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. Big Byrd Man

    As always, Rush is a refreshing voice or clarity and reason in what is otherwise a wilderness of liberal stupidity and apathetic ignorance

    February 12, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. Will Rogg

    I don't hate Rush, just think he's an irrelevant talk show host who surely was either a bully at school or got beat up by one.

    February 12, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  3. Dr. Duh

    Hi, I'm a liberal who gets worked up when I see the evil Rush Limbaugh getting ink time. I don't get the joke, is seems Rush is soooo full of himself. Doesn't he care how offended I have become? Hillary makes me feel so secure. We won't have any worries if she becomes president.

    February 12, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. burlyrogue

    "listen" is an idiot. The comparison doesn't even match.

    February 12, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. Sam What Am

    I've been saying this for two weeks. Rush, Hannity, Mark Levin, Glen Beck – intentionally or accidentally – individually or in concert – are helping McCain by condemning him as "not conservative enough". This gives cover to the 4% of moderate voters McCain needs (H Clinton has 47% negatives) to win. Huckabee is doing the same thing; "McCain is the one that's not a Baptist peacher, and not from Arkansas".

    February 12, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. Obbbammammmama

    Rush is right...three lefts always make aright

    February 12, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  7. for the W.A.C.K. Jobs

    I get a kick out of all the W.A.C.Ks (White American Conservative Know-it-alls) that posted on Limpaugh's article.

    Denial is not a river in Egypt, baby. Take your last breath, you're going down W.A.C.K jobs! Ha-ha-ha.

    February 12, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. H Galal

    Since Rush is so intrigued by himself, how about he run for President!!!!

    February 12, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Fred H

    Rush, As you can see... All of the Sheeple, despise you and they hate you.
    Start supporting McLame, Please!!

    February 12, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. James

    For those of you who don't have a clue (i.e., those liberals who have never actually listened to Rush), this kind of tongue-in-creek pomposity has been part of Rush's schitck since his beginning days in Sacramento.

    ...and you guys fell for it, hook, line and sinker.


    February 12, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Drew

    "Yesterday 6 GITMO prisoners, taken from IRAQ"

    You've gotta be kidding me....keep perpetuating those ignorant, middle-America stereotypes.

    February 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. Jon

    I have to say that rush is spot on this one. Liberals foaming/frothing at the mouth like Linda Blair. Pretty entertaining to say the least.

    February 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Kathleen

    "CNN" aka "Clinton News Network" aka Communists, love your comments about Rush!!! No doubt he has a huge ego, but at least he loves our COUNTRY and AMERICANS. MSM and commie libs hate our COUNTRY and AMERICANS.

    February 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Ned

    According to a study done by the PEW Research Center, Rush has a more informed audience that anyone else in broadcasting. Judging from the mindless lock-step hate comments here (not to mention the horrible spelling found within), it's pretty obvious where the uninformed audience ended up...

    February 12, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. Kurt

    Limbaugh Rocks!!! The presidency is over for conservatives, that is a fact. Unfortunately most of us will probably rally behind McCain and leave out ideals behind....unfortunate even is hillary wins.

    Also all you liberals, keep having abortions. In about 30-40 years there won't be many of you left. GO FOR IT!!!!

    February 12, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. rich in dallas

    I love Rush and his show, it is great. What I don't understand from my fellow Americans on the left is why they hate for him to have the opportunity to speak his mind, are they jealous? Whoever the winner will be in November be sure of one thing, Rush will be there after they are long gone.

    February 12, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. AmericanProtector

    Go Rush!
    What A man!! Liberals love to call republicians every name in the book.
    that is all they have. the fact is. Obama will have to hold the title 'Chimpy'
    look at him!!!

    February 12, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  18. Ken

    Apparently there is no difference in an innocent life to be lived and extremists (aka, evil-doers) who want to (and have) kill Americans. As for Rush ... you libs don't get it. Probably not explainable. You get Al Franken, though. Oh, I forgot, he was canceled.

    February 12, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. Lawrence E.

    LISTEN, You can explain it with two words. STUPID and INSANE.

    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  20. Michael

    You poor libs – you probably also think that J. Swift was serious when he suggested the Irish eat their babies to fend off hunger.

    As is your wont, the point is entirely lost on you. I would take the time to explain Rush to you, but I don't want to waste any more time with you than I already have.

    Best of luck to you all.

    February 12, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Ryan

    Rush is an extremely influential supporter of the conservative movement. It was merely his attempt to question times when McCain has deviated. Continual responses that this is a "far-right" base to the Republican Party are false. This IS the base of the Republican party – a three-stooled coalition of Fiscal, Social, and Defense conservatives.

    Jealousy that Air America is a failing organization won't make this historic figure go away.

    February 12, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. ed`

    Look at the vitriol in these comments about Rush! They are all hateful mean spirited laced with insult full of raw emotion and absent of thought. Rush is right

    February 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Mr. Rational

    Hey liberals – stop the hate already! It really is boring.

    February 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. Sara

    Whoo-hoo look at all the liberals who can't help but read what Rush has to say - oh poor darlings they can't help but listen to him because he does matter!
    Love you Rush – keep up the fight

    February 12, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. David

    Of course! Limbaugh is only pretending to be a narcissistic blowhard panicking in the face of his own irrelevance, when, really, everything is proceeding exactly according to his plans!

    McCain is merely a pawn on a chessboard that only Rush Limbaugh can see. Diabolical!

    February 12, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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