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. Andrew

    I can't believe these right wingers are so out of touch. They can't see that this really hurting them outside of the far right. Most people can't stand Rush and the dems know that. If they tie Limbaugh to leading the GOP they won't win another general election in my lifetime.

    March 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Center of the Middle

    No need to call Mr. Limbaugh names.

    His words continue to prove how divisive he and his Grand OLD Party truely are....

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

    CNN has to talk about something other that the horrendous harm Obama is doing to our economy. We small business owners who actually employ people know how bad a shape things are and Obama is not helping. Well I take that back he might be helping these no accounts that can't take care of their own mortgage.

    March 3, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Rumsfeld

    Mr. Dean may be well-advised to sit on the sidelines during this brawl. No one will win ultimately. If leading Repugs. are unable to rein in Mr. Limbaugh and his verbage then they must consent to his behavior on their behalf.

    They would be wise to shut him down. His comments do nothing to further their efforts and are effectively making the GOP look worse than before. I supported Bush for what I thought were the right reasons. He was beyond disappointing and I see nothing in the GOP at this juncture to have hope for them in the future....and now they produce Limbaugh? Oh my god.....

    Just sit back folks and watch the Repugs digest themselves. It won't be pretty.

    March 3, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Matt

    People don't respond to Limbaugh? Actually, they do! and if they didn't that's fine, because he's a lunatic, he SHOULD be ignored. and Jean, you are a fool, if you really think a "corrupt msm" had an effect on the election. Please god, tell me these aren't the people controlling who the next pres will be.

    March 3, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. gary, gpp

    Sieg Heil Herr Limbaugh !

    March 3, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Peter (CA)

    Nice to see the usual cast of right wingers on here bleating on about thing they do not understand.
    Get it right folks: Obama is doing his job. He is putting this country back on track. You can listen to your lords and masters whine about socialism but it is just because they have no idea how to fix this mess they had a major responsibility for.

    I agree with you Sniffit, we should not gloat too much. That would make us as bad as them.

    March 3, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Scandal

    WOW....well the RNC has finally sunk to their all time low! They have a drug induced, hate monger as thier leader!

    March 3, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. agathe

    To let someone like Rush Limbaugh become the de facto leader of GOP shows how in disarray the GOP is. I would love to be Rush, I would love to say whatever in my mind and get paid for it. Rush Limbaugh forgets that America is a democracy and the majority has chosen President Obama to be our Leader. Rush wishes to have the respect of the majority but maybe in his next life after he does his penance.

    March 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Cindy

    Ok, Steele is done, fini... who's next? Can no one speak their mind against the mighty Limbaugh? Just think... Republicans were beating Obama up for belonging to a church with an incindiary pastor. Why didn't he speak up? Why didn't he walk out? Now look at these very same Republicans... Afraid to speak? And this isn't 20 year old tapes we're digging up, this is in real time.

    Shameful... And you guys want to call yourselves leaders? Patriots? Disgraceful.

    March 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. john

    pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!

    March 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Marge

    ENOUGH ENOUGH Limbaugh has got such a swelled head now, he can't fit thru doors. The more people talk about him the more his ego inflates.

    All he is a a gossip mongler. Someone who fabricates, spews and slurs and the sooner the republicans start to ignore him he will fade away.

    Real republicans do not, repeat, do not sanction this guy they shudder when they hear his name. So please please give it a rest and HE WILL FADE INTO THE BACKGROUND.

    March 3, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Charlie

    LOL. I like how all of you say Limbaugh is the leader of the conservatives when it proves you didn't read the article. Just like you idn't read the Obama Stimulus Bill, you just went off what you were told about it and took the word of a man who has no experience in politics.

    So congratulations money hungy liberals, we are set to crash and burn. You should feel greatful that people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are willing to stand up against the Democrap Party just like all you hypocrites did when you called Bush every name you could think of.

    How do you like your own medicine?

    March 3, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. jose

    limbau is just coming in to take advantage of the of the gops losses, these people are just about egos not results. He's in denial and the face of the republican party looks like it has alzheimers's.

    March 3, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. cnnnewser

    Limbaugh is just loving all this atention – he's earning his $800 million paycheck! LOL
    It's refreshing to see the Democrats finally stand up to the Republicans... the entertainment value is priceless.

    March 3, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Veteran in Kansas

    I would call Limbaugh many things, a non-serving, drud addicted paper lion for one, but significant, never.

    March 3, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Don Vito Corleone

    Who is this "Limburger" who calls himself "Godfather"?
    I know of no such man in the family.

    Fredo, Sonny, Michael! see to it that tonight, he sleeps with the fishes!

    March 3, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. ari from virginia

    Its horses heads at the foot of the bed for everyboy!!!!

    Liiiiiiimbaaaaaaah said so!!!

    How funny :>)

    March 3, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. arithmetic is liberal

    Rush is a school yard bully.

    Republicans are the little sycophants who hang out with him.

    And conservative voters keep getting their lunch money stolen, given wedgies and swirlies by this guy, and still worship him.

    March 3, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. xcusme

    Everyone says there are sorry to Rush. What hold does he have? Wow what a sprial they are in.

    March 3, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    How could the GOP seriously ally themselves with an ill-informed, draft-dodging, arrogant, rude loud mouth shock jock with an obvious eating disorder, a fake name and multiple drug addictions as their guiding light? Steele is sadly being an Uncle Tom figure for this self serving lot. Heaven help America if that party takes the White House back with a third rigged election, as they surely could not win fair and square with Limbaugh and Coulter and Palin at the helm. More and more the GOP seems straight off the Jerry Springer show....and they expect us to elect and respect them?

    March 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Steve in Louisville

    This is one of the most brilliant political tactics I've ever seen the Democrats employ: Define the Republicans as the Party of Rush Limbaugh.

    And instead of denying it, the GOP stands up, salutes and hollers "seig heil" because they are so afraid of Rush they can't do otherwise.

    Now it will become a popularity contest between Limbaugh and Obama.

    And there's nothing the Repubs can do about it now. Can we say "check mate?"

    March 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. ines

    Republicans are at a crossroads. They have to either concur and support their leader, Rush Limbaugh, and ALL he represents and ALL he h a t e s. Or, recognize the party's current irrelevant status and distance themselves from the GOP.

    March 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Ken

    Nah..OxyRush looks more like an extra large version of Mussolini to me.

    March 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. JJ in NY


    March 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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