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. Bud

    News? What News? So the Dems are being Dems and Repubs are being Repubs. Mr. Limpballs is irrelavant to the present and needs to take another pill and give all this a rest. Perhaps he'll even share with his cohorts in sedition. For a party in the dumpster, we sure are hearing too much about these losers.

    March 5, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. No Hillary = No Obama

    Late Night tv – Leterman and Leno are finally taking aim at this blowhard. Late Night tv will level the playing field.

    March 5, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Luke Brown

    I live in a very Republican state. No one else in the GOP gets them on a roll more than Rush. This man is dangerous and his influence in the Republican party is scary. Maybe Pat Robertson rivals him, but I wouldn't bet on it.

    March 5, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Tony

    ray @ March 5th, 2009 5:09 pm ET: "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."

    Ha! Where you gonna get all the money for your Socialism?

    March 5, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Terry in Iowa

    The GOP is a joke. All indications are the Obama administration is working their butts off. One may not agree with their ideology, but it's clear on their priorities and no doubt about their work ethic. The reality is they can focus on more than two things at a time. Unlike the repubs whose only answers are "cut taxes" and "deregulate". Seems the GOP can’t speak without tickling their tonsils with their toes.

    March 5, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Beverly, NYC

    I think the Republicans protests too much. I have heard apologies to Rush from Congressmen, the RNC chair, yet no Republican has the cajones to publicly say Rush does not speak for me or my party. God forbid they offend the low info types who listen to Rush for their political news and marching orders. Even Rudy Guiliani has to being his explanations of Rush, with Rush is a dear friend known him for 20 year, sounds like kowtowing too me. When Rudy was mayor of NYC I don't recall evern seeing Rush at any event for his dear friend. I can't believe anyone as hateful as Rush has any real friends. If Limbaugh was to expire tomorrow it would be hard to find people to say nice things about him, and his family would have trouble filling the smallest church. Tim Russert he is not.

    March 5, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    How come Republicans consider telling the truth "an attack?" Anyone who questioned Bush, was unpatriotic and un-American – a Bush Basher!

    When elected Congressmen and the elected chair of the RNC are taken to the woodshed for disagreeing with a fat entertainer, and when these same leaders are forced to apologize abjectly and in public – The Great One has too much power and the Republicans have no backbone!

    Rush is the 400 pound elephant in the room: too big to ignore. It was the Conservatives who made him their keynote speaker – now it looks like he's running the party. The Democrats are just pointing out the obvious!

    March 5, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. WAW

    Wow! It's the Rushpublicans who apologize to Rush and Cornyn knows that. The President made a joke to Republicans about listening to Rush too much and that started this whole thing. The President knows Rush is a joke! All but the extreme Southern, Evangelical, Right-wing, Red State, Unregulated Capitalism bunch know Rush is a joke. Jay Leno, David Letterman and all the other comedians know Rush is a joke. Why can't the Members of Congress figure this out. No wonder we're in the mess we're in, all the time they didn't know the (R) after their name meant RUSH! They created him during the Reagan years and pushed him all along, used him, and when he was calling everyone who didn't sign on to Bush policy unpatriotic, they called him an entertainer. So Rush is their problem, they can solve it or keep voting like he tells them. They had better be careful, or they will have to apologize to their LEADER! The President can joke about Rush, they can't, he is the only one with any response to the crisis they share the blame for who can say anything but NO.

    March 5, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. GERRY


    March 5, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. daniel cabrera

    Our beloved country deserves BETTER LEADERS.
    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, Indiana

    March 5, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. Christopher

    It was "The Emperor's Clothes" re-electing Bush. I can't believe it, people are actually listening to Limbaugh. We haven't learned. I voted
    for Change. I get angry when I hear about the Republican's bad attitude and arrogance.

    March 5, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. elana

    Neither! He's an Idiot!

    March 5, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Lee Bartholomew

    It's beyond me why Republicans continue to apologize to Rush. Thats where the problem is. If he's not the leader why apologize to him?

    March 5, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. jon

    Seriously? What the hell is wrong with all of our elected officials? Who cares what some guy says on the radio.

    I think we need to get rid of both republicans and democrats because at this moment, neither party is doing ANYTHING to help our country. They would rather insult and compain about what each party says than actually have a real debate on the best way to get out of this. Some guy on the radio says something and they would rather talk about what he says, than just ignore it like they should and get something done before its too late.

    March 5, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Gracie

    Wow...... Rush is the MESSIAH OF THE GOP!!! This clown is royally screwing both the RNC and GOP behind their backs while laughing the whole time.

    Do you honestly think Rush Limbaugh is loyal to the GOP/RNC? Rush Limbaugh is an Entertainer. He's not a elected official, he's not a Pulitzer Price Winner, he's never headed a Fortune 500 company, he's NOT a Scholar, a Professor of Law, an expert in the medical, psychiatric field, he's definitely NOT the President!!! This drop out is an Entertainer who sits in a 4×6 box and runs his mouth on a microphone!!!

    Rush is ALL about RUSH LIMBAUGH. He knows his base is dropping from 20 million to 13 million!! Rush knows his time is running out and his fan base is surely eroding. Rush is hoping attacking the President will help win his fans back. It's GREED that drives Rush Limbaugh, it's just that simple.

    March 5, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Rob

    If Obama and his carnival of idiots had anything that even remotely resembles something successful they'd be too busy to have the time for their anti-Rush campaign.

    And 'ray', you truly are something. All the words you used to describe the 'big mean Republicans' are words that accurately describe how you and you fellow Obamiots have been when you've posted here. You couldn't lead yourself out of a cardboard box. If you (or anyone in the yutz administration for that matter) had anything that was worthwhile or of value you'd debate Rush. But seeing as you have nothing but failure you resort to lies, name calling, and in general whinning. Typical lib, can't take the truth so ya sling mud.

    Better check with your mommy and see if you need your diaper changed.

    March 5, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. ATaylor

    FINALLY The Repugs are getting a taste of their own medicine. President Obama has extended a hand time and time again and the repugs want to be the opposition, just say No party, Where was all this just say No when Bush was in Office. President Obama inherited this mess and the repugs do not want to help America get out of it . Shame Shame Shame.

    March 5, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Michael in San Diego

    The truth hurts. The only reason this has become an issue is because it's the truth – Rush is the leader of the Republican party. Why else is this an issue? If someone were to say that Bill Maher was the Democratic leader nobody would flinch but since it's Rush it has a ring of truth to it. He's only diversive to the Republicans and some of the Independents. As far as Dems are concerned, he's universally hated.

    March 5, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Brenda

    Republicans are becoming more RIDICULOUS by the day. What will it take to make them see the light?...hmm maybe midterm elections will shake them up or better yet out.

    March 5, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. No Incumbents 2010

    A deliberate distraction. That is how those thugs on the white house staff do business. It's slight of hand. Get them looking over there so we can take from over here.

    March 5, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. C

    I agree with ray. Yes, I would love to get rid of these hate-filled crazies too.

    I watched a Repub (don't remember his name) from Tennessee on msnbc this morning. He was saying "NO" to health care reform. He plainly stated that health care is a "priviledge not a right" and we have to decide who "deserves" health care. I'm sure he feels that he deserves his tax-payer funded health care and he has every right to have us pay for it.

    Republicscums –

    March 5, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. joseph lee

    The beat way to handle BIG RUSH is ti ignore him

    March 5, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. Jay

    It is shameful whe the GOP designate a crack-head , drug addict person to be their speaker, Hey moran, you need to cut down on the Oxycontin.

    March 5, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. Jonathan Lawoyin

    It is about time somebody tells the loud mouth Rush the game is over. There is nothing that lasts forever except God, this man needs someone to heal him of his hatred, and Pharissical spirit. He has outlived his usefullness, and those listerning to his litany of nonsence are just like him. The man is lonely on the inside and is simply seeking attention, silence is the best answer for a fool, ignore him..

    March 5, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Ladies and gentlemen of the Republican Party it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you..........................JABBA THE HUT!

    March 5, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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