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. Keith, Salt Lake

    Rush Limbaugh is just a vile individual, with an enormous ego and represents all that is wrong with politics. If you are able to listen to him and actually get past his enormous ego, he does have SOME valid points. Like all these talking heads, its not so much the message but the messenger's delivery that turns people off. I am a fiscal conservative and a social democrat, but Republicans are unable to separate themselves from the religious fanatics which form their base, and as such will never get my vote.

    March 3, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. WI Cheesehead

    We know who the GOP puppet is and who the kingpin is and as long as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter of the rightwing nuts keep calling the shots, the GOP will remain the mess that it has become full of busy bodies trying to look relevant. Look at McCain also who's now trying a hand at the root cause of a crisis that everyone else seems to know but him and his bipartisan gimmicks for bipartisanship sake.

    March 3, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |

    That's what the PUBS need... another McCarthy.

    March 3, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. nclaw441

    Lots of name-calling and insults of Rush Limbaugh, but not a SINGLE comment attempting to discredit the actual points he makes. I am beginning to think that the democrats cannot come up with an argument against him. So, if you think Limbaugh is dumb, and you cannot argue effectively on the substance of what he says, what does that say about YOU???

    March 3, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Kathy

    So, a Draft Dodging, College Drop Out, Narcotic Addicted, Morbidly Obese used care saleman is the head of the GOP!!! Steele – "you da man" and are "off da hook" and a spineless jelly fish! KEEP IT UP!!!!

    March 3, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. ldk

    Give me a break. Surely we continue to be the laughing stock of the entire universe.

    March 3, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Rush certainly is leading the Republican Party. And if it follows – praying for, and working toward, the failure of our government – then who is to blame when the US falls?

    March 3, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. ron

    What happend to the party of Lincoln and Roosevelt? Oh yea, Reagan.

    March 3, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Elizabeth

    Limbaugh is a hypocritical joke... If the Republicans want to follow the pied piper of stupid off into crazyland, let them. Who cares? Let Limbaugh be the "Godfather" of the GOP. If the GOP is dumb enough to swallow his hateful rhetoric they deserve whatever they get.

    March 3, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Debby

    I like Steele, but when Limbaugh made those hope President fails comment it was about Obama becoming a socialist with government spending.

    March 3, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. greg in jax

    wow... i just recieved my copy of acceptable quotes from reublicans


    "dems are socialists"

    and "i am sorry rush"

    when will they ever learn,that we tried their way for 8 years,and the leaders of the private sector decided to send american jobs and money to foreign countries, including ,taliban loving , bin laden hiding pakistan, and those that didnt do that, just put their money in off shore bank accounts... republcians just dont get it... they have this idealistic idea that if you give the top 1% all the money they can get, that it will trickle down to the 5million plus unemployed.. guess what.. the people you are putting your trust in are greedy "madoffs" who would screw their mother over for the almighty dollar.. republicans need to readdress the principles and figure out who they can truly trust to rebuild our country.. because the plan they have now, just doesnt work for americans.. as i have stated above..

    and for those that are concerned that democrats may lose focus,,, dont worry, we are well aware of the mess that republicans created and now the rest of us have to clean up after.. the mission is clear, to make the united states of america a country for all of its citizens, not just the top 1%... this rush "the glutonous cowardice racist hypocritical drug addict" limbaugh stuff is like the inflight entertainment while we go from point a , the hole that republicans left us all in to point b, the place where democracy works for all of its citizens

    March 3, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Wow

    Are they not any republican's out there who are willing to stand up to people like Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter? i mean come on grow a back bone. any time any of them say something that Limbaugh doesn't like they back down to him and say they were wrong. are they insane? you're saying that a pill-popping druggie is right and your wrong. no wonder the GOP is failing they are letting the hate mongering rich people speak for them. they are so out of touch its not funny

    March 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. whitpjm

    If Rush knows all, why doesn't he run for office? According to him he could fix all problems we face. Come on Rush, be patriotic and help us all instead of yourself. What a waste!

    March 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Blatherskite

    What do you get when you cross Limbaugh and Steele?

    Hip Hop Hypocrisy!

    March 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. tigerakabj

    Obama in January – "You can't listen to Rush Limbaugh, and get anything done." He baited Limbaugh, and Rush took it hook, line, and sinker.

    Now everybody knows who leads the Grand Old Party. His demeanor, his message, and his appearance speak for themselves and speak for the party. So GOP officials, bow down to Rush and bring him gifts or he will be angry and wage war against you.

    I've got my popcorn and raisinets and I'm enjoying the show. After Bush nearly destroyed this country, it is only fitting that his party go down just like the economy and our reputation around the world has.

    March 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Matt B

    Are you kidding me...the stock market has dropped 20% since the Obama administration took office, money is being printed like it's a game of Monopoloy, more people here in the US are losing jobs and their homes and the global markets are crashing because everyone with any sense of economics knows how ridiculous this administration's policies are...yet they are concerned with a talkshow host. This is pathetic.

    March 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. tsol ton si lla

    No news...Mr. President how about reigning in your Secretary of State before she creates her own 800 billion stimulus bill for terrorists toys!

    March 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. Joe in NJ

    "Mari March 3rd, 2009 12:19 pm ET


    But the Dems have no problem perpetuating it with stupid statements about Limbaugh and crowning him the head of the GOP.

    March 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Mutton

    Rename the Thugs – Laughing Stock Party.

    March 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Joel Hoshkins

    Kaine and Emanuel better keep talking about Rush Limbaugh because they're failing America on the economy. They don't want to talk about the economy, better to stick to these Limbaugh distractions.

    March 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. MisterT

    Okay, listen up!

    For Pete's sake, stop generalizing all Republicans as Limbaugh-loving, Obama-hating, (insert polarizing catchphrase here)! You all doing this does nothing to unite anyone, nor does it put you in anyone's good graces. I realize that many people don't really care, but there are some of us who would love to see a little bit of professional/mature/thought-provoking debate come out of these comments pages. This goes for anyone and everyone on here! It's a shame! Act like adults, please!

    March 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Irma in North Carolina

    What is the matter with Steele anyway that he apoligized to Rush. Rush is a pig and steele should of even not let him speak that night. The Republicans are sick to even listen to this kind of person give a speech. The republicans are just digging them selves deeper in their own hole. I sure glad that i know longer belong to the republican party.

    March 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. CJ

    The republicans are a bunch or brats! If you do not give me what I want I will cry and cry. What a joke!

    March 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. prosanto, Phoenix

    As an immigrant from India,I find it amazing that the Republican political establishment is operated like a rich white cult scared to loose their command and control over others. The Japanese have driven the US auto industry into Michigan lake, stifled the birth of electronic manufacturing in America, Chinese took textile industry and transformed to supply Walmart. Sports has been dominated by Blacks. Now Americans have replaced the gufus from Texas with intelligent, smart Chicago native. The Republican cult members should move to trailor parks where you came from.

    March 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. NoLeftTurn

    Why do you idiot liberals think all republicans agree with Rush? I listen to all sides, including your leftists Rachel and Keith and make up my own mind. So just shut up with this "godfather" crap!!

    March 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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