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. david harrington

    If hagel is so honest why did he wait until he was leaving? He is afraid of Rush, that is why, had he said this when running for election he would have lost. He has no loyalty or he would have helped John McCain, he has no integrity.

    November 18, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Harry, IL

    Chuck, You are useless. Just go away quietly. If Barack gives you a job, take it quietly but for me, you are good for nothing. Most ungrateful. You cannot get any votes from Nebraska anymore. Go away.

    November 18, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. kirk in upstate new york

    Sen. Hagel gets better every day!

    November 18, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Alaskan Fame Junkie

    GO CHUCK GO! I knew I liked this guy for a reason.

    November 18, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. mitch

    director of homeland security? hagel's one of the few republicans, with a real sense of democracy and patriotism left. republicans would have had a real chance if hagel had run for president.

    November 18, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. TangoDancer

    I like what this guy has to say. Such independence of thought that deviates for party orthodoxy though is highly discouraged by the GOP.

    November 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Chris (WA)


    November 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. RJ

    Finally a straight talking Republican – get Limpbough into a real debate so he and the malleable mental midgets who listen to him can defend their positions

    November 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. He's Right

    I wonder if others who tote the party line will stand up for what's right. Rush Limbaugh is an idiot who preaches hate. He makes a lot of money by being the playground bully.

    Hagel is a decent man. No one is going to ask if you were a Republican or Democrat when you die. They're going to ask whether or not you were decent.

    November 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Mike Patton

    Rush should run for office; he is a great American and a patriot.


    Pray to end abortion.

    November 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Show-Me

    Thank you Senator Hagel! Limbaugh's babbling is beyond out of control. His arrogance and the "high" he seems to get by running down our country's leaders is unreal. Enough already...I no longer listen to his show, and have stopped listening to the local radio affiliate that carries it.

    November 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Lisa

    Chuck Hagel is a smart man. He knows Rush is useless and said so, good for you!!!

    November 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. JG in Nashville

    Hagel hits the nail on the head! Limbaugh is a devisive idiot. This is a guy who started as a 2-bit disc jockey in Cape Girardeau, MO and now we listen to his rantings as though he were some sort of all-seeing god. He recent quoted that Obama has "fooled" all of us into electing him. The fools were the voters who kept "W" in office for 8 years while he destroyed the country.

    November 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. sudeen

    Now we know who the true republicans are, Rush ain't one.

    November 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. zenter

    This is the guy that is going to take the republican party out of its funk! Hagel '12!

    November 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Tony

    Senator, actually they (i.e. SOME conserative radio talk show hosts) do have some answers and that is due to the fact that they are not held hostage by lobby or special interest groups. Not saying that that could not (or even would not happen) but Congress now as a whole is a standing joke. I am very sad to say that but it is a fact. Most are only out for the next reelection and thoughts of helping their constituents and doing right for the people have faded greatly as the years have gone by. It's hard to watch the news or read newspapers anymore without becoming enraged and negative given the track record.

    November 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. karen

    He is absolutely right–watch c-span and see what is going on. You are there to tackle the country's problems -fix them not just talk about them and I believ that after 16 months of listening to Hillary demeaning Obama it is a farce that he would consider her for his cabinet. I think the majority of people have spoken -no more Clintons.

    November 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Scrooge

    Rush is Ebonezer Scrooge before his transformation. His chain will be extremely heavy and long when he dies.

    November 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Nice sentiments from what appears to be a forthright and honest man.

    Now, Senator Hagel, you are the former CEO of ES&S, which is the parent company of Diebold. Care to comment on the presidential election of 2000? You know, the one where Gore polled a staggering total of -16,003 votes in Volusia County ,Florida?!

    November 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. cpndave

    I'm just glad Glenn Beck has gotten banished to Fox. He can be with his own kind of idiots. I can't beleive he said on his show after a guy at a truck stop called him out. "Stop the hate!" when he generates all the hate that arouses thes people. They are the worst of hatemongers.

    November 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. PL

    I'm a Dem but would vote for this guy in a heart beat. Americans have been telling our law makers just what he said. I'm glad to see one republican gets it.

    November 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. tim

    Hagel is just a sore loser who wants a post on the change agenda. there have always been partisan politics and always will be. Rush is not perfect and free speech is his agenda. you people who hate the talk radio group just have no TOLERANCE to ANYONE who gives a different point of view. you have been reeducated by the very media that only survives on the first ammendment. you toss that and dont you dare say ANYTHING aginst the state or you reeducation is only in the infancy stage. Hagle will not be missed.

    November 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. John in Grand Rapids

    Sorry I am late to the fold, taking a break, busy working while the rest of you libs are lining up for my money.

    Hagel is RINO if there ever was one, just like Clinton, wet the finger, and wave it in the air to see which was the wind is blowing.

    You got Obama elected, now let's see what you do when he can't deliver the goods on all those wonderul promises he made you lemmings.

    November 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. tigerakabj

    Amen Chuck. Rush talks a big game sitting in the peanut gallery, but he is a coward who would never put his beliefs on the mound by running for anything.

    I hope to see you in the Obama cabinet.

    November 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. common sense

    Look out another one under the Obama spell. Support for the GOP is dropping before our eyes. I wonder when the rest will wake up and see it is there corrupt party leaders that have chosen the wrong path for America. Let them know that leading the blind with fear and lies will no longer work.

    November 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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