October 20th, 2008
02:55 PM ET
14 years ago

Limbaugh defends comment about Powell

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/20/art.limbaugh.gi.jpg caption="Limbaugh defended his comments about Powell Monday."](CNN) - Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh Monday strongly defended his recent remark that Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama largely because of race, and lashed out at members of the media and Democrats for appearing to take issue with his comment.

"So what if it's race?" Limbaugh said on his radio show. "Why is it so hard to admit that it's race...What's so problematic about admitting it?"

Limbaugh's original comments came in an email to Politico reporter Jonathan Martin Sunday, when the talk-radio host took issue with Powell's contention that his endorsement of the Illinois senator did not have anything to do with the color of his skin.

"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race," Limbaugh wrote in the e-mail. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."

The comments immediately caused a stir on several Democratic blogs and an Obama campaign spokeswoman called them "disgusting." They were also heavily reported on several news programs Sunday night and Monday morning. But Limbaugh made clear Monday he is not backing down from them.

"I thought it should be about race," he said. "I thought you liberals thought this was a historic candidacy because finally we are going to elect a black guy...why hide behind this, why act like it's not about race?"

"This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare," Limbaugh added. The talk radio host also criticized members of the media for not addressing his claim that Powell likely hasn't endorsed white candidates who, according to Limbaugh, have similar political leanings and experience as Obama.

"Just so you know, I haven't come up with any," he said. "I worked diligently on this on the airplane on the trip home from Green Bay yesterday. I can't find any of these inexperienced white liberals that Powell has endorsed."

In announcing his endorsement of Obama, Powell said his decision was not based solely on race, but added "I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president."

"Should that happen, all Americans should be proud - not just African-Americans, but all Americans - that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen," Powell said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday. "It will also not only electrify our country, I think it'll electrify the world."

soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Michael ST, WI

    What Limbaugh fails to take into consideration is the slap in the face Powell delivered to McCain and his campaign, a large reason why many other prominent GOP leaders are shying away from McCain as well. His endorsement of Obama is as much a repudiation of McCain. Limbaugh has a habit of focusing on a single small issue and making it seem important.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Karen

    This was Powell's opportunity to lash out at the GOP over the war....too bad he didn't have the guts to resign if he disagreed that strongly with Bush. He isn't endorsing Obama – he's lashing out at Bush....lets not read too much into his endorsement, America.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Jon

    It is about race, and it's true. Hell, what Powell said in the last paragrah is proof enough that it's for social extension of the African-American race. Too many black people are voting for Obama just because he's black, and that's the spot on definition of "ignorance".

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Dirk

    He's just angry. Secretary Powell is not his "boy". Someone who is just following the party line. They never respected Powell, and I'm so glad he's supporting

    Get over yourself Rush, you don't matter.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Dave

    It's way past time to boycott Limbaugh's show and any advertisers supporting it.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. tulsa

    larry wi,
    actually, he has paid down some of HRC's debt. and the remainder will most likely go into the DNC coffers for the 2010 House races.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Rev Melvin Johnson

    What a small mind man to only see Senator Obama's skin color and not accept him as a capable candidate for President? NO one graduates Harvard Law and suceeds as he does because he is average. Rush give the man his dues. General Powell is a respectful enough hero of this nation to give us an unbias opinion a quality you have never shown. I am surprise people still listen to your snake venom.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. DAS

    I'd be curious to know whether Powell would support Biden if, by tragedy, he were to become president. I think Rush has a point about white liberal left-leaners. Maybe I just didn't see it, but I haven't seen or read anything about Powell's endorsement of the Obama-Biden ticket, only Obama.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. AKH

    This man is a stain on humanity. He has a place waiting for him in the lowest circle of Hell.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. D

    Just another example of rush being rush....same old tired boring thing...

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. keenaber

    They are the very people that are awkard as ever and thinking all the time about racism, he is just jerk. But obama must be a president whatever the case.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. David

    Limbaugh is a pig without lipstick.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Missy

    Perfect example why I vote for "well educated" people. Thank goodness Rush is soon to be a dinasour. Ignore the extremists. That type of thinking is becoming obsolete.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Randy in Atlanta

    Rush is lashing out, trying to come up with something. Sad isn't it.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Colin

    I'm voting for the best candidate. I guess Limbaugh has different criteria.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Bosun

    I guess Limbaugh support for Macwar is about race.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Kingslough

    Who and what is Limbaugh?? Does he realize in the 21st century no one see's color or race but issues that affect our lives. SHAME ON HIM!! Powell is an astute man that doesn't lean on petty stuff like race. Join ur McCain and friends to a rest home its a new beginning and out with the old. Obama 08, 12

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Abby

    I didn’t know Christopher Buckley, The Chicago Tribune and countless other Republicans were black too if that’s the only reason republican are indorsing Senator Obama. You are a racist Rush. Just deal with that.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Michael

    Hey Rush, a measurable number of American's foreclosed on their homes or lost their jobs since you made this ingnorant comment.

    Let's try to keep our eye on the ball, and leave the lipstick on the only pig in the trough...you.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Justin

    And people like Rush because he's fat, dumb and white. What's wrong with admitting that?

    The funniest part of this is Limbaugh claiming to do "research." Right, Rush. Research. Facts. I'm sure you're all over that.

    October 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Beering Muir

    So when is the last time Rush Limbaugh defended US nation-building?

    October 20, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Nice try, but...

    If Limbaugh wanted to have a serious discussion about this, he would engage the arguments that Powell made during his seven minute endorsement explanation. It is much easier to make inflamatory comments than to argue against reason.

    October 20, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Raleigh, NC

    It's people like Rush Limbaugh that are helping Obama win. I don't like Limbaugh, but like that fact that he is continues to bring the Republicans down by opening his big mouth and speaking what he thinks is the truth.

    October 20, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Collin

    Rush limbaugh the same guy who was fired from ESPN NFL countdown for saying Danovan Mcnabb was media hype as a great Quaterback becaus he was black! just something to think about!

    October 20, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. seth

    I love how Rush can't explain "why" Powell would endorse Obama outside of race. Apparently Rush didn't even watch Powell's endorsement, because Powell spent 15 minutes explaining precisely why he was voting for Obama.

    Rush is a comedian, not a political pundit.

    October 20, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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