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. Craig

    Tough guy...

    Too bad he did not have the backbone to say any of this when he was running for office.

    That is what is missing in Washington

    People who will say the tough thing and put themselves at risk while their career is active.

    see ya Chuck1

    By th eway I hear plenty of answers to our problems coming from talk radio but Chuck clearly does not listen or he may have learned something.

    November 18, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    Senator Chuck Hagel deserves a medal for speaking out against Limbaugh (Limbarf) and those like Limbarf for making a mockery of AM radio talk shows, and for speaking out against his Republican compatriots who think that Limbarf and his ilk are the core of the Republican Party.

    Senator Hagel, no one will take away your birthday or send you to Vietnam for standing up for what you think is right.

    November 18, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. tomagoose

    Welcome to the team Hagel! This is the commone sense Republicans who we need to see more of if the Republicans are to reform their party. They need to get back to the Reagan and Lincoln aspects roots of their parties instead of the ignorant Limbaughs of the world! Ignorance is as ignorance does.

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

    Chuckie is just angling for a plush job in the Obama administration, or as a shill on MSNBC. If he was really interested in a fair and nonpartisan media, then he'd go after the NY Times for its ripping on Sarah Palin & family instead of reporting on Obama. The NY Times score:

    Bristol Palin 3 front page stories
    Bill Ayers zero
    Tony Rezko zero

    November 18, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. AZU

    PLUS SEAN HANNITY!!!!!!!!!

    November 18, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Amy

    rush promotes racism...he's a jerk!!!

    November 18, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Shawn

    Don't listen to Rush & didn't vote for Chuck! Neither of their remarks affects me.

    November 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Chris in SC

    The battle lines have been drawn ... will the GOP follow moderates like Hagel or rabid partisans like Limbaugh??? It is telling that Limbaugh is so good at causing division that even his favored party is now split in two ... make your own conclusion from that.

    November 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Obama 08

    Obama, pick this guy for Sec. of Defense!

    November 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. steve

    That is simply AWESOME!! Maybe one day we can get these hate-filled nutjobs like Libaugh, Hannity, and hundreds of local guys off the air. For good.

    November 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Debbye in NC

    Boycott the advertisers of the Hate Mongers, like Limbaugh, Oreilly, Hannity, Savage. It got rid of Imus and it will do the same for these guys. The dollar is the mightiest vote in media.

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

    Eva – maybe you and Rush should tell Dick "I'm the 4th branch of the Government" Cheney and his shady cronies that.


    Well there you go…wanting a post in the Obama administration. Naturally he'll speak out against his own party. BTW, Rush offers plenty of solutions…stick to the Constitution for one.

    November 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. ny independent

    Look! Smart people on both sides of the aisle!

    November 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Denise Colorado

    and Amen

    November 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Russ

    Now I know one Republican who sees Rush Linebaugh and his ilk for what they are – a bunch of loud mouth bullies who twist and lie and have a huge audiance of believers. I have friends and relatives who fall for this all the time, and I am left wondering why.

    November 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Tony

    Hummm – let's see. The print media, main stream television markets and a handful of surviving liberal radio shows are in existance today. I don't care for what they beilieve in or say thus their voices should be silenced? Last election results I saw indicate that this nation is polarized almost to a 50-50 extent. Some seem to imply that one of the 50 percent should be shutdown. Sounds like extreme censorship to me. Anyone else agree?

    November 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Rush is Awesome

    I love socialism.

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

    Hagel is not bipartisan. He's simply very opposed to the Iraq war and has been for a few years. He's also a tool of the christian right and interested in facilitating the destruction of our planet through his refusal to support alternative energy.

    November 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Frank Lee

    I sincerely hope there is a place for Chuck Hagel in President-elect Obama's cabinet. He is a fine, honest American.

    And Sen. Hagel is dead right – time for that fat windbag Limbaugh, Hannity and their ilk to put up or shut up. The fact is, they haven't got the stones to run for office – they are all talk and no action.

    Other than destroying the GOP, Limbaugh has become a waste of flesh.

    November 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Angie-OHIO

    Well said Senator Hagel. And rush limbaugh is just a gas bag. that has crazy rants on the radio that no one cares about. i think they just keep him around for a laugh. because he is definetly a joke. So again well said Senator Hagel.

    November 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. PDX Gal

    Rush is a BAND!

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Tex Ann ~~~~~~~

    Bravo for Hagel's comments.

    He is right, people like Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, etc. don't have any answers; don't have anything good to say about anybody but themselves; and they just espouse hatred and negativity and devisiveness over & over & over... and people never question why....

    I think it's time people start asking Limbaugh & all the other holier-than-thou hate mongers to answer some serious questions.

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Anthony Cucchiara

    Finally, someone put "ditto head #1" in his place. Hagel's comments were a breathe of fresh air.

    it's about time!

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. M Paul

    Hagel, intelligent and wise man. You can't compare him to that little spirit called Rush the SMOKER who spends time sending dirty hate emails to his dirty audience.

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Eric

    Wow – what a bunch of loony lefties! It's amazing how much the liberals project their hatred and anger onto us conservatives. Who has been spewing venom for the past eight years? Certainly not us. Hagel may have an "R" next to his name, but he is no conservative. Good riddance I say. The only hope on the conservative horizon right now are good people like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Ingraham, and Levin, to name a few.....

    And who are the people who want to silence any dissenting voices? Think about it. I'm tired of being called "hatemonger," "racist," "bigot," etc. There are more of us than there are of you. The silent majority will be silent no longer. There is only so far we can be pushed.

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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