March 3rd, 2009
01:57 PM ET
13 years ago

DNC chair: Limbaugh is the GOP's 'Wizard of Oz'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Limbaugh is 'the godfather' of the GOP, said DNC chairman Tim Kaine."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The chairman of the Democratic National Committee persisted Tuesday in calling attention to his Republican counterpart Michael Steele’s apology to Rush Limbaugh, describing the radio host as “the Wizard of Oz” and “the godfather” of the GOP.

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine told CNN that Steele’s backpedaling from earlier criticisms of the talk show host proves that Limbaugh is "the Wizard of Oz, you know, who kind of oversees everything" in the Republican Party.

Earlier in the day, Kaine told MSNBC that Limbaugh is “clearly the godfather, or the he-who-must-be-obeyed in Republican politics these days.”

“When Chairman Steele over the weekend pointed out that the kinds of comments that Rush Limbaugh has been making, hoping the president will fail, pointing out that those were ugly and incendiary, I thought that that took some guts to say that,” Kaine told CNN.

“But then the fact that he backtracked immediately leaves me wondering, okay, so is Rush Limbaugh the guy that's really in charge of the party?”

Democrats are eager to highlight the GOP skirmish: Kaine made several cable appearances Tuesday and released two statements criticizing Steele after the RNC chair called Limbaugh to apologize for calling him an “entertainer” and saying his comments can be “ugly.”

Story updated 12:36 p.m.

Filed under: Michael Steele • Rush Limbaugh • Tim Kaine
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. cheryl

    Since the Republicans keep making fun of the dirty word {socialism) what do they consider happend in the early churc h? The Apostle Paul said that everyone brought what they had to the church and then it was evently distributed to all the believers. In this way, everyone had enough. Doesn't that sound like what we are calling socialism? The church was founded on this principal until the religion of capitalism took over.

    March 3, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Mark Ferbet

    I have to admit, it makes one wonder what they owe Rush, if they are willing to go so far as to apologize for speaking the truth about the guy... maybe he is the new GOP standard bearer... if that's the case.... that's good news for the Democrats... because the majority of America truly despises that guy...

    March 3, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. mkn

    Hey Scott:
    Don't forget who the Republicans slobbered over during the election
    Joe NOT the plumber, who owed back taxes. Hmmmmm..pot callling kettle black alarm

    March 3, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Andrew Amato

    Rush is a conservative; not a Republican.This past election gave the country the choice between a Democrat ( John McCain ) and a Socialist – Obama.
    We are now seeing what change looks like moving from a market based economy to a centrally controlled economy that makes our people totally controlled by goverment.I have real fears for our children who will have to pay for these programs. America will wake up but by then it will be to late. Our country will be weaken and our ememies are coming.Rush is trying to wake up this country by exposing the road we are being taken down

    March 3, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. James Reed

    It is clear that the new GOP chairman is a retrogression of the GOP. He is obgviously chosen on the philoposy that there should be a spook to sit by the door.

    March 3, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. arithmetic is liberal

    regina: I completely disagree.

    To CNN, I say RUSH ON!! Keep talking about that bloated monument to his own self hatred.

    After all, the only way to make a cockroach go away is to shine a light on it.

    March 3, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. z

    Jeff March 3rd, 2009 1:29 pm ET stated:
    If you want to give all of your liberty to the government (or political party, it's the same difference really), then sure I bet you hope the president succeeds, but um, some of us actually like our liberty.

    Although I suppose if you're actually upset that people hope the president fails, you've already given that trust over to a single leader and are willing to throw out the constitution, might as well just declare us a monarchy if that's the attitude about government that the majority have in this country. We just got rid of George the Bush, might as well make way for KING OBAMA.

    I'll be looking for a plane ticket out, even living in the wilderness of Africa or with Obama's half brother in his shack would be better than living under a dictatorship. The people in this country are either too brainwashed, or too stupid to really understand what's happening to them."

    Let's chip in and buy the ticket for Jeff to live overseas. I Betcha he would not make 2 weeks in Africa!!!!!

    Change is coming the way...have a nice trip.

    March 3, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. mark in oakland

    Now is someone who wants the president to fail during a time of war, guilty of treason? Because if so, that is an offense against the country, to which you can be executed. To me it seem like this guy is walking a tightrope. A politcal spokesperson, who is addicted to perscription meds, and someone who just registered to vote within the last ten years, this is a Democrats dream come true.

    March 3, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Tom in Delaware

    Hey CNN, how's the censorship goin' today?

    Still no chance of you guys actually printing a whole and complete story so that the casual reader could understand the context.

    That's OK.

    The MSM and the Democratic Party are one and the same, everybody with half a brain already knows that.

    Sorry to hear about your ratings this year...right up there with must be so proud.

    You're following in the footsteps of the 'Gray Lady' herself...awesome.

    Guess you're still peeved about Rush plugging Fox News about a dozen times at CPAC.

    JFK was right..."The first causalty of war is truth."

    March 3, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. lovable liberal

    I wouldn't kiss any part of Rush, much less what he's offering to Michael Steele and the rest of the Republican Party. But it's hilarious watching this play out.

    March 3, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. arithmetic is liberal

    aware March 3rd, 2009 3:32 pm ET

    I am an Independent and former democrat who can say with conviction that Rush in context makes more sense than anyone I have heard recently!

    And I have never listened to him before.

    Isn't that a paradox?

    March 3, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |

    The Wizard of Oz – I can just see him as a talking head behind a curtain!!! LOL

    March 3, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. Darin

    He should be the cowardly lion, he fat enough for the job.

    March 3, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. once upon a horse

    I just recall reading that Jesus said for the rich to give all their money to the poor......

    sounds like socialism to me! BTW in response to Minnesotan why liberals don't have talk shows is because most libs can think for THEMSELVES and don't need bloated overpaid radio hosts to think and tell them how to DITTOHEAD ditto meaning same.

    March 3, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Nancy

    The GOP is leaderless and in that vaccum Rush, a guy not to miss an opportunity to feed his ego, has moved in. He cares about one think-himself and feeding his ego. The Republican party is showing how weak they are right now and will never be able to appeal the under 30 crowd and the changing demographics. I am so tired of this party thinking they have they have a lock on morality and everyone else is somehow morally defunct. The GOP party is on its way to breathing its last, unless it can somehow GET IT.

    March 3, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. chuck


    March 3, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Independent, IL

    Hannity/Limbaugh=HOT air and no brain. Just a couple of VERY big mouths.

    March 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. worriedmom

    The WIMP calling Rush the Godfather. Now that is funny! I thought Obama was the Godfather with his thugs surrounding him. Kaine did nothing for the State of Va as Governor. Oh I take that back, he made sure we all knew and saw his "Slobbering" over his "Precious One". Kaine is a joke! Want to find something interesting with Kaine, watch his eyebrows!!! People in Va are always making fun of him. You Democrats have got a loser for the DNC! and by the way, we may have Rush but it is better any day than Queen Pelosi and King Harry! You should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing them to stay! Maybe they can both take the Sin Express to Nevada and Nancy can carry her "precious marsh rat" with her!

    March 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Ken

    @ Joe

    Olbermann's show hasn't been on for eight years, it's more like five years and Matthews is hardly a liberal. As I recall he was all tingly when Pres Codpiece was in his flight suit.

    Rush can keep bashing away. All it's doing is drive Obama's approval rating through the roof!

    You bozos on the right seem to be a tad sensitive.

    March 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. chris

    where was rush 5or6 yrs.ago when all this mess was starting,haven't heard about all the scandels in the stocks all those people cheating the system.

    March 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Freddie

    I like Rush, if for no other reason than he annoys you liberal nimrods to no end.

    March 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Angela in Atlanta

    Ha Ha Ha!!! What a joke. We voters will chew Rush up and spit him back out just like we did Palin. I can't wait. That man is not fit to lead anything. If that is the best that the Republican party can come up with I can't wait for the debate to begin. Rush for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It might be hard to swallow but too get rid of him for once and for all bring it on.

    March 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. snowbear

    Rush needs a proper vetting now that he has been proclaimed the King of the GOP.Lets all take a good look at his castle too,with google earth.

    March 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. JB Cal

    Oh so now the shoe is on the other foot.

    Guys like Olberman, Matthews can spew liberal vial for eight years when Bush was president and it was all fine and dandy with you zombie like Obama supporters.

    Now that a conservative is voicing his opinion of a liberal president all we hear is WAAAAAH! WAAAAAAH! WAAAAAAAH!!!!

    For the person that said Rush is a domestic terrorist: They should take your login away for being such a moron.
    They must be pretty understanding, they allowed you to keep yours.

    March 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. gary, gpp

    @ Joe

    He is a domestic terrorist. He is also an inflammatory gas bag who would have been right at home in 1933 Germany.

    March 3, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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