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. Tom

    Rush could never run the government because his whole philosophy is based on its failure. He has no more idea how to run a successful government than Osama bin Laden.

    November 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Cat DS

    How true. The majority of Americans can see through all the partisan gimmicks and are ready for open minded problem solving and intelligent solutions.

    November 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. mgb in Houston

    Rush, Hannity, and O' Reilly all negotiated contracts for themselves recently and the total these three (insert your own description here) was over 500 million combined.

    Think about that....these three guys get 500 million bucks. about over inflated values in the markets.

    November 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Steve

    Hey PhillyLyons,

    Someone like Medved is a pinhead for being a conservative? Have you ever listend to his show? He has disagreement line Thursdays for people to call in and specifically disagree. He is one of the most intellectual people in all of the media. Lyons, if you really are from Philly, then I am ashamed that someone of your limited intellectual capacity came from my city. By the way, Medved was born here as well. It's unfortunate that even with a Democratic victory, the cancerous vermin can't be purged from the Democrat party. Oh, and I'd take 1 Medved or Limbaugh to 535 Congressmen ANY TIME of the day. The level of ignorance on this board is off the charts!

    November 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Andrew

    Yeah, these yahoos should run for office if they claim to be so smart. Time to put their money where their mouth is. Al Franken did. I mean, if he wins, he may suck as a politician, but at least he stepped up to the plate. Rush would never, ever have the spine to do something like that.

    November 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Lou

    Hagel Deserves to be part of the new administration because he earned that for speaking the truth and taking his party on their faults and lack of action… he is right; Rush is nothing other than a poor excuse of man; a drug addict and a liar... The divisive arrogant tone of his show makes a mockery of radio talk and the so called conservatives. Rush and so many others help so much the GOP to loose the last two elections; first congress and now the Whitehouse. The ego of this man is almost as big as he is and THAT”S BIG and I wish he get’s cough again in his shenanigans with Viagra, Oxycontin or as I heard perhaps heroin and his career as a laud mouth be over.

    November 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Griff

    Why do people listen to Talk Radio, anyway? They only talk about, what they think listeners will answer to... I have a Mind of Own..
    I never listen to any radio stations... I have the internet.... The Whole- World to talk to...

    November 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Loic from Ozangue,Lbv (gabon)

    while the GOP is struggling to find themselves a Leader, i wonder why rush limbaugh and his so called conservatives talk show hots step up to lead the Republican Party?

    November 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Dave in Atlanta

    Rush's problem is that he thinks that leadership is about talking.

    November 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. oregon thinker

    I watched Diane Sawyer interview Rush Limbaugh on her program a couple of years ago, and the end of the interview she asked him if he had ever considered running for President,... and, the azzhole smirked, and grinned, and said that he " couldn't stand the paycut....

    November 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Matt

    Wonderful how people respect Hagel because they have a common enemy.

    Besides ripping on Limbaugh and not endorsing McCain, 95% of these stooges don't have any other basis for supporting Hagel.

    November 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Rob

    Obama is disappointing a lot of young voters! Promises of Change, without lobbyists and Washington insiders are slowly being eroded! Maybe his speeches and promises are just full of hot air!

    November 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. DickNH

    So Rush knows something about the Constitution? Like what, pray tell? He obviously doesn't know that any treaty signed by the US, like the UN Charter, is the Law of the Land. So, that being the case, tell me, Rush, how is it that invading Iraq isn't unconstitutional? How is it that spying on American citizens without warrants is constitutional? How is it that leaving black citizens to die in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina is somehow noble and constitutional? Hagel has consistently opposed this sort of mindlessness, and would be a good addition the new cabinet. Hopefully, SOD.

    November 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Nana

    Rush couldn't run for office-he would fail the drug test

    November 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. LeAnn Hilderman

    Senator Hagel has impressed me for a long time. He is a true maverick and one fine Republican that this life-long Democrate could have voted for.

    November 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Left Coast Mike, Laguna Niguel, CA

    Mike Patton thinks scumbag, drug-infested Rush is a "great American" and a "patriot". Hey Mike, can you see your feet below that big beer gut of yours? Rush is a gutless coward with a pillow for a stomach who never lifted a finger to defend his country. Oh yeah, let him run for office .... except he's a FELON and a drug abuser. But he's Mike Patton's hero. Back to grade school, Mike. You could at least finish that part of your education.

    November 18, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. mavericky

    rush a great american???????????? wow he has brainwashed you! haha, I laugh at sad people like you. I have a Masters and I can see right through him... it's called FACT CHECK. FOX news is also a winner (sarcasim).

    November 18, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. paul

    THANK YOU Mr. Hagel... now how about some more of the same from others! If the Republican party wants to have any future relevance , they will listen to Mr. Hagel. And way to go , Mr. Obama, for hopefully finding a prominent role for Hagel.

    We will know we are making progress when Rush has to retire, or go to some fringe little watched cable station to spew his destructive hate talk.

    November 18, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Mike

    It's about time somebody started saying it. The conservative blow-hards are so hypocritical it isn't even funny. If Hitler were running for office, these people would endorse him if he was against gay marriage and abortion. Idiots.

    November 18, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Dee, Atlanta

    To Mike Patton,


    November 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. USpatriot


    November 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Jack Noble

    For the first time someone with the courage to say what a lot of feel. Limbaugh and the rest of the talk show host that get tangled up in their own ego's.

    Unfortunately Mr. Hagel you should have called them out a long time ago, but I do understand why it wasn't possible.

    The Religious Right and the Ultra-Conservative have for too long driven the agenda of purely political/personal issues that need compromise.

    Now is the time to put all that aside and re-learn to be civilized. And just maybe both extremes of each party have learned a valuable lesson that we are tried of them! their self-adsorb rhetoric, conspiracy plots.

    Thank you again for speaking up

    November 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Alaskan Fame Junkie

    It certainly sounds like Mike Patton forgot to take his meds today.

    November 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Kathy

    Hagel was telling the truth. People like Hannity, Limbaugh, and others helped wrap up the Republican defeat in pretty paper and a big bow. Limbaugh and others did not help the Republican cause, if anything they helped alienate people. These individuals knew who their listeners were and they spoke to them. These individuals showed up at McCain rallies, they went on television with outrageous comments. It is really sad if Limbaugh, and the others represent your beliefs. All many Americans heard was racism and hatred, and fortunately we as Americans rejected it to the tune of 66 million people.

    November 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. frieda


    November 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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