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. Dave

    Seems like Rush is the guy obsessed with race.

    Colin Powell is not the type of person to make this endorsement lightly.

    Rush Limbaugh is just trying to do damage control on what essentially is a very high profile endorsement by a respected and republican figure.

    Powell's endorsement was about leadership, not race.

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

    Yo Rush, I did not vote for Jesse Jackson when he ran, and I am a black guy.. that would have been historical also i guess its about race huh.....

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. jane in Columbus,ks

    Just more hate from a true repukican racist.What else can you expect from them? They are the ones that brought race into the discussion so why stop now?a healthy discussion of race is good, his brand nope not for me nor millions of other Americans.Obama transcends race in his broad appeal to an American electorate desperately looking for change and better times ahead. A special thank you to the bloggers suggesting to all to google PNAC.A real eyeopener, especially the primer on them. Interesting reading for all but most importantly the undecideds out there.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. mike (not that one)

    race, smace, can't someone view both men running and decide whom he would prefer?

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. jane, nc

    Limbaugh probably doesn't even believe his own comment, but he'll try to sell it anyway.

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

    Rush Limbaugh is a moron.

    What kind of loser do you have to be to listen and absorb what he's saying. I guess trailer parks all over the country are debating this now.

    It's shameful.

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

    The RACE will soon be over.

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

    Limbaugh is the biggest of all racist.

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

    I knew Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh would be the first to use the race card on Colin Powell endorsed of Obams.. Both are idiots and racist.

    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Ed North Carolina

    Consider the source. I notice today that all the Republican talking heads are scrambling to deny the importance of Powell's endorsement. Imagine if it was the other way around.

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

    You have got to be kidding. Rush Loudmouth is a non-entity and anyone who listens to, or is a fan is a complete moron. This man has made millions promoting racism, hatred, and is greatly responsible for the dumbing of America, especially the Republican base.

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

    What is wrong about Rush Limbaugh's comment?
    It is true, and liberals cant admit this. Powell never endorsed anybody with no experience on ether side, and now he comes with some written comments from Obama campaign about economical isues and other bologna...

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

    Why hasn't John McCain critcize Rush attack on General Power? This is what the McCain's campaign is all about. McCain has no honor.

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

    Ignorance, you don't have to back down from your statement, it's who you are and it's ugly.

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

    Rush is right. I have asked two black friends why they vote for Obama. Answer: He's a black man.

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

    I have Rush Limbaugh to thank for my support of Barack Obama!
    Started back in Feb when he started hateful Operation Chaos.
    Became so disgusted by Limbaugh hate-filled politics, I became an Obama supporter and no longer a Republican!
    Am a white older woman, who can't wait for President Barack Obama!

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

    Limbaugh is a pain even in the side of conservatives..

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



    October 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. KM in OHIO

    Just another angry bitter republican. Limp-baugh really represents the only people who will be voting for McCain.

    Obama 08/12

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Paizley

    Why is this guy even still relevant?

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |

    The last inexperienced white guy that Powell endorsed was George W. Bush. It doesn't take much research.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Andrew

    Keep in mind Rush is an entertainer and nothing more. Like Coulter or Stern. Take everything says as means of generating listeners.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Jon

    Limbaugh has been complaining for weeks about the Obama campaign playing the "race card," and now he plays it with no sense of irony whatsoever. What a lunatic.

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Greg Wiens

    With people like Limbaugh trying to "help" McCain, McCain does not have a chance of ever winning the election. Limbaugh represents the old America of the past, one that needs to be left in the past. With friends like these who needs enemies?

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. hmm...

    can't say i'm surprised

    October 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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