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. Sunny

    CNN is Clinton News Network.
    Whatever helps Clintons will be on this channel.
    Keeping Rush (conservatives) Vs McCain issue alive is in the interest of Hillary.
    Thats why he has become so suddenly important for CNN. They gave him little importance when he was supporting the Republican nominee. They also reported that he has become irrelavent.! Understand the spin, you will understand American politics. It is as bad and dirty and professional as it can get. America leads the world in this arena also. Wake up people. Vote Huckleburry or O' MAMA.

    February 12, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Munroe, Austin TX

    If George W. Bush's endorsement of McCain didn't "send the independents, (who no longer can stand Bush), running away," do you really think those middle of the road people who take the longest to make up their minds really are going to sent running away by some radio guy to whom they rarely listen? Oh yeah, Bush says his endorsement of McCain is contigent on Huckabee not getting 93% of the remaining delegates. Limbaugh's arguement does look good at first glance, and is entertaining, -and comes from a man who is in the entertainment business.

    February 12, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. notalib

    Berkeley Lib February 12, 2008 4:39 pm ET

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

    Really is that why he just signed a new contract, because noone listens to him. Somebody's jelouse.

    February 12, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Rusty

    Why so much vitriol! Name one liberal pundit who packs as much entertainment value.

    February 12, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Pat

    For someone who flunked out of his first year in college, never served in the military, been married three times, and a drug addict, Rush sure likes to spew his narrow-minded opinion everywhere. When are we going to quit listening to or even caring about people like Rush, O'Reilly, Imus, and even Howard Stern for that matter? Who cares? America is ready for moderate, mainstream, middle of the road, reasonable thinking! The far right and the far left folks have had their time. Now it's time for them to shut up, sit down, and listen to the REAL majority in this country because most of us have just about had it with the rest of them!

    February 12, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. ABB

    Same old "your comment is waiting moderation" from CNN. My comment was a heck of a lot more "moderate" than the ones that I read here. I I didn't even mention the word "hate", as so many posters have.
    Must have said something too "liberal" for the moderator here, and CNN apparently put me on the black list.
    Feel free to comment, but only if CNN agrees with you.
    That's B.S.!!

    February 12, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. scott

    Rush thinks he's important because he has a big audience, well so does "Are you smarter than a 5th grader"

    February 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. Scott

    CNN, last week you ran a story about comments Ann Coulter gave to FoxNews, now this. I am really disappointed in the caliber of your news selections. Please keep the bar high and away from these two.

    February 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. bill Tomlinson

    Come on Rush
    You act as if the only things you can to are endorse him or blast him. You would help him more if you stayed neutral and thus kept extreme conservatives like yourself from thinking more badly of him.
    Are all your arguments this bad?

    February 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Randy - Denver

    NO MARY it is not Mr. Obama that has a hold on the country – it is not his fault – YOUR party leaders in Michigan (and Florida) decided that they did not need to follow the rules, it is not his fault that you, the other residents of Michigan (and Florida) did not scream and call your party reps and make themfollow the rules, YOU let them get away with negating your votes. It is YOUR fault and the fault of YOUR state's party leadership so instead of crying to a pill popping radio DJ why don't you call your state party reps and cry to them?

    February 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Jeremy

    And I thought I was the center of the universe? I guess it just seems that way because I share the planet with Rush. I'm so humilated...

    February 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. RL Giarrusso Virginia

    Oh, by all means, Rush,
    Give John McCain ALL of your hefty support. That will ensure a Democrat in the White House for the next four years. And we can spend that time laughing at radio hate shows like yours while you disparage the leadership that will RESTORE this country from the abyss into which that Bush and his greedy, lying, narcisstic cronies have so blithely pulled us!

    February 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Chris

    Oh please, like Limbaugh would actually ever be THAT clever.

    February 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Carolyn in Memphis Tennessee

    If Rush Limbaugh is the conservative idea of a thoughtful Christian, we're all going to hell in a handbasket. Limbaugh is a nasty mean spirited hypocrit who relies on non thinkers to build up his labido.

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

    Mr VforVendetta holds that John McCain has "never done anything for this country other than being tortured".


    Um, ok. You know, that's good enough for me.

    As for Rush, this cracks me up. (Particularly the part where he's like, "I have a secret plan! Let me tell you what it is!") I agree with the commentators who say he's trying to position himself in case he does have to endorse McCain.

    February 12, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Vince in Texas

    Libhater: The reason folks listen to Rush is right there in your handle: HATE!

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


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

    This is something that I've been wondering about lately. Doesn't Anne Coulter's comment that she'd vote for Hillary if McCain was the republican candidate accomplish three things simultaneously?
    1. It gets her attention, which she loves cause it helps her sell her stupid books.
    2. It makes Democrats wonder how far to the center or right Hillary is. Obviously anything that Coulter endorses has a stink on it.
    3. It makes McCain seem like a good cross over candidate. If the far right hate him he can't be all bad.

    It's either brilliant or incredibly stupid. I guess it depends on how much attention people are paying. Any way you look at it, Republicans are going to have to get even more tricky than there trickiest tricks if they want to have any hope of a victory this time. Rove and Bush killed their parties chances of popular favor for a good long time.

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

    I know Hillary, and you're no Hillary!

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

    Such a disgusting human being - so arrogant and cocky. I consider myself a moderate but wouldn't waste one second of my time listening to his "blah-blah" or voting for anyone he even hinted that he supported. That would kill my vote instantly.

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

    Rush: You and Karl Rove just go on thinking people care what you say.

    Delusions, like dreams, are dispelled by our awaking to the stern realities of life.
    – Alexander Robert Charles Dallas

    February 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. danny kwon

    By Rush's logic, that must mean he is secretly supporting Hillary too. what a moron... I hope when McCain wins he cuts off any access to the white house Rush has enjoyed for the past 8 yrs. If the recent wins for McCain tell us anything, it's that Rush is a joke and real Republicans don't agree with him on key issues.

    February 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Sam, St. Louis

    Wow, that's the first time I think I've ever agreed with something that Rush said.

    He's right. And now, I'm going to go toss some snowballs in Hades, because I thought hell would freeze over before I ever agreed with him.

    February 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. Superdelegates for sale

    Rush is right about this. Mods and Indies are going to get McCain elected. A straight up heavy right conservative would lose in the general election to both Hillary and Obama.

    February 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Cherie IN Pa

    Yea I get the whole moderation thing too. I don't get it.

    I don't like Limbaugh and could care less about his message. I know he has a following but I'm not one. If I vote for McCain it will have nothing to do with Limbaugh.

    February 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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