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. Valerie

    Now it's official: McCain will lose the election...

    February 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. kdwalker

    I can't believe he gives himself this much credit for being able to change peoples' minds. There is a very very small group of listeners who actually heed Rush's advice and do what he says. An even smaller group that listens to Rush just so they can do the opposite. The idea that independents and moderates base decisions on what he says is the most arrogant thing I've heard in a very long time.

    February 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Foghorn

    Rush - he's full of it!

    February 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Bill

    He is not worth listening too!

    February 12, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Elena

    Does anyone care what Rush "Limberger" really says? I would rather hear from Howard Stern.

    February 12, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Phyllis, Burlington, VT

    Ron Paul for president, the only true conservative left in the race

    February 12, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Obamanaut

    Fact is, the guy is so completely unnecessary to anyone or anything. Let him think highly of himself. He's the only one who does.

    February 12, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. tony

    Rush obviously thinks way too much of himself. I don't think there is a single independent, or liberal, or anyone capable of intellegent thought out there that cares what Rush says, one way or the other.

    February 12, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Sanp Polling

    Rush is no tougher or ridiculous about McCain than Hillary is on Obama at the Hillary is 44 web site. How do you say "slumlord"?

    February 12, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. walt

    Two things about Rush.
    1) He's got great resources. He gets his facts fast!
    2) He totally irritates people who think they're smart.

    February 12, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Curious Texan

    i dont get democrats. its okay to kill 45-50 million innocent babies over a 35-year period, but its not okay to defend ourselves against islamofascists for six years?????? someone please explain this

    February 12, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. Jace

    Exactly Steve, most people missed the humor, including the new piece itself.

    February 12, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. gary

    And you thought Donald Trump was a self promoter!

    February 12, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. Linda (Palm Coast, FL)

    My, my, don't the Dems have their panties all in a wad today! Somehow, I don't think all these postings are written by Republicans.

    John McCain is going to lose this election not because of anything Rush or Ann Coulter are saying, but because of his own lousy record on taxes and illegal immigration, among other issues.

    By the way, exactly which positions of Obama's are you most fond of? I don't hear him saying anything.

    February 12, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. Huskerman, MN

    Go Rush go!

    I love seeing libs get in a tizzy even at the mention of Rush's name. He is usually right otherwise no one would care.

    Judging from the comments it confirms that this is a liberal news site frequented by liberal followers. Onward sheep!

    February 12, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. Wayne Douglas

    No one could possibly be more impressed with Rush than Rush.

    There are people who listen to Rush, but you have to be pretty desperate to take him as seriously as he takes himself.

    February 12, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  17. max

    All Rush is is a voice for those who don't have a microphone. When he's accused of running the country by liberal senators, that kinda says something about the influence he has, or maybe the lack of influence that the liberal senators have.

    February 12, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. Ted

    Rush is simply stating honest facts: (1) he doesn't like McCain's too liberal politics and (2) his publicly not liking McCain is probably helping McCain with some independent voters. Nothing more, nothing less. There's no need for this additional analysis.

    February 12, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. pmac

    Never listened to Rush Limburger-couldn't get past the smell!!
    I listen to Randi Rhodes- – she knows of what she speaks. Give her a try
    she may open your eyes. And besides, oppisite her back she's got a nice rack!

    February 12, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. Joel

    Looking at these posts, Rush is right......again.

    February 12, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. Rey

    Rush stopped being relevant in 1999. His audience is rapidly diminishing, and his influence over that audience is waning. An endorsement from Rush is like an endorsement from your barber. Most don't even hear him, and those that hear don't listen.

    February 12, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Michael

    Rush's show is about Rush, and nothing else. Only listen to him for comic relief.

    February 12, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Melanie Brady

    Vote Ron Paul – the alternative to John McCain. Accept no substitutes!

    February 12, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. El Rushbo

    Everyone here talks about his ego. Rush has 20 million daily listeners to his show, he has major influence. All you criticizing him have probaly never listened to his show because if you did, you would know that he is a harmless little fuzz ball.

    February 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. Kelley

    Rush is perhaps the greatest political strategist of our time. Also, in terms of political analysis, the man has no peer.

    As for his bombast, this is just part of his shtick. What's really funny is he knows he can push your buttons at will and you folks fall for it again and again.

    The man owns you; just deal with it.

    February 12, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
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