March 3rd, 2009
05:30 AM ET
13 years ago

GOP chairman Steele backs off Limbaugh criticism

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rush will say what Rush has to say; we'll do what we have to do, RNC Chairman Michael Steele has said."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Over the weekend, Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele called Rush Limbaugh's rhetoric "incendiary" and "ugly" and insisted that he, not Limbaugh, is in charge of the GOP.

But that was two days ago. Monday, after a blistering response from the conservative talk-radio kingpin, Steele told the online journal Politico that he "was maybe a little bit inarticulate."

"There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership," Steele said. He added, "There are those out there who want to look at what he's saying as incendiary and divisive and ugly. That's what I was trying to say. It didn't come out that way."

Steele's original remarks came from an interview on CNN's "D.L. Hughley Breaks the News," which aired Saturday. They came as Democrats, including White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, have tried to paint Limbaugh - who has said he wants to see the Obama administration "fail" - as the effective head of the opposition party.

Steele rejected the idea, saying, "I'm the de facto leader of the Republican Party."

"Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh's whole thing is entertainment," Steele told CNN. "Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly."

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Filed under: Michael Steele • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Independent_me

    Mr. Steele is SPINELESS!

    Mr. JELLO!

    March 3, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. GeorgeAnne

    It's pathetic to see how far down the Republican Party has sunk.

    March 3, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. John in Binghamton

    Sorry Daddy Rush I have sinned against you!!!

    What a joke.

    March 3, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Renee in Pitts

    I look for many Republican seats to go Democratic. the Republican Party has fallen apart.

    March 3, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. Thinking Straight


    March 3, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. obama-mama

    What a punk.....

    March 3, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Scot

    Limbaugh is just a drunk heckler!

    March 3, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Mathew

    God's Own Party (GOP) committing suicide by hanging on ROP (Rush's Own Party)

    March 3, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. Beejay

    Hahahaha....just as so many predicted. What's with the Republicans?

    March 3, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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