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. The Sandman

    James Neesen –

    One of the ways to tell if someone on here is full of crap is if he starts his post "I am a conservative Republican, but....." Next time, Mr. Liberal, try telling the truth.

    February 12, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. True Consevative

    Rush is a genius thats why the liberals hate him.

    February 12, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. ed

    CNN keeps reporting on Rush because you people keep reading the articles! Nothing encourages a news organization like traffic to their site. And check out this list of comments! You guys have ensured a lot more Rush to come. Well done!

    February 12, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. alex

    looks like a bunch of libs in th houde based on the comments here...a-moral folks set to destroy the country...great...let's just get it over with and declare our country communist, give all of the wealthy people and companies money to the poor, open up the boarders and let the illegals suck our system dry, and have the government supply all of wants and needs....yes....the perfect liberal solution!

    February 12, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Dave

    Hey folks, He's just an entertainer. He's fun to listen to but don't take him seriously.
    He has carried on his act for a long time.

    February 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  6. DoubleD

    Boy, Rush sure hit a nerve with the whiny liberals and independents that frequent the CNN site. Who cares what Rush thinks/says? At least 20 million Americans that listen to him every week. He's right on so many levels, it's funny how it bothers the left-wingers. Keep thinking he's irrelevant just like you have in the past when Democrats got smoked in elections. It's going to happen again this year again whether it's Shrillary or Obama-Osama for the Democrats. Either McCain or Huck will smoke them. Can't wait to see the Demonrats cry in November like they did in 2000 and 2004!

    February 12, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. Eric

    All of you are left wing hacks. Thank God you're philsophys represent a fraction of our society. Rush is extreme, no doubt, but no more extreme then the liberal propaganda circulated in the media and web blogs. He's about as irrelevant as the Hollywood crowd. You're blame America first mentality will eventually lead to our demise.

    February 12, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Marcus

    Bandwagon much Rush? What a joke. I love how Rush always has ALL the answers...eventually.

    February 12, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. MistaEd

    As the Maharushie says: "Do not doubt me."

    Right on, brother.

    February 12, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Babbalu

    Rush is a national treasure, proven right 99.99% of the time. Instead of all this criticism of him, we should be storming the gates of the Vatican demanding the Pope make him a living saint! He's the smartest man on the planet and it's about time humanity paid him the homage he deserves!

    February 12, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. GARY

    Good point Ryan and Steve. I'm with you, Rush is Right! 3 hours a day!

    February 12, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. Peter Graves

    Man, I love Rush. The guy has an answer for everything. Brilliant!

    February 12, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. Marcus

    On Nov. 8, I'm betting he'll take responsibility for putting Hillary or Obama in office. You know, just because he wanted to teach the Republican party a lesson.

    February 12, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. Jim

    If the liberals who post on this site (why the heck did Drudge link to this sludge) ever listened to Rush they would know he is pulling your chain. But clearly nuanced satire is too much for you all.

    February 12, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  15. Conservative in Texas

    Considering the contents of most of the comments, Rush's point is confirmed to be correct.

    February 12, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  16. ed

    you idiots who claim to listen to rush obviously have no clue that he uses absurdity to point out the absurd. Try listening.

    February 12, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. NeilP

    Rsuh/Glen/Sean- Whatever you are doing...helping Mccain, What a fantastic strategy? Thank you very much

    February 12, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. David Arnold

    Libs clearly have no sense of humor, irony OR sarcasm. However, they seem to have no problem running their mouths and showing all of their aforementioned character flaws. What a pitiful way to go through life.

    February 12, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. kc

    Too funny! Some of y'all need to lighten up, because Rush is speaking totally tongue in cheek. He is frankly one of the best political minds in the country, and if you can see through his humour you would be totally impressed. In fact, several weeks ago he offered some coaching for Barack on how to respond to the Clinton smears in South Carolina, and he was BRILLIANT. I nearly emailed the podcast to the Obama campaign so they could learn from it, but I didnt because i figured that they would disregard the message given their disdain for the source. Their loss, seriously.

    February 12, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Pete

    Rush is right!!

    February 12, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Sammy

    I just love reading these comments.
    It's obvious you people (most of you) don't get Rush. You honestly should start listening to him, and then I mean LISTENING!

    February 12, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. juan

    Look at all the comments that have been elicited. Kudo's once again Rush. Folks don't realize that the more hits on a website you get, the more that reflects the audience you reach. G
    ood, bad, ugly etc. people reacting means people are listening or reading webs. Of course you know that!...Keep up the good work...Juan

    February 12, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. Brady

    Rush realizes he has to support the GOP candidate, McCain. So he tries now to make it look like he was supporting him all along. Does he really think people can't see through this?

    February 12, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. John

    I don't get Liberal's. It is okay to kill an innocent little baby that has never hurt anyone in the world, but it is not okay to kill our worse enemies who kill innocent people in inconceivable ways.

    February 12, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. dave

    Maybe Rush is powerful. Look up the comments list at all the liberal yo-yos reacting, reacting, reacting. yo-yo-yo-yo!

    February 12, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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