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. NC = blue in '08

    Limbaugh is a sick racist and everyone pretty much knows that!

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Want to be proud

    My party has been hijacked and manipulated by people such as Rush and comments that, if scrutinized closely, should be conceived as divisive and traitorous.

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Dan, TX

    Rush, you are calling Colin Powell a liar. That is outrageous.

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Donna

    One of the frightening things about this country is the extent to which certain people actually listen to this fraud. While I don't doubt that it will never happen, I wish the Fairness Doctrine would return and clowns like Limbaugh and Hannity put out of business.

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Voice

    Do I want a President who is supported by Powell or one that is supported by Limpbug?

    Hmmm, give me a minute....

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. Red, Red WHINE!!

    Hey, I have to admit, I voted based on bigotry too.

    I HATE stupid people and secessionists. I can't stand any one who voted 90% with Bush and I can't tolerate anyone who has been convicted of unethical behavior. They are the scum of the earth and I wish we had nobody like that in America, let alone in the senate/presidential race.

    The only ticket I could vote for based on my hate for everything corrupt, and wrong with america...was Obama!

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Jen in PA

    By this reasoning, Joe Lieberman endorsed McCain because of race, right? That's my new take, anwyay. Thanks, Rush, for setting me straight!

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Idiot Limbreath

    Limbreath is a stupid idiot. I'm waiting for a white politician to say they're voting for another white politician because of their race. Why is that ONLY a question for black people? It's stupid and moronic. Rush is an idiot.

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Obama supporter and a woman

    I am not sure why any rational thinking human being would even give the likes of Rush Limbaugh a second thought. This bigot has been spitting out such crap for years. At least he's consistent. Once a bigot, always a bigot. why does identifying this as a historic election make it about race? If that were the case, then everyone who votes for McCain/Palin would be voting for them because it is about sexism. Let's put a female in the whitehouse. Limbaugh is stupid!

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. legacy

    I wish this hate monger could just shut up!
    Who cares about what he has to say anyway
    I worry about his audience

    October 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Obama for President

    Yep I agree with "I see Russia from my HOUSE"!!!!! They don't get it man!!!! This is sick and totally disgusting!!!!!!

    Obama 08

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Shay

    Limbaugh I think is just plain crazy. Why can't people express thier views of likes and dislikes without everyone judgint them. Why didn't he ask McCain why he pick Sarah and why is it Sarah seem as an aroowhead barbie. Limbaugh you did to stick to what you know best be bias and keep you freaking mouth shut just like Palin. You two deserve each other.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Shawn

    There's that brilliant Limbaugh thinking for ya. As for the notion that he's endorsing Obama just because he's black, why didn't he endorse Obama long ago? it's not like he just became black. In fact, Powell donated the maximum allowed to McCain last year. But it can't be that McCain's lack of judgment and behavior during the campaign actually changed Powell's mind, of course. Limbaugh can't imagine that Powell might actually disagree with him for rational reasons, so he has to argue by insinuation that he's really only doing it for racial reasons. I'm waiting for Rush to start talking about negrophilia.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Mikey

    Rush Limbaugh is a pig and anyone who believes the filth that comes out of his mouth is an idiot. Bill O'Reilly comes in a close second to Rush.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Willis in Dallas

    What a shame Limbaugh. So just because Powell is black himself–his endorsement of Obama is because of race? What is the excuse for other high profile republicans that have endorsed Obama, such as Chuck Hagel?

    Please. Down with McCain on Nov. 4th.


    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Florida Voter

    Rush is a joke and is real sad. The only way he can earn a living is be negative and hateful. His comments does not even deserves a response and if people would stop reacting to his tantrums maybe he will cut it out.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Blue By You

    Limbaugh refers to Obama as a "man-child", which is a synonym for "boy". THIS GUY IS OVER THE TOP RACIST.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    A typical and predictable response from an arrogant blowhard like Limbaugh. This is no different than how the Republicans are already trying to discredit Obama's soon-to-be presidency by trying to cook up some pathetic "voter fraud" allegations.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Marie in California

    Limbaugh is a jerk and Powell's endorsement of Obama likely is not about race.

    However, when I look back at the primary elections and see more than 90% of blacks voted for Obama.....well, that IS about race. And racist. If more than 90% of whites were supporting McCain you'd hear charges of racism so loud they'd echo across the entire universe!

    Tell it like it is.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. shirley

    I wonder if he and Sean Hannity share the same parents. Someone said they might be twins. LOL

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |

    WOW I mean think about it he has been republican voted for Bush and now he switches to democrat, of course it is because Obama is black, how could it be more obvious.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. jesse in sf

    limbaugh is scum!

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Floridaguy

    Rush has once agian proved he is a raving IDIOT and a racist...
    Rush, better get to the Dr fast, you're gonna need help dealing with President Obama

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Terri/Texas

    This is typical Rush Limbaugh! There are few people that I can't listen to but Rush is one. It's not surprising is it? If Powell had endorsed McCain he'd (Powell) would be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. deepjethro

    And why did you expect anything different from Limbaugh. He's made a fortune by pandering to the poorly-informed.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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