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?"

"Me."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (425 Responses)
  1. Ira

    Rush Limbaugh would do everyone a favor if he kept his mouth shut. He is nothing more than a talking airhead and has no influence.

    February 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Gabe B

    I wish CNN and the media in general would learn that the mainstream does not care at all what extreme right pundits like Limbaugh say at all.

    February 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Boogie

    This is EXACTELY the point that I've been making about the republicans and Obama for the last month.
    Republicans tell you they hate Clinton to trick you into voting for Obama...Then they can crucify Obama in the General.
    You see how Conservatives work??
    No...I guess not...you keep backing Obama as if a far left liberal is going to unit conservatives...good luck on that.

    February 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Robert

    That blow-hard Rush should stay out of everything, including America's radios.

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

    Why is this obese, egomaniacal, drug addict being given any attention by the media?

    February 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Haddock

    Rush is a horse's patootie. As if he were a valuable bellweather, or anyone that so called liberals listen and/or react to. Talk about yer ego. This from the apex of conservative thought and values? Welfare user, drug addict, ex-liberal? More like a panderer to a bunch of fraidy cats. Like L. Ron Hubbard he found a better way to fleece some sheep. But most of all a horse's patootie.

    February 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. John C

    ahh yes all the liberal attacks on Limbaugh are against his own personal struggle with drugs. Pain Killers of all things. I am not sure if anyone on this board has ever struggled or knew someone who had an actual addiction to pain killers considering the tone of the comments. Its pretty easy to become addicted to pain killers and sleeping pills.. both narcotics. But the "liberals" are the ones who care about people... dont they? They are the nice people who want rainbow powered lightbulbs and to ride on unicorns for peace. But here they are attacking someone about an addiction. God forbid conservatives talk about Obama taking drugs!

    I also find it funny that the people who do not "care about him" or think his opinion "means nothing" took the time to write about it. Anyone who listens to Rush knows he says these things to rile you liberals up. The tone of the comments are said in jest and sarcasm... as he sits and waits for CNN or Media Matters to report it and for you all to go off the deep end and talk about him incessantly saying he "no longer matters"... if he no longer mattered... you wouldn't have responded at all.

    February 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Mat

    C'mon Rush, I dare you to endorse John McCain! Your head is so bloated!!

    February 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. Christopher M. Carter

    I can not at this point support McCain...And I of all people I know am the bissest republican, hell I get into debates with liberal wacko teachers in WI just to watch them cry (yes I made a teacher cry once)

    John you are not my choice and I hate to say it but huck sure is not looking so bad!

    February 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. BOB

    GEES... HAS RUSH DEVELOPED A NEW WAY OF BACK STABBING?

    FIRST OFF, HE'S NOT EVEN WORTH LISTENING TO DURING THE HIGH-HO TIMES OF THE PAST, OR NOW, BECAUSE HIS LOGIC, WELL, DOESN'T ADD UP OR IS SO TWISTED THAT, OH WELL NEVER MIND....

    NOW WE'RE LET-IN-ON HIS NEW BACK-HANDED ENDORSMENT VIA THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA . IT'S AS THOU RUSH'S IS TRYING OUT A NEW METHOD IN EXPLAINING HIS TWISTED LOGIC TO THE REALLY, REALLY DUMB DITTO HEADS, HOPING TO AGGRIVATE THEM TO THE POINT THAT THEY'LL EAT THEIR OWN YOUNG,

    IF ONLY HE'D SWALLOW A CHICKEN BONE.

    February 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. DAC

    Rush, if nothing else, is consistant in his high opinion of himself and his view of how conservatives should believe and behave. I have listened to him off and on for several years and nothing has changed. It is still "the world according to Rush". He offers nothing relevant in his commentary and does not invite intelligent debate. It's my way or the highway when it comes to conservative issues. But, as he has so aptly pointed out over years, his show is for entertainment purposes. Too bad so many people take him seriously.

    February 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. J. Dean, Juno Beach, FLORIDA

    AT THIS MODERN AGE, WHAT A TRAGEDY IS IMPOSED ON US, WE, LEFITIME REPUBLICANS.
    WHO CARES ANYMORE WHAT LIMBAUGH OR McCAIN STAND FOR.
    PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH CALLS McCAIN A ""CONSERVATIVE"" AND THEN BUSH SAYS THAT "IF McCAIN IS NOMINATED HE HAS TO CONVINCE VOTERS THAT HE IS INDEED A CONSERVATIVE, AS IF WE CANNOT MAKE THAT JUDGEMENT.
    BOTH LIMBAUGH AND McCAIN ARE LOOSERS. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO IS:
    LIMBAUGH IS A FAT CHARLATAN AND McCAIN IS AN OLD CHARLATAN.
    OUR REPUBLICAN PARTY IS BECOMING SO INSANE THAT ONLY FEW PEOPLE, LIKE GEORGE BUSH, RUSH LIMBAUGH AND JOHN McCAIN, CAN DEFINE AND DETERMINE WHO IS WHO IN AMERICA.
    TRAGEDY COMES IN VARIOUS FORMS. ONE GOOD EXAMPLE OF IT WILL BE THE NOMINATION OF JOHN McCAIN FOR THE PRESIDENCY.
    GOD SAVE AMERICA.
    AMEN.

    February 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. ACH

    To: CNN
    From: Intellegent people

    Why do you continue to lower your statndards? Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh High Drop outs of the education system, morally bankrupt , are giving advice. How about listening to people like Warren Buffet or Colin Powell. Think about it if it wasn't for talk radio Rush, Sean , Glen and the like would be on morning radio drive time

    February 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Douly

    Rush = clown

    I bet he wishes he could think for us too, right fat boy!

    February 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. James

    For the person who asked why CNN is covering Limbaugh's opinion, it is easy to see – it unites most of the country against the Republicans. However, if these same Democrats believe strongly in free speech, they must also be tolerant of opinions different to their own, no matter how ridiculous they find it, because that is what free speech is all about. Boycotting CNN is not a constructive way forward – because if you boycott any news which you don't find palatable you will be left with just one view of the world, making your love of free speech as great as any dictatorship.

    Now for the light-hearted side: Rush is obviously flip-flopping because he wants to be invited to every Republican dinner available. The man's hungry (for food or success, who knows?) and he wants more. To paraphrase Colbert, watch out for the hungry Republicans.

    February 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Bruce

    I like how he says he is "staying out of it". Then why are we hearing about it from him? Shoudln't we be hearing nothing about the things he is staying out of?

    February 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. shoyu

    How convenient that Rush now says he is supporting McCain. He also supported Harriet Miers before everyone else panned her. He would endorse Stalin, if he thought it would boost his ratings. Rush is desperate to stay relevant.

    February 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Bert Allen, Johnson City, TN

    As another draft-dodger from the '60's who sat out Vietnam, Rush has not the courage or the integrity to carry McCain's lunch. Rush & Bill (aka Slick Willie) are two of a kind, people of marginal integrity, larger-than-life egos and enough courage to half-fill a thimble. Neither knows the meaning of character. McCain could have accepted an NVA offer to leave the POW camps and return home years early, but he chose freely to stay with his brothers and endure torture sufficiently damaging to leave his body deformed. The he returned to Vietnam years later and on their turf told the Vietnamese that he forgave them for what they did to him, but that he would/could never forgive them for what they did to his brothers. Can you imagine Bill or Rush having the camaraderie to say that or focusing on anyone but themselves? I cannot.

    February 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. KVK

    The most self centered man in the universe. Repulsing.

    February 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. Bernard

    Oh Rush,

    1st, you establish yourself as a xenophobic, reactionary donut eater who believes Dumb-o-crats are soft bellied heart bleeders who want to steal money from the rich and hand it out to the lazy poor (his code word for minorities) . . .

    . . . then when you admit to being a pill addict you think the government and/or insurance should pay for your rehab . . .

    . . . then you think by flapping your drivel the opposite of your intention could possibly be the unintended outcome of your secret intention (potentially) if the media dissects the semantics of your prose to your satisfaction. . .

    . . . well, I suppose anything's possible (and somewhere I hear Rush cry, "Ha! Checkmate! What a strategist).

    February 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Lou ô¿ô

    FLIP-FLOP!!!!! oh wait, it's ok of conservatives...I get it. What a dippick...

    February 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Del

    What a crock! Rush...you're the minority in the Republican party! The proof is that McCain won the nomination despite your chest pounding. Get over yourself!

    February 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. brad

    Rush seems to know all the problems. Knows how to fix everything. Why doesn't he run? Well, we all know why. Because he is full of it. Especially of himself.

    February 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Re: Listen

    There is a huge difference between accidental civilian casualties and an abortion. The accidental civil casualty is just that…accident. Also, thousands of innocent people have not died and the majority of civilian casualties come from insurgents and terrorists targeting civilians of the opposite sects, not as a result of American weaponry.

    An abortion is the deliberate taking of the life of an innocent child. You can’t compare the two. To try is ridiculous.

    February 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. Wert

    Okay, so Rush just endorsed John McCain. Now what?

    February 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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