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. Chad - Omaha, NE

    The ego on this guy – unbelievable. I'm an independent and he believes his opinion, one way or the other, really matters to me?

    February 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. mary

    Rush, why can't my vote (Michigan) count? I feel like I am not even apart of United States. Other American citizens around the world were able to cast their vote, but as you know Michigan and Florida democrats don't exist. NO ONE is speaking up for us! Does Obama have such a hold on the whole country that the heads of the Democratic Party are afraid to offend him? He states he's for everyone, i guess, that excludes Michigan and Florida democratics, just because he didn't win the states.

    February 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Joe

    Rush, Rush, Rush as an "Independent" I can truthfully say I don't hate you, I love you! I listen to you, Bill O and that blond guy who dresses like a girl. You are so funny, your like a bunch of right-wing clowns all stuffed into a tiny right-wing car. You all say the craziest stuff, it kills me! I'm doubling over laughing at the dumb comments and the hate fulled rants, it's like "Nobody thinks like that! How does this guy think this whacking "stuff" up? Keep up the good work Rush, with Bush leaving soon the country need the laughs!

    February 12, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. tickled

    Well, do u expect Limbaugh to just come out and say he was "wrong"? Of course not. That's why he has to do the whole double talk in this article. Please. I'm not fooled. I'm tickled.

    February 12, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Doug Rush

    He later went on to say "War is Peace, Freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength."

    If Rush had a history of drug abuse I'd say he was high. Oh wait ....

    February 12, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Wayne, Columbus, Ohio

    Limbaugh is an entertainer, His view has made him a lot of money. And his main objective help Clinton get in office. This will increase his ratings and viewership. Then the economy is Democrats falt. Money money money!

    February 12, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Noneya

    Ah, so he's finally telling us not to believe anything he says?

    He's always this way.... blah blah blah ONE side of the issue, and if I'm wrong, then I'll tell you I told you so.

    Go away, man.

    February 12, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Jason, Charlotte, NC

    funny. Rush sees that his anti-endorsement is actually driving people to McCain and now, suddenly, that was the plan. Ok, jack. I'm sure it was. Wow...

    February 12, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. David

    Rush is a genius. He understands something that you guys don't. If McCain wins...he wins. If Hillary wins...he wins. If Obama wins...he wins. It doesn't matter to him, either way he laughs all the way to the bank$$$.

    February 12, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Robert

    Yeah!!! So this is his excellence in broadcasting argument.. His ego is so big I think his head is going to explode at any moment... LOL

    February 12, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Booky

    Most of these comments on this site say more about the writers than they do about Rush. Do the words irony, sarcasm, tongue in cheek mean anything to you?

    February 12, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. Brian G

    Limbaugh, besides having an ego as big as all outdoors, has demonstrated his sneaky, devious, maninpulating, self-centered ways, by suggesting that he is actualy help McCain by dumping on him at every turn.

    Ther is some truth in Limbaugh's statement that if he were to endorse McCain, it would be a death nail. Of course, everything LImbaugh says is a death nail in some fashion to what America is in the eyes of itself and others.

    What a creep!

    February 12, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Ty in Dallas

    Rush Limbaugh is the epitome of absolutism. As a right wing extremist, he cannot tolerate any progress made for our nation. He attacks anyone and anything that does not embrace his ideology. He enriched himself by dividing people in this country.

    He preaches his political view like a politician, from the top down to his audiences (they can only take it, no question asked). In his world, there is no political discourse, only propaganda.

    With this kind of personality on the radio, how can he not develop such ego?
    If we have to ask why we live in such seemingly perilous world, you will find the answer by actually listening to him.

    February 12, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. rodlang

    Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't vote for McCain. But with Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and the rest of the right wing talk fascists against McCain....I just might vote for the guy. There must be something he's doing right to incur their wrath.

    February 12, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Coby


    Go take a pill!

    February 12, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Jim

    Got news for you, Rush – we'd hate you no matter who you endorse.

    February 12, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Brian

    Yes Rush, you are right. We would run as far as we can. You are part of the reason why so many people are leaving the party.

    February 12, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Nick

    Rush is an irrelevant blowhard just trying to put himself in the mix.

    February 12, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. mitch

    So if he secretely supports him, and he out right is not supporting him (while secretely maybe supporting him), then he maybe is pretending to secretely be mysterious. This man is a genious. So important, is this story and is this man.

    February 12, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Neil

    I think Limbaugh is wrong when he says independents hate him. I'm an independent and I don't hate him. I simply think he's irrelevant. Further, I don't believe him when he says he's about prinicple. He's about ego and arrogance and he's willing to sacrifice the good of the country to satisfy his ego and arrogance. The only thing worse is the democrats who are willing to sacrifice national security to gain power. A pox on both their houses and god-speed to John McCain.

    February 12, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. Matthew

    He is trying to have it both ways. He hates McCain and doesn't want to endorse him, but he wants him to beet any Democrat. He is afraid that if he supports McCain now, he officially renounces all the hate he spewed earlier about him and loose his core listening audience.

    February 12, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    tpipe Owosso MI February 12, 2008 4:39 pm ET

    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?


    Funny libs? Why would anyone say anything nice about someone with whom you disagree tpipe? Who said "Rush keeps talking and nothing comes out"? Rush is that you?

    Incredible. Conservative hate radio jocks are embroiled with the idea of McCain as their candidate. November will certainly be interesting. tpipe for President!

    February 12, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. joseph

    more free advertising for Rush thanks to the libural media. If he is so irrelavent why is he on the news just about every night? Libs act like he is running sometimes. LOL.

    February 12, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. michigan

    Rush sure does stir up the liberals. It's hilarious. Only free speech applies to the left?
    God help us if Clinton or Obama become President of the USA.
    Two of the most liberal senators, with no experience in governing, or managing a thing. These two were the best you had to offer? Ugh.

    February 12, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. indypendent

    A man all wraped up in himself makes a small package. He is not as influential
    as he thinks. He secretly wants a Democrat to win so he has talk show fodder.

    February 12, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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