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. windrider

    Limbaugh doesn't say anything that members of his audience don't already believe. He is not nearly so troubling as the fact that there are 20,000,000 who think just like he does. That's not an insignificant number of people who are unreachable by logic or facts.

    March 3, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Sal

    I'm seeing a whole lot of very juvenile name calling and personal insults, but no one is addressing any of the issues that make Rush so popular. What exactly does he say that infuriates these people so much? And if he draws millions of listeners, why on earth would anybody pull his show? Are we no longer allowed to have differing opinions in this country?

    March 3, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Tim Mason, Atlanta GA

    nclaw441 – plenty of people can and have argued successfully with the "points" that Mr. Oxycontin makes. The most recent argument took place on November 4, 2008, and Mr. Oxycontin and others of his same ilk lost that argument big time. There will always be in every society a certain percentage (fortunately in this case a tiny one) of people who choose self-centered, hypocritical, flawed ideology over common sense and pragmatic thinking. In this case, those who choose to follow this self-loathing hate-monger are fortunately a tiny fraction of our society. As P.T. Barnum once said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

    March 3, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Heather

    The Republican Party just isn't what it used to be. It deserves a new name.

    March 3, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Beth

    Seriously? I mean...really seriously??

    If I was a Republican, I'd be ashamed of my party. Thank God I'm a Democrat.

    I still have NO idea what the Republican party is all about. Sadly, I don't think they know either.

    March 3, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Bankrupt

    As a lifelong Republican, I have to say Tim Kaine is exactly right. Instead of a Republican officeholder as a party leader my party has an unelected radio personality to whom all must pay homage. The leadership vaccuum my party has now is a dream come true for Obama.

    March 3, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. Michael

    I'm going to paraphrase and update something written over a decade ago by, interestingly enough, Al Franken:

    "In a way, I admire Rush Limbaugh. He's a man who stands by his principles. And the more hateful and divisive those principles, the smarter I'm going to look in 2012 when Limbaugh single-handedly scares the country into re-electing Barack Obama."

    March 3, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Tellin' it like it is

    They should reopen Gitmo and install Rush Limbaugh as its only inmate. Here is all you need to know about this man.

    If presented with a choice between two outcomes:

    A) the country working its way out of the recession via Obama's economic policies, or B) the country moving into depression after enaction of obama's policies,

    Rush, by his own admission, would choose the latter, i.e., to live and let die. He would allow people to suffer for the sake of being able to say 'i told you so.' Real humanitarian, that guy.

    March 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Will in Philadelphia

    I'm very grateful to Rush, Sarah Palin and Joe the Plummer for becoming the new face of the republicans.

    They are making sure that the party stays to the very, very far right.

    These facts are to make sure that the Democrats win a bigger majority in both houses and keeping the republicans in the wilderness for a long, long, long time.

    Again, thank you Rush and his listeners.

    March 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    even a bad kid likes to get attention and that is exactly what the media and even the Dems are Rush all the "love" that he wants. I bet his ratings go up now. If you stop feeding a stray dog it will eventually go away. Think about it.

    March 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Ken


    Get over yourself. No one is buying your garbage any more. You and your precious Rushbo have nothing to offer this country except division and hate.

    Your soon to be irrelevant party had your fun, now it's time for the adults to clean it up.

    Here's what the Republican Party has been reduced to:

    Southern Republicans are still fighting the Civil War.

    Evangelical Republicans want to bring back the Salem Witch Trials.

    Business type Republicans want to return to the robber baron days.

    The rest of your party are still railing against the New Deal.

    March 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Christine

    The Political Ticker has because a left wing blog. CNN doesn't even try to pretend any different. Limbaugh is not a Republican, he is a Conservative.
    This is a Democratic ploy.

    March 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Truth Hurts

    Let Rush keep going. All he is doing is hurting the GOP and they will never take office back!! And Michael Steele is another gift to the Democrats because Michael is a joke too!!

    March 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Joe

    Seriously, who listens to the wisdom of Rush Limbaugh?
    Who is he; next to King Solomon in knowledge and wisdom?

    March 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. z

    Rush is the Isamlic Cleric of the GOP....He wants the GOP to gain control again so he can become the Supreme Leader just like Ayatollah Khomeini was in 1979 in Iran. really afraid of you GOP neighbor....they may turn you in one day because you are different from them !!!!

    The GOP has become the cancer of the USA that just won't go away.

    March 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Jake

    This is a brilliant move. Limbaugh, Hannity, and the rest of the extremist right wing are the reason Republicans have gotten obliterated in recent elections. We can only hope that he really is leading the GOP. If he is, the GOP's days are over.

    March 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. human being

    Uh, Limbaugh is nothing but a con artist. Everything he says is a lie to destroy our country. He is unpatriotic and a drug addict, if the conservs want to listen to him then once again the world will hate us just like they hated the W administration. The country is not safe under the GOP rulers.

    March 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. JOE

    2012 Republican DREAM TICKET,,,,Lush Limpdick and Mooseface LALIN...What a team that will be..

    March 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Independent Dave

    Do not cross der Fuhrer!

    Remember the 'Night of the Long Knives'! (1933)

    March 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Howard

    If Republicans are thinking Mr. “Getting Off Pills” Limbaugh or Mr. “Going On Pathetic" Steele are the ones they can depend on to help bring them back to power then they would be better off relying on “Grandma Overpriced Palin” because at least she knew how to dress.

    March 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    @ heather, who suggested "The Republican Party just isn't what it used to be. It deserves a new name."

    I'm partial to "The Apple Dumpling Gang"...neither of them can shoot straight. But that one's already taken, so I figure "The Fourth Reich" will have to do.

    March 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Rache from Bowie

    Steele is done!! Spineless move apologizing to the druggy conservative voice that is mount rush.

    March 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Saad Rehan Reno NV

    Limbaugh's heart is as dark as his outfit. Don't like to say that about anyone but I am sorry..if someone want's my president to fail.. he wants my country to these difficult times. He is a war mongo... just got a personal agenda with a following of limited shortsighted people. COME WITH SOLUTIONS NOT PROBLEMS!!

    March 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Max

    Why is the DNC chair telling Republicans who their leader is?

    March 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Linda in MS

    Steele is pathetic and spineless.

    March 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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