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. Bill

    What a loser! Take a pill Rush. hey tpipe ... your gonna sit on the sidelines for several years. perhaps you and Rush will have time to say lots of "nice" things about "libs" you disagree with?

    February 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. Doc

    Limbaugh is a HUGE tool. I'd love to say more but this forum is moderated. Here's an idea Limbaugh, "KEEP YOU FAT MOUTH SHUT" and let your minions finally have ideas and opinions for themselves.

    February 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. kathleen, illinois

    No one likes Limbaugh. He is an absolute idiot and if the
    republicans lose in November he will be a has been as he
    "has been" to most of the population already in the past. Who
    made this dumwit popular? Oh, the Republicans! The war
    Mongrels. Let us look our fine soldiers in Iraq and see who
    they are voting for. I know Already what how our soldiers are
    voting Democrat, as most Americans fear we will never get
    out of this War when our Trusted Officials, say we may be in
    this war for 100 years.
    Talk is cheap to the likes of Limbaugh. Has he been there?
    Has he a child that has been there? And, congratulations to
    McCain for having served our country. The stakes are different
    now. We are fighting a war with maniacs who have no rules.and
    no conscience!!!!!!!!!!!!Think about WHO we are fighting!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Jon

    wow you people are stupid, maybe if you listened to the guy you would know cnn took his comments out of context, he was pretty much making fun of the fact that he must be part of some conspiracy to launch McCain and to be against him so independents would vote for him. He was making fun of how stupid the media is, seems he was right by reading all these replies.

    February 12, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Does any one care who this drug abuser endorses.

    February 12, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. fenimore

    geeze, rush – put the pills back in the medicine cabinet, get your head out of your a–! can you be any more narcissistic? is it really ALL about you, rush?

    i'm sick of limbaugh, sick of mccain, sick of the bulls- of this media-spun campaign.

    none of the media say anything helpful or informative – just more of the same with the hidden agenda of their respective overlord conclomerates.

    we're doomed, and no one sees it. does the emporer really have clothes, or is he buck naked?

    stay tuned....

    February 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Aaron

    Ya'll don't understand Mr. Limbaugh’s form of humor – not surprising really.

    If you actually listened to him (or if this blogger did), you would know that he said this sarcastically!

    Mr. Limbaugh is NOT endorsing McCain or trying to help him, why would he? From his point of view, there is not that much of a difference between McCain and Obillary!

    February 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. Horace P Manure

    Any American who allows a pundit to think and speak for them or the American people, should have their head examined.

    February 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. craig

    I'm a democrat. Does Rush think he's so important that his endorsement or lack thereof makes any difference in my opinion of McCain? I don't base my judgments of politicians on the comments of prominent media figures, and I should hope most Americans are the same way.

    February 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Mike S., Nawlins

    Rush Limbaugh, isn't he the guy who was making fun of Ted Kennedy's drinking while at the same time he was spending 50K a month on synthetic morphine?

    Gotta love those neocons. They live in a world without mirrors.

    February 12, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. MKix

    Rush must be "self" medicating himself again. You know how he rants when he's high.

    February 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Julie

    Rush has an overinflated sense of self-importance. I think listening to one of his programs is equal to being waterboarded. All that venom and hatred – who listens to his crap anyway? Bitter angry sheep – that'd be my guess.

    February 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. troutman

    Rush , You do have a EGO( Easing God Out) keep up the recruiting for christians for the dems

    February 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Chris

    Limbaugh is successful, intelligent, and articulate. I guess he's not successful making ~$30 mil/year.

    All you libs want is someone who'll give you a handout because you can't make it on your own.

    February 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. Steve

    What you people don't get about Rush is that most of the time he's joking when he's acting like he's "so full of himself". You have to look past all that and listen to his show regularly (rather than judge from a couple sound bites).

    February 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Pat

    What Mr. Limbaugh thinks is of no concern to me or, I think, most people. What irritates the left and right fringes in the Democratic and Republican parties is that no one supports them anymore. The primary voters have spoken and we have two centrist candidates. Deal with it. Yes we can.

    February 12, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Terry

    I love Rush talk smart and really briliant guy and we need commen sense like him..

    February 12, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. bigoldrushnut

    I love to lisen to Rush cause hes a genus. Thats why the libs and dems hate him cause hes so smart. I dont no if Rush is for Mcain or not. My head hurts just trying to figure out what he said.

    February 12, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Nick

    I support Rush by not listening to his show !

    February 12, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. james neesen

    I am a conservative Republican and for the life of me I can't understand how anyone in their right mind would listen or react in a positive manner to this opnoxious blow-hard. My career has taken me through four Republican states and the only people who listened to him were more opnoxious than he. jrn

    February 12, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Walter

    This'll do wonders for his credibility.

    February 12, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Alan

    Perhaps Mr. Limbaugh isn't as important as he thinks he is.

    February 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. BB

    Enough of Rush Limb. . . back to reporting news, please.

    February 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Jake

    He's just making the point that his criticism is helping McCain. It's probably a valid point.

    February 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. mary

    The world revolves around Rush. Who would have thought!

    February 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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