November 18th, 2008
03:13 PM ET
14 years ago

Hagel takes aim at Limbaugh, Senate colleagues

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Hagel had sharp words for Rush Limbaugh Tuesday."](CNN) - As his Senate career nears its end, Republican Chuck Hagel isn't holding back when it comes to criticizing members of his own party - including conservative talk radio hosts.

"We are educated by the great entertainers like Rush Limbaugh," Hagel said Tuesday during a speech in Washington, according to the Huffington Post.

"You know, I wish Rush Limbaugh and others like that would run for office," a sarcastic Hagel continued. "They have so much to contribute and so much leadership and they have an answer for everything. And they would be elected overwhelmingly. [The truth is] they try to rip everyone down and make fools of everybody but they don't have any answers."

Hagel has increasingly become critical of his party in the aftermath of the Iraq War and notably held back endorsing his longtime friend John McCain during the presidential campaign. He's reportedly under consideration for a cabinet post in the Obama administration.

Speaking at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Hagel also faulted Washington lawmakers for "raw, partisan, political paralysis."

"The American people don't like what is going on... they want us to start doing what leaders are expected to do, address the problems, find some consensus to governing. Get along. There will be disagreements, sure... but in the end we can't hold ourselves captives to this raw, partisan, political paralysis."

Filed under: Chuck Hagel
soundoff (410 Responses)
  1. Mark

    RUSH LIMBAUGH for Pres. / MICHAEL MOORE for VP? Any takers? LOL...{:o)

    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Billy J , TX-

    I used to try to listen to Rush. He is worse than Oberman's show. At least Oberman tries to keep it from devolving into a big dumb vat full of hate for 'them'. Although he still is so partisan and gleeful at calling the other side names (like Rush) that I don't watch him either.

    MS you are wrong. Everyone knows what Rush says and how a typical show on any given day is going to sound like. Except when he was going deaf from too much pain killers. Then he truly had a new surprise everyday as it got harder and harder to modulate his voice. But that's a different story... about being hypocrite, not tearing people down for the enjoyment of the haters out there.

    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Dean in Florida

    People who criticize Rush in the context of any political discourse are idiots. Rush is merely an entertainer...and a great entertainer at that.

    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. hilary

    Please don't give Limbaugh any encouragement, Hagel.

    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Rachel

    Looks like Hagel has smelled the coffee. I am glad to find someone besides myself is onto Rush. If he is conservative I don't want any. He is a fanatic. He and Hannity come so close to needing to be sued for slander it is pityful. You might as well throw McCain and Palin in on that deal with their dirty campaign. I was not prepared to vote for Obama because of a few liberal issues but he turned out to be the one that stuck to the issues and did so graciously and with a quiet manner. Let's face it. The GOP did all this to themselves along with the fire spitting dragons that are in the media.

    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. jebb

    Limbaugh & Hannity (and the like) are entertainers. Does anyone really think otherwise? Your fooling yourself if you do. Seriously. Not kidding. No, for real!

    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. R Edwards


    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. A NEW DAY


    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. John, Lakeland FL

    I have always admired Sen. Hagel and I so much wanted Pres. Elect Obama to pick him as VP. He is a man of great sincerity and discipline. There is no doubt in my mind that he should be put in charge of DHS. Keep your head up Sen. Hagel. You're a great man...

    November 18, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. John Dahlman

    Well Chucky it sure would have been nice if democrats would have cooperated and not filibustered good bills when republicans were in controll of congress. In fact Nancy pelozi said that when democrats took over in 2006 it would be a new era of bi – partisan partnership and civility in congress I am still waiting for her to keep her word she is one of the nastiest partisans in congress.

    November 18, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. jC

    Rush has blood on his hands, in that he almost single-handedly created a generation of angry white males, hanging on his every word throughout the 90's. His disdain for Bill Clinton, and Hillary for that matter, is palpable. Now, finally after 20+ years, the hens have come home to roost. Rush is a terrorist of the radio airwaves and he's finally pissed off both sides and it's time for him to take his pain pills in one hand and his worn out, spit-ridden microphone in the other, and leave.

    November 18, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Greg Bjugstad

    Thank God there are people such as Rush that we can trust and get honest opinion from. That can't be said for any of the low life congressmen and women who have played Nero and imitate the ostrich.

    November 18, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Pat in IL

    More people need to call out against the likes of Rush Limbaugh and the Fox News people. Those people are not just "cheerleaders" for their party – they are hate mongers, therefore terrorists, and I'm not saying that lightly. They incite too much hate using lies or anything else to make their "point".

    November 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. williefloyd

    MD TX and Tex

    I guess you both realize Mrs. Hagel endorsed Obama and contributed to his campaign. You both should be in a padded cell with Limbaugh and Hannity!

    I've seen Sen. Hagel on many of the talk shows including Tim Russert, and I've never heard him say anything but the truth. You wouldn't know honesty if it was looking you in the face!

    November 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Ted

    Hagel for SoS!
    He's awesome.

    November 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Bubba

    Heh heh, the parasites are already screaming that he was 'always a liberal' or has 'turned his coat.' Maybe the scales fell from his eyes on the road to Damascus?

    November 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Tulsa

    It's amazing that the same little rats who said no one should question McCain," 'cause he was a war hero" are the ones calling Hagel a traitor and opportunist.
    What a bunch of filth you all are. You just can't stand it when the truth is told.
    Vermin. ................and these rodents aren't even smart enough to jump off that sinking Republican ship. You would throw the few who stand up for what the Republican party WAS overboard.
    When you and your party are gone, all I have to say is
    Good riddance.

    November 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Barb, Des Plaines

    CNN just got a new hero.

    November 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. FL gal

    Rush and Hannity have financial gains in keeping the Repubs stirred up with their hatred and outright lies. Let's hope that Hagel lights the torch for true Repubs to now finally reject Rush,Hannity and like and bring honor and truth back to their party! Thank YOU Hagel!! YOUR courage and honor will not go un-noticed.

    November 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Paul

    Why people even pay attention to Rush Limbaugh anymore is surprising to me. I've listened to his program roughly 2-3 times a week for the past couple years out of sheer boredom on the ride to work and it's obvious to me he's nothing more than a radio troll. He spouts Dominionist garbage to aggravate reasonable, moderate people as he attempts to validate the radical nuts.

    He is irrelevant, as are his "ideals."

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Gail

    and justice is done and change has come.

    Maybe next election cycle we won't have to listen to idiots/morons/fear mongers and race baiters such as fat old limber

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Left Coast Mike, Laguna Niguel, CA

    Rush is a brain-dead racist pig. Just like Hannity on FOX, his ratings are plummeting and he too will fade away. The only people listening to these two losers are old farts in Oklahoma and Alabama. These guys are irrelevant, and their moronic opions immaterial. Who cares?

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. A. Cash

    So Chuck Hagel is the new John McCain. Lets see how this works out for him.

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Holly of Florida

    I am glad to see that some republicians are tired of the hate mongering far right radio talking heads. Rush does nothing that benefits this country with his opinions, All he does is encourage the semi educated to divide this country to a point past repair.

    Thank you Senator Hagel for saying what so many people are thinking.

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Roger

    And the folks defending a hate-filled drug abuser are attacking Senator Hagel?? WOW! members of the lunactic right-wing fringe, I guess.

    November 18, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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