episode, I am glad all of you are perfect and make no mistakes in your lifetime. Hipocrites.

    February 12, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. marcia

    If anyone ever had a doubt that CNN was the leftist's choice for their news, just read the comments on this article.

    February 12, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. Ryan

    The dittoheads are getting a pretty good laugh from all of the comments by the lefties on here. This just goes to show that the Rush haters don't understand that the joke is on them when they criticize Rush... My advice for all of you liberals is not to take yourselves too seriously and try listening to Rush before you comment about him or his listeners. You don't know how stupid you look. Keep running circles around them Rush!!!

    February 12, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. TheLeftNut

    Limbaugh = dinasour

    February 12, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. marcia

    If one ever had a doubt that CNN was the leftist's choice for their news, just read the comments on this article. Whew....such vitriol....

    February 12, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. Robert

    Hey, isn't it the Dems that keep losing elections because Liberals aren't smart enough to punch holes in a paper ballot or pull the right lever on a voting machine?

    February 12, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Idoc

    All one has to do to see why left wing radio fails, is to read these vacuous comments (no surprise for CNN). No substance whatsoever, just a lot of name calling. You left wingers will get your chance to try and ruin the country with socialism (that hasn't worked anywhere else it's been tried) for the next couple of years. We'll recalibrate and come back in to clean up your mess when people realize their standard of living is lower and their liberties are that many fewer.

    February 12, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. Mike

    Rush needs to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer relevant.

    February 12, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. Ken

    Two points. One. Perhaps the reason CNN and so many other outlets give press coverage to Rush is because it's an easy ratings grabber. All you liberals who claim to never listen to him can't help hanging on his every word. Two. Many of the posts (as always) referenced Rush's past drug use. Fine. I suppose you hold fellow admitted users Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in equal contempt. You must-otherwise you'd be hypocrites.

    February 12, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Steve

    All of these comments simply prove Rush's point.

    February 12, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. Linda

    I wished Rush Limbaugh was running for President..He would surely win in a landslide..

    February 12, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Willie

    Wow, I read these postings from the lovers of all people, the audience of the Clinton News Network, liberals.

    I have not seen anyone actually write about Rush's views of politics and policies. I have only read that Rush is a "drug addict", fat, self centered, egomaniacal, etc. Nothing about issues, only hate filled personal opinions.

    Another thing I noted, there were certainly more positive Rush postings after regular people began to get home from work.

    February 12, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. Kristina

    Oh also Kathleen of Illinois, learn to put a sentence together.

    February 12, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  21. Geo

    LISTEN –

    It's because Republicans believe our soldiers are targetting terrorists, who are NOT innocent, in the Iraq war. As for innocent civilian casualties, that's bound to happen indirectly in any war, just or unjust.

    As for abortion, you are definitely killing an innocent human being.

    Note: This is coming from a person who's actually pretty against the Iraq war.

    February 12, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  22. alan

    Yeah, right, Rush. You just keep telling yourself that, because we all know it is all about you, buddy.

    February 12, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. Billary

    Too Funny!!

    Where would liberals have to do all day (besides living off the gov't dole) if they didn't have someone and/or something to hate and a reason to be angry all the time? They hate Rush, that gives them a reason to live. And it gives conservatives a group of liberal dimwits (pardon the redundancy) of which to point and laugh. Win-win.

    February 12, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. gumby

    How could Rush have an impact on the electorate. Only 20 million people listen to his show! If my math is right, that's only like 20% of the electorate. What's a mere 20 million?

    February 12, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. gary

    Think about the media and how celebrities (B. Spears) stay popular. Now relate this to this situation. If he didn't attack McCain then he would drop out of the spotlight... not completely but only to a certain extent.

    February 12, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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