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. Los

    As we can see from some of the angrier posts in this thread, the Rushes and Hannitys have played a major role in creating a base that is incapable of compromise and whose intractability has now become a major obstacle to the GOP's hopes of survival.

    November 18, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. tiffany in ohio

    now all of the right wingnuts will tear Hagel down for being honest. let the tearing down of the party proceed. ha ha ha ha ha

    November 18, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Chris

    You liberals on here are funny. You only show support of republicans when they garner the same views that you have or when they criticize their own party. You did the same thing for McCain in 2000. However when the situation is reversed and its one of your own, like Joe Lieberman for example, you try and lynch him, calling him a traitor. Seems to me like the only thing that needs to change is the extreme partisans on both sides. And by advocating Limbaugh being kicked off the air or pursuing the fascist fairness doctrine, you are only eliminating the right of free speech that so many men and women have died to allow you to have.

    November 18, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. wanda a.

    I HAVE BEEN TELLING PEOPLE FOR YEARS, PEOPLE LIKE RUSH WILL NEVER RUN FOR A POLITICAL OFFICE CAUSE HE KNOW'S HE WILL NEVER EVER EVER GET 1% OF ANYBODY'S VOTE PERIOD.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 18, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. mtnjak

    Chuck, Rush does have answers. You'd know what those answers were if you listened to his show.

    November 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Peter (CA)

    Hmmm, so Hagel is a hypocrite and a fool but Lieberman is a true independent voice.

    It's obvious who the hypocrites are.

    MS--I was introduced to the blowhard back in 1988 before any one had ever heard of him. It did not take more than a few minutes to realize what a fool he was. Once he became famous, it just exploded from there. Just like a good right winger, "I know best, you know nothing.....and oh yeah, that whole OxyContin thing was just a dream".

    November 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Ron , West Coast

    Thank you Chuck Hagel ......
    The folks over at th Fox network are already trying to marginalize , and discredit a possible appointment to the Obama cabinet of Chuck Hagel . For instance, they say , if the Obama administration does not select a more conservative republican for a cabinet post, ( in order to have real ideas of the conservatives heard ) then, as the ex- Lt. gov., of Maryland, Michael Steel says, it will be a conservative-lite republican .
    As for the Old druggie, Rush Limbaugh, whoever our next Att. General is, one of his/her first priorties should be the investigation, a "real" investigation into the Dr. shopping, and Oxycontin use of Limbaugh .

    November 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Real Change

    Dems take Hagel and Reps take Lieberman. Everybody's happy.

    November 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. jim, kansas city MO

    Bust of Mexican hero General Alvaro Obregon in the Chaputepec palace in Mexico, below the bust are carved some wise word:
    "Don't be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you."

    Lesson for Obama, if this senator has betrayed his Republican party when the "battle" got heated up, what do you think he is going to do to Obama if his presidency turns out to be not so popular as people have predicted. Let me take a crack at it: he will turn his back on him as well....

    November 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Independent In NY

    I think Chuck Hagel is a stand-up dude

    November 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Grizzly

    Not only is it quite funny and hypocritical that Sen Hagel, and the end of his career and looking for an Obama cabinet post, decides NOW to criticize his party, Rush, etc.. What is even more amusing to me is all of the people on this comment chain that believe that he is sincere!

    November 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Helen, GA

    Chuck, you just go away. You are good for nothing. You have betrayed your people in Nebraska. Perhaps you can go to Chicago now to get a job.

    November 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. joe

    Right on Senator Chuck. Limbaugh, Beck and Dobbs. The Axis of idiots.

    November 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Independent for Obama

    Haha. Someone made fun of Limbaugh for once. Haha. Limbaugh and Hannity must have cuddled really close together on election night when the results came out. Losers. Instead of ripping people down, try to offer some solutions if you're putting country first.

    November 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Angie France

    This guy is a Republican in name only. You guys at CNN love to bash Republicans and do so at every turn. This is not news. You have turned into the National Enquirer. They report more real news than you do.

    November 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Aaron

    You tell'em Chuck!
    A man from the right with some sense, so rare.

    November 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. AEK

    The State of Nebraska has a very long history of centrist politics with many exceptional examples of elected officials reaching across party lines to govern. Working within the restraints of a Unicameral has a tendency to bring out the best in our state and national politicians. Unfortunately Rush Lamebrain and the soundly beaten right leaning Republicans are now even taking it out on the moderates in their own party. And they can't understand why Americans with a conscience are bolting from that party in droves.

    November 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Mr. Dean

    The conservative talk show hosts have harmed the republican party by luring their following into the negativity that has lost them the presidency, the senate as well as their dignity, pride and intelligence. They are only there to entertain you with frivolus conjecture, hate mongering and limited imaginations. Boycott them as well as the products advertised on their shows.

    November 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Rural CA

    Limbaugh is a demagogue, plain and simple. People are wising up.

    November 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Mr Mister

    Mr Obama: Maybe you can appoint Hagel to take your place as POTUSA when it's proven that you were born in Kenya and are NOT eligible to be Commander-in-Chief...or in your case...Marxist-in-Chief!

    November 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. George from Westerville

    Glad to hear someone from the right take a shot at the hate mongering pundits who profit by spewing venom and dividing our country. There will be a reckoning some day in this life or at least the next for those kinds of dispictable mouth pieces.

    November 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. David K in New York, NY

    Chuck Hagel is one of those (unfotunately) rare politicians who speaks the truth regardless of to whom he is speaking. I hope that even if he retires his Senate seat he is given a position in Obama's administration. Al Franken was right, Rush Limabugh is a big fat idiot!

    Hagel is just too polite to have said that!

    November 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. G

    I just hope that Obama picks the right people and is aware that some people are only looking for their own interests. There is a difference between being loyal to the President and being loyal to oneself. Hagel seems like a good person but Obama should not be too nice that people step all over him.

    November 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. mtnjak

    Chuck is not how the GOP can recover. The GOP lost the election by being moderate instead of conservative (not to mention the messiah fooling a lot of people into voting for "change").

    November 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Sam

    Chuck Hagel Rules!!!!

    November 18, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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