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. cc

    I neither agree or disagree with this article, but these comments are great. "Limbaugh is wrong on so many levels. Moderates and liberals don't go running from what he says. They simply choose not to listen at all." Yet you read this article.

    Right or wrong, Rush has a point. He could sway people away from him by endorsing McCain. These "moderates" are the same people who voted for Kerry because they didn't want Bush. They were swayed them, and they could potentially be swayed again.

    It certainly would be interesting to see what would happen if Rush backed McCain.

    February 12, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Jim

    What's the difference between Rush and McCain? McCain actually earned his aviator's jacket.

    Is this what Rush does when he's not playing with his replica aircraft carrier?

    February 12, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Ken, O Fallon, MO

    What an idiot. Now all of the sudden he is trying to say that he is really trying to help McCain by saying how much he hates him. Well, that makes about as much sense as saying we are fighting terrorism by creating more terrorist. He must be a right-wing nut job! Welcome back home Rush!!! You nut job!!

    February 12, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. brad

    I stopped listening to Limbaugh years ago, sounds like I could have turned on a tape of the word 'Me' being repeated for a couple hours a day and I'd be current on his show......

    February 12, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Cy

    The Onion should have a lot of fun with this one.

    February 12, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Ashley, Detroit

    That, while ridiculous, might just be a very relevant point

    February 12, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Tyrone

    Say what you will about Rush. He landed a three hundred million dollar contract. Look it up.

    Never underestimate the economic muscle of studpidity.

    February 12, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Dave Olson

    Yeh, Rush the election is all about you!!! Right....

    February 12, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Sarah

    I think Limbaugh is secretly pleased that McCain won the nomination. Now, no matter who wins the presidency he can keep on doing what he does best, and that is complaining!

    Limbaugh's and other similar talk radio just want someone they detest in office so they have something to b#%*$ about all the time. Why else do you think Limbaugh's show was best during the Clinton years?

    February 12, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Bill

    Prominent?? The only thing prominent about Rush is his oversized ego. This man is such a hypocrite that anyone that takes anything he has to say seriously is as irrelevant as he is.

    February 12, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Matthew

    Good job, Rush... this way, if he wins, you secretly supported him by convincing the dems that you hated him. If he loses, you were always against him.

    Good job at taking the cowards way out.

    February 12, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Howard Hewlett Des Moines IA

    Why do we allow this man to be relavent? God, what an ego for someone who really hasn't done anything with his life. WOW, you are a radio talk show host! Just think of all the people you have helped and all that you have accomplished in your life. Someone needs a reality check.

    February 12, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Tannim

    I heard that this morning and couldn't help but laugh. Don't take Lush Phlegmball seriously folks.

    February 12, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Mary

    Someone thinks pretty highly of himself!!!

    February 12, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Tom, Boston MA

    between CNN and Rush, between Mccain and Clinton, between dems and bushleaguers, what's the difference?

    February 12, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |

    Rush is right on McCain, right on whats needed for a republican nominee, right on whats needed for the conservative souls.

    McCain is a deeply abysmal dark personality who has never done anything for this country other than being tortured in a war and being against water boarding. McCain being against water boarding does not constitute that you are against Torture. Torture is any interrogation technique which results in mental/physical anguish.

    McCain is wrong on everything, wrong for the Republican Party, wrong for the Country.


    February 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Erica Halaburda

    Oh, Rush, just knock it off.
    Limbaugh, just go away. We don't hate you, really. It's just that you're so lacking in dignity and such an unhappy guy that we're sorry for you.
    Give yourself and all of us a break and just stop, take a breath and some time to reflect on the beauty of life. You don't want to look back and realize that the thing you did best and most often was lie.

    February 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. LibHater

    Yeah, Rush is irrelevant. That's why the media quotes him on a daily basis, and he has the biggest listening audience in talk radio.

    Just a bunch of jealous idiot liberals

    February 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Shannon

    I hate to be the one to break it to Rush, but he is definetely giving himself way too much credit!

    I am so sick and tired of all of these crazy, conservative radio (and tv) talk show hosts going ballistic at the thought of John McCain getting the nomination. Sure, he was not who they wanted, but he is who they got (or will get when the nomination will eventually be sealed), so they might as well suck it up and deal with it and stop believing that Hillary Clinton is more conservative than JM. Get real ... they have seen Hillary's record haven't they? She's a liberal albeit not as much as her opponent, but a liberal all the same.

    February 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Carl

    This is a masterstroke by Limbaugh. I dislike the guy, but he is a brilliant political operative.

    February 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Lee M, NJ

    Not much difference between this blowhard and Glenn Beck.

    February 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Joe Merolla Johnston, RI

    Rush..Backing McCain..Now there's an OxyContin..I mean Oxymoron..

    February 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Lisa

    Rush is an idiot. He is just trying to leave room for him to be on the winning team should McCain get the nomination. I am sure that if Romney was still in the race and had even the slightest chance of getting the nomination, Rush would continue to trash McCain.

    Rush is a hateful, devisive character in the political arena and I wish he sould just disappear so that HEALTHY debate and commentary can commence.

    February 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. California Voter

    Yuck and more yuck

    February 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Adam, LV, NV

    Why does he think he is so important.... I could care less what this moron thinks, and I am a "Liberal" by his warped and narrow definition.

    But alas, anything to help boost their poster boys Obama and McCain...

    February 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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