March 5th, 2009
03:16 PM ET
13 years ago

Limbaugh: A deliberate distraction or de facto leader?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Radio host Rush Limbaugh has been vocal about his displeasure with President Obama's policies."]
(CNN) - As Democrats cast conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh as the de facto leader of the GOP, Republicans are decrying what they see as an orchestrated scheme designed to divert attention from the Democrats' spending proposals.

Democrats fired out two political e-mails about Limbaugh on Thursday morning, calling him the face of the GOP, and Republicans sent out one of their own, demanding that the White House "come clean" about and apologize for a "political attack game."

An e-mail sent on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee states: "Rush Limbaugh is the leading voice of the Republican Party. Make no mistake. When Rush says jump, congressional Republicans say how high?"

The committee says that while President Obama has reached out a hand to Republicans, the GOP has "preferred to kowtow to extremists like Limbaugh rather than accept the good faith outreach of our president."

The letter asks readers to sign the committee's petition - which will be sent to Senate Republicans - "demanding that they reject the disgraceful words of Rush Limbaugh and start working with President Obama on real solutions for the American people."

Also on Thursday, the Democratic National Committee announced in an e-mail its plans to buy billboard space in West Palm Beach, Florida, criticizing Limbaugh for opposing Obama's policies.

The DNC sent an e-mail to supporters Thursday soliciting a "slogan in ten words or less" that will appear on the billboard in Limbaugh's hometown. "If Republican leaders aren't willing to tell Rush, then we will," DNC Executive Director Jen O'Malley Dillon wrote in the e-mail.

On the Republican side, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas sent an e-mail to supporters of the National Republican Senatorial Committee asking them to sign a petition demanding that the White House apologize for not focusing on "the hard work that needs to be done to get America's economy back on track."

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Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Ethan


    He is both the de facto leader of the GOP *and* a distraction tactic perpetrated by the GOP to get America off the topic of how Obama is fixing our problems.

    Nothing new really. Just more of the same fear tactics from the Republican Party. It is clearly not working. Obama and the Dems are doing great.

    March 5, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. a REAL American

    Give me a break.... Limbaugh is not now nor does he want to be the "leader" of the Republican Party. This is merely a chance for Democrats to cast Obama's critics as "extremists." What they don't realize is that Limbaugh is the voice of millions of unhappy people who are appalled (yes, appalled) at the direction Democrats are taking this country. And we are not "extremists" or "sheeple" like all you enlightened liberals want to believe, but rather hardworking, proud, and patriotic Americans.

    We don't want to see this great nation turn into something like France- this nation has been built upon 200+ years of capitalism and free enterprise, which is the reason we have produced such great opportunists such as Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and many others. They didn't have the government telling them how to do something, and we definitely shouldn't now!

    March 5, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Meh...someone should make caped costumes for Limbaugh and Steele so they can run around as Bloatman and The Token...pretending to fight socialism wherever it "rears its head."

    March 5, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. Cali Girl

    Why does the GOP demand anyone that insults this Windbag apologize?

    Better yet, why do we even acknowledge the Windbag?

    March 5, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. JAW

    Rush is not the leader of the GOP....He is vocal...he is bullheaded...He is an entertainer making big bucks for being opinionated...But a leader he is not....his views are only slightly to the left of some of the most reviled right wingers in history....His world view is: not-white/white (black and white would be to liberal and open minded)...He is not the leader of the noble opposition...he just opposes everything...The GOP should man-up and put a stake through the heart of the issue and tell him to shut-up and sitdown...His time is up....and Then they should not, repeat not, call him the next day kissing ring asking for forgiveness.

    March 5, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. ray

    i wish and pray everyday that all republicans can just vanish from the face of the earth so this country and world can be abetter place for real humans to live. these republicans are destroyers, obstructionist,racists, bigots, immigrants haters and most of all these republicans are the real terrorists. i do believe the reason we cannot find osama bin-laden is because the republicans are osama in disguise. these people on the right will say and do anything to bring this country down more than they already did over the last eight years.

    March 5, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Tom C

    Limbaugh is arguably the leading propagandist for pure right wing ideology, which is the belief system that now totally drives the GOP; given that the GOP is driven more by ideology than by pragmatism, it makes perfect sense to single him out as an unelected party leader; it is his party, and it's a party driven by fear and hatred of those who are in any way, or who have beliefs that are in any way, different from the party's rural, southern, fundamentalist base.

    March 5, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. David in Pennsylvania

    I will be glad when the Republican party stops thinking of themselves and their base and focus on the people. "Words are very empty unless you attach a meaning to them". They say they are for the people, but what group of people are they talking about? Stop the selectiveness, because we are all Americans. Didn't they read the Constitution yet?

    March 5, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. REG in AZ

    The Bush-Cheney Presidency, with the full and stubborn support of the Republican Party demonstrated how government can be controlled by their dependency and concentration on Special Interests and a select few (powerful, influential and extremely wealthy) who provide return overt and covert support, contributions and promised after-office (kickback) compensation, all while the government gives the average American only apathy, the costs and an abundance of subterfuge. To underestimate that relationship and the control provided to the powerful few would be to ignore all that has become evident and the severe problems at hand. The irresponsible and arrogant performance that was totally unconscionable and extreme in the hands of Bush-Cheney was not only seen in their administration. Now what Limbaugh advocates is the continuation of that behavior and more of that philosophy. Personally I hope for Limbaugh to fail and America to succeed.

    March 5, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Tim

    Yes, he is the de fatso leader!!!! LOL!!!!

    March 5, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. ines

    Rush Limbaugh – Leader of the GOP

    March 5, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. TN


    March 5, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. tk1


    March 5, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    the GOP keeps serving up slow pitches and the Dems keep hitting em out of the park. I mean really, how hard is it to denounce a racist scumbag like Rush? Its is all really unfortunate though, there are actually some rational, clear thinking, good people on the right, but it doesn't seem the base likes them to much. I guess S**t really does float.

    March 5, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. Tim

    Hey, where is Michael Steele, Rush needs another butt kissing session!!!! Michael Steele, I had high hopes for you till you took one in the shorts from old crazy Rush Limpbo!!!

    March 5, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Doug, New Jersey

    While those on the right see our enemy as the terrorists who want to bomb our cities, every liberal Democrat in America believes that Americans who don't march lock step to the Obamarxist ideology are the enemy.

    Not one lib can debate Limbaugh because the truth and facts are on his side. All they can do is call him names, just read what the nasty, angry, hateful, dishonest libs are saying about him on the ticker and their little media Obama clones.

    March 5, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. Cromwell

    If Rush Limbaugh is a distraction, the Republican Party created the distraction.

    Limbaugh put Michael Steele in his place and made it clear to all that he was the real leader of the Republican Party. The Republicans in Congress stood in line to express their loyalty to Boss Limbaugh.

    Now the Republicans are trying to divert the public's attention from the fact that they have made it clear that Limbaugh dominates the Party, by blaming the Democrats for pointing out that the Republicans don't have the courage to stand up to Boss Limbaugh.

    The Republicans have made clowns of themselves.
    They shouldn't be surprised if people are laughing at them.

    March 5, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. The Viagra Kid

    The way I see it it's all true. Limbaugh is the de facto leader, (case in point : Steele's apology) and the Democrats are using it as a distraction.

    March 5, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. Brian Crooks

    So John Cornyn wants the White House to apologize for pointing out all of the Republicans that apologized to Rush Limbaugh? We wouldn't even be talking about this if even ONE Republican stood up and said "Rush Limbaugh is/was wrong." But no, they kind of say that, and then run to beg for his forgiveness time and time again. Imagine if Democrats said Keith Olbermann was wrong, and then the very next day had to call him and beg for forgiveness. They would have an absolute field day, and they should! That would be a truly pathetic sight. If the Republicans want to make Rush a non-issue, they just need to band together and say "this man does not speak for us. Much of what he says is divisive, untrue, and based in either hatred or ignorance." Yeah, that'll be the day...

    March 5, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Guido

    Does the term porkulent, pill-popping, narcissist come to mind. Let him revel in the cheers of the CPAC nihilists. And stop all the coverage.

    March 5, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Freed_From_W

    "On the Republican side, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas sent an e-mail to supporters of the National Republican Senatorial Committee asking them to sign a petition demanding that the White House apologize for not focusing on "the hard work that needs to be done to get America's economy back on track.""

    Which party was it that has destroyed America intellectually, economically, and ruined international opinion again?
    Man, I ... just.. can't put my finger on it....

    March 5, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. If you don't like it go back to Europe!

    Wow, Rush playing the victim. Steele was the one who brought it up.

    March 5, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Tariq

    White House can walk and chew...I don't see the Limbaugh stuff obstructing the Democrats and the White House from getting work done.

    How about Republicans do more focusing and stop it with the "Look what you made me do" complaints? If you don't want to be distracted...just tune it out!

    The whole fuss is about Rush and Michael Steele. Both have nothing to do with the White House or the Congress anyway...

    March 5, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. Cynthia

    Well alright! If the republicans are too scared to stop him then maybe the Dems will. Let's go wipe that big fat slob off the radio.

    March 5, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Rick

    Rush is awesome. As usual, he is right on the money with his take on Obama.

    March 5, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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