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. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    If Rush really believed this "reverse psychology" message, and really favored McCain, wouldn't he keep quiet about it?

    February 12, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Dusacre

    One of the many reasons I love my country USA is that even a looser like Rush Limbaugh can make it big!

    Whatever your talent, if your game is protected by the constitution and you are consistent; you will be big in America.

    February 12, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. David - Oregon City

    Limbaugh is just looking for his seat at McCain's table!

    February 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Dave

    Once again, Limbaugh has his head up his rear.

    I would NEVER vote for some endorsed by the hate-monger Limbaugh.

    February 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |


    February 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    To "LISTEN!!!"

    They are both wrong, as they are the same. Only, the latter numbers are much higher.

    February 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. John Marietta, GA

    This is the bet spin he can do to switch back to supporting McCain. Rush wants us to all think he is clever in the way he thinks Rove is clever. He thinks being disingenuous, dishonest, or just lying to suite his cause is somehow clever. Rush likes to cover all the bases so no matter what happens, he can fall back onto telling us how right he was and the Ditto heads buy into it every time. He has been documented wrong more on the elections than anyone. The last election he was quite confident that the republicans would gain seats.

    February 12, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Sophiedog

    If having Rush support you would torpedo your candidacy, wouldn't that mean that Rush does NOT speak for the majority of America and his opinions are NOT shared by America. How can he claim to represent the majority opinion of the US and also be opposed to the majority opinion of the US at the same time?

    Sounds like he's got too much Oxycontin on the brain.

    February 12, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Kevin, Moorestown NJ

    Get over yourself Rush, you are a conservative shock jock that used to be an addict. Why do you think you get to "endorse" anyone. You get to "decide to vote" for someone and air your opinion. Big difference.

    February 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Lana Elrod

    Don't flatter yourself.....you don't have that kind of power even with us ultra conservatives!

    February 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Bill

    Rush serves his purpose. He draws more scorn and ridicule to the dark side of conservative politics than a liberal could dream possible.

    February 12, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. john

    Can you say arrogant?

    February 12, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Peter

    In other words, Rush is lying when he is on the radio. Glad to see he finally admits it!

    February 12, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. BM

    I'll I gota say to that is forget Limbaugh and go MIKE HUCKABELIEVE!!!

    February 12, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Justin Clark

    Clearly, the evil mainstream media is conspiring again to twist poor Rush's words - by, um, not twisting them?

    The problem is that Rush can only envision himself as someone who will create or destroy political careers. That he's long past the point of being able to do either will likely never seep through that adipose skull of his.

    February 12, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Zion

    Wow, Rush thinks he's this relevant......How sad.

    February 12, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. ???

    Is Rush Limbaugh just completely insane at this point?

    February 12, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Jo R, Buena Park, CA

    What is the real meaning of being conservative.? I want to thin of it as Conservative= to Hypocrite; all of them,

    so lets be realistic here cuz there is no one who could really be called conservative because we all have our little secrets.

    February 12, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. tpipe Owosso MI

    funny how all you libs just cannot say anything nice about someone you disagree with
    and as for those who say 'Rush keeps talking and nothing comes out' Have you listened to your two candidates?

    February 12, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Pat

    Why is this even news worthy? I am more dissappointed in CNN for putting this on their website.

    February 12, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Berkeley Lib

    LIMPbaugh, you're such a comedian!!!!!!! Poof....your 13 minutes of fame is finito!!

    February 12, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. ShannonL

    So it this Rush backtracking on his "McCain will destroy the party" comments? I think so. Rush, no one likes you. Your opinion is meaningless to most of America. Who Rush does or doesn't like has no effect on the average american. Talk about an ego!

    February 12, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. kras

    Why is that windbags like Rush Limbaugh and Pat B get so much publicity from th media? Srange bedfellows.

    February 12, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. E. in Dallas, TX

    Hey, guess who failed to report to the Senate to vote today against giving telecom companies your private information? That's right-- Hillary Clinton. She was the only Senator that didn't show to vote against giving away your right to privacy.

    Go Figure.

    She was too busy pandering for Latino votes in South Texas.

    February 12, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. jyfranca

    If this is the fact then he shouldnt say it now,he was supposed to say after Mccain wins,may be he wants MCCain starting losing independents.

    February 12, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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