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. Joe Green


    Why does a Senator have to wait until he is nearly retired to TELL IT LIKE IT IS!

    We love you, Chuck!

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Donna

    Rush & Hannity promote Hate so much that they are depressing!

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Phil

    Though a left-leaning independent, I have always respected Hagel's intelligence and general, overall fairness.

    I hope to see him over the next four, no EIGHT years in the Obama administration!

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

    Rush is anything but a patriot and is better described as a radical.

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. It's true

    Freedom of Speech is a wonderful thing, isn't it? If you don't like Rush then turn it off. That is the beauty of this country. As for the Hag who likes to call himself a Republican please He is just trying to get a new job

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. The Eye

    Hagel: "Please, please, someone help make me relevant again!!!"

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. oregon thinker

    If we REALLY want to capture Osama Bin Ladin, all we need to do is capture some of those villagers in the area of Pakistan where Osama Bin Ladin is hiding, and lock them in a room, and play Rush Limbaugh programs in stereo, non-stop, twenty four hours a day! I know that would be torture, but I also know it would work, cause nobody could endure that kind of torture !

    November 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Lily

    Borate says: "America would be a Better Place if Idiots like Limbaugh and Hannity had no Voice to spit their Hate !!!!"

    Oh, yes, we'd be a much better country if we killed free speech. Let's make sure No One has a right to criticize the government. Just like the nice communistic countries.

    November 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. reality

    I think Hagle is right on the money. People like Hannity, and Limbaugh are extremely partisan that they skew the truth to the point of leading people to believe fallacies. What they disburse is not information, but extreme partisanship.

    But, as a democratic supporter I encourage people like hannity and limbaugh to remain. Their moronic views move the Republican part further and further away from the intelligent middle.

    November 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Vincent

    Hagel is just another RINO who is upset. He helped the Democrats much more than his own party.

    November 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Charles W. Skinner

    So Sen. Hagel wants everybody to get along. Well Senator, we tried that for the past 6 years. Guess what it got us? It got us a dysfunctional government, a crashing stock market and an utter failure of domestic energy policy. All of it can be laid at the feet of Liberal Republicans like Sen. Hagel and Liberal Democrats.

    It's time that the true Conservatives stood up and said "NO MORE" to the failure of "trying to get along." No. We should be fighting for our principles, and not waiving the white flag of surrender.

    It's time you chose a side. Either embrace conservative principles, or get the hell out of our party.

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

    Before Hagel throws stones, he better look into his own house! Amazing how Good Ole Boy can act like he is high and mighty and justice for all!!! Where were you when you were part of our economy and Fannie Mae and all that going on! Just bucking for a part of the Obama Administration!
    Keep Rush on! A lot of what he says and feels is how a great majority of people feel! I would vote for Rush. He would have all the dirty politicians on an island of their own! and for all the Libbies out there, stop your whining and grow up! You can dish it out but you can't take it!!

    November 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Coloradoan for change

    MS – you have truly lost your mind. Limbaugh and his ilk talk down to people like you and make millions in the process. Looks like you have proudly taken the bait.

    November 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. gbrown2


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

    Well gee Chuck, you were in the senate for several years. What did you do to fix the problems? I agree with what you're sayin' but wonder why it took you so long to say it.

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

    Its leader like Chuck Hagel that have kept me from quiting the Republican Party and becoming a Democrat. I am a moderate Republican and have lillte in common with the hate spewing right wing extremists like Rush Limbaugh. It amazes me that the far right extremists think they lost because they weren't conservative enough. They lost because they were too extreme right and lost the middle. They wil continue to loose unles they git rid of people like Limbaugh and Hannity, and stop letting them speak for the Republican party. republican in PA who voted for Obama- and will again unless something changes in the Republican party.

    November 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Dee Tee Gee

    I don't know much about Chuck Hagel so I'm going to be careful about jumping on his bandwagon, but he's dead on about the Rush Limbaughs & the Sean Hannitys of the world. I wish they'd stop calling it conservative radio & call it what it is, HATE RADIO!! What's scary is that both of these guys have large followings so that tells you how sick our society is.

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

    Bravo. Like to see more of this. We are behind you Chuck!

    November 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Nero

    Rush Limbaugh is nothing more than a liar. Anyone who listens to him and believes what he says is a sucker. It's a simple truth.

    November 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Liberal Democrat

    Censorship Rules!!

    November 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Leo Robertson

    The problem with guys like Limbaugh and Hannity, they can see no evil in the worst of Republicans and no redeeming value in the best of Democrats. What a waste of their "bully pulpits!"

    November 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Pete

    Why would limbaugh run for office? Rupert Murdock pays him far more than he could ever make otherwise. In July of 2001, he signed a contract worth $285 million to carry him through 2009. That's more than 30 million a year. The President, by comparison, only gets $400K a year.

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

    So true! Why are people like Rish Limbaugh even allowed to speak! Have you ever heard Rush speaking?? He sounds as if he's gonna have a heart attack any second! The man is at war with himself!

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

    I sent Sen Hagel a letter thanking him for his strength and courage for speaking out against this war. He not only sent me a letter, but he sent me a Christmas card last year! With the family picture on it! That made me smile!

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

    Let more well-meaning Republicans stand up and tell the truth. The election is over. Now let us face the truth! Let us re-build our nation!
    Parrots like Hannity have done great disservice to the nation. Republican Party is in a very bad shape now. Hannity and Group instead doing some soul-searching and constructive thinking, are still indulging in mudslinging against Obama. Hannity was blaming Obama for market melt down, even yesterday. God alone knows in which world he is living.

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