January 29th, 2009
09:17 AM ET
9 years ago

Gingrey apologizes for Limbaugh criticism

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/28/art.gingrey.gi.jpg caption="Gingrey, with his family and President Bush in 2005, represents a conservative district of Georgia."](CNN) - Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia apologized Wednesday for criticizing conservative hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hanity, assuring his supporters that "I am one of you."

"I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives—that was not my intent," Gingrey said in a statement. "I am also sorry to see that my comments in defense of our Republican Leadership read much harsher than they actually were intended, but I recognize it is my responsibility to clarify my own comments."

The mea culpa comes one day after Gingrey appeared to take issue with Limbaugh's recent criticism of congressional Republicans. The conservative radio host said GOP leaders weren't adequately challenging President Obama on his proposed stimulus package.

"I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks," Gingrey told the Politico. "You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party."

The comments, published in a Politico story Tuesday afternoon, immediately prompted a flood of calls from aggrieved conservatives to Gingrey's congressional office, prompting the Georgia Republican to issue a clarification reasserting his conservative bona fides.

"As long as I am in the Congress, I will continue to fight for and defend our sacred values. I have actively opposed every bailout, every rebate check, every so called 'stimulus,' Gingrey said in the statement. "And on so many of these things, I see eye-to-eye with Rush Limbaugh."

Gingrey represents a conservative swath of Georgia stretching northwest of Atlanta to the Alabama border, and easily won reelection last November with close to 70 percent of the vote.

Still, many rank-and-file conservatives from both inside Gingrey's district and around the country openly expressed their dismay with the remarks, sparking concern within the congressman's office that the comments were being misinterpreted and could ultimately prove damaging.

"Those guys are some our biggest supporters, and we need them," Chris Jackson, a spokesman for Gingrey, told CNN of Limbaugh and Hannity.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (658 Responses)
  1. wishing

    Let's hope Georgia says goodbye to Phil. He is against everything except lower taxes for the rich. He believes lower taxes will solve everything. He is against the government. He believes the government is the problem. Tell that to those whose savings have been guaranteed by the government FDIC. Tell those living on Social Security.

    Apologizing to Rush, after his nasty and negative comments: cheap homage for uninformed votes.

    January 28, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Dennis

    Outstanding! I now have no doubt that the so-called conservatives will continue their descent into the crapper where they belong. I guess the beating they took in the last two elections hasn't sunk in. Denial is a beautiful thing.

    January 28, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  3. Polly

    Hannity is pretty respectable.

    January 28, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  4. mike d

    another gutless congressman. amazing that these elected officials cede party leadership to a big lying bag of wind like limbaugh. it is no mystery to me as to why the last elections turned out the way they did.

    January 28, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. Jan Illinois

    If I were a betting person, I'd say that this man will not be reelected if he is a supporter of Rush.

    January 28, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Willy

    It's too bad when yiu can't tell the truth about something because your supporters can't see the truth because of their ideology!

    January 28, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. Fish

    Why are our elected officials not responding to Rush. I do not think Rush can stand up at a fast food for 4 hours cooking burgers. Yet, he sit down making millions. He distorts the truth or state what he desires He needs a real job,making $8.00 an hour. Also, many of our elected officials need to visit the low wage earner and live their lives
    for one year.

    January 28, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Good grief!! Does this mean that a typical Republican truly listens to Rush Linbaugh? If so, this is frightening. . .because he is the curse of America.

    January 28, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. S.S.n Arizona

    I have for years hoped that Limbaugh's jaws would lock. Ditto for Hannity. Gingrey should open his eyes to look around and notice that many Republicans have lost or been tossed out of their offices by citizen electors. He is not guarenteed a seat in Congress. The boot can target his rear side. He has joined my wish list for locked jaws.

    January 28, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. MV

    Why is this drug abuser getting so much air/press time? The only difference between Rush and "regular" drug abusers is that they would get theirs by prescription if they could and people like Rush would buy theirs on the street if they had to.

    January 28, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. Lysheen

    This epitomizes what is wrong with today's Republican party. That they are so beholden to partisan political cheerleaders is why America has decided to leave them behind.

    January 28, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. cliff

    Gingrey grew a BACKBONE then immediately lost it
    To Say that I hope Obama Fails is like saying I hope America
    fails that is why so called christian conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are mentioned in the Bible when JESUS said "I NEVER KNEW YOU"

    January 28, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. vel

    How sad. If you don't toe the party line you get threatened. Sounds like the Baath Party or worse.
    You know, I'm sure most Republicans would insist that they were good Christians. What good Christian supports people that are known liars? Do they read their bible and know that God doesn't like people who lies?

    January 28, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. BJ

    Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are just expressing their own values and values of the Republican party. No more than any Democrat expressing their values. Sorry, but it's a double standard when it comes to the media.

    January 28, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. greg allen

    this guy represents no one, his is just a kiss-a– who is looking to keep his job.

    January 28, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Ken

    Gingrey, you were right the first time! Have the courage to stand behind what you said. I am sorry that you backed down. It is about time to call these two idealogues on their nonsense, not bow down to them.

    January 28, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. ctryman

    I believe in the freedom of speech , but I think that some republicans go to the extreem and find pleasure in putting others down to make themselves feel superior.

    January 28, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Sandra Dee

    Ish! Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hanity are two of the biggest bimbos on television. Now, it almost sounds like they are really running the Republican party. How can any intelligent person take them seriously!? Why do they follow Rush and Sean and not Colin Powell?

    January 28, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. Harry

    Wow. Political suicide!

    Why don't you say you agree with Palin while you're at it!

    The guy clearly doesn't understand how the wind is blowing. Nobody gives a crap about Rush any more.

    January 28, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. catmom

    WOW, Republicans are truly groveling to keep Rush Limbaugh happy. If you have ever listened to this egotistical pill popper you will understand what has happened to this party. Sad, so sad

    January 28, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. susie

    Does anyone know who we are borrowing this $825 billion from?

    January 28, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. Rob

    I guess the GOP is now in the business for censoring the truth. What a said shape it is in? To be republican means to be an individual with moral and ethical corruption.

    January 28, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. Chris Hartz

    Limbaugh is drug addict and small minded fascist.

    January 28, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. Polly

    Sometimes...Rush exaggerates the liberal mind a lot...He really either doesn't understand them or he's nuts...lol...liberals don't understand spiritual truth...but Rush is right...they often act out of and think with their "emotions." Obama will play right into the enemy's hands if he ignores wisdom.

    January 28, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  25. JT in Fla

    What a sorry piece of GARBAGE. Both Limbaugh and Gingrey.They both are a sorry excuse for human beings.

    January 28, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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