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. An American


    March 5, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. Rush? Still on the air?

    Who really cares what that fat, drug addled gas bag has to say? I have never met anyone with an IQ over 100 that can listen to it without being offended. Rush doesn't matter. Never has mattered. Most importantly it will never matter.

    March 5, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Cindy

    The Repubs are full of hogwash. The Dems have been concentrating on jumpstarting the economy. It's the Republicans who have not.. all they care about is Party unity, and not getting on Rush's bad side.

    Rush and the Republicans... nothing but sideshows. Obama is doing something... the Dems are discussing, some for, some against, but at least they're discussing.

    March 5, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. arithmetic is liberal

    If liberals were as easily led and easily duped as Rush fans, then trust me – Rush would be extolling the virtues of liberalism right now.

    The reason he's a conservative is because he gets an instant audience of people who were taught not to think for themselves when they were growing up.

    Rush isn't a conservative, he just happened to choose the first 20 million suckers who would sign up and listen without question.

    If liberals were a stupid as dittoheads and provided him an instant audience, Rush would preach liberalism.

    March 5, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. Sue

    De Facto leader... for sure. Republican constituents make up the primary base population that are fed El Rushbo on a consistent basis. Their minds are jelatenous goo.

    March 5, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. scott

    The Obama administration is trying to distract you from the real issues.....the sinking stock market, the loss of even more jobs, the economy on the verge of a depression. No longer can Obama say "I inherited it", He owns the economy with the mistakes he is making, trying to spend our way out of it and raise taxes, both bad moves.

    March 5, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Muffet

    I find it interesting that anyone attempting to deflect the de facto leader image Limp-ball is trying to establish among his listenership, they call is radio show begging for forgiveness. This reminds me of the time when some Americans, especially legislators were initially afraid to challenge Bush on the Iraq war for fear of being deemed "unpatriotic". Makes you wonder about the GOP.

    March 5, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Debby

    Gosh you liberals got your boy in and your still complaining about a nobody how pathetic.

    March 5, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Lee

    Go, Rush, go!!!

    I say, Limbaugh-Palin is the ticket for 2012. Huckabee for Secretary of Education, so he can straighten out the evolutionists! Tom Delay for State, who would have the Iranians AND the Russians kissing our posteriors in a month or two ... they both remember how Reagan handled them. Ann Coulter can talk rings around the Liberal-Socialist-Communists, so the United Nations would be the place for her. She would have them yelling uncle before you know it.

    Take the Republican Party back from from the earmarking, mealy-mouthed professional politicians. Conservatives! Take back our party!!!!

    March 5, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. ray ray

    How about some intellectual honesty from Liberals.....

    WHAT would have been your response if "W" had bought a billboard near the home of Cindy Sheehan to mock her??

    March 5, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. Lorna in Warminster PA

    The best thing for us to do as far as Rush goes is to just ignore him. It would be the single thing he couldn't be irrelevant . I bet he would implode!

    March 5, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Unshrub

    He is just a loudmouth ex drug addict full of hate for those who don't agree with his neo-Nazi rhetoric who has followers to stupid to know better.

    March 5, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. bk

    So, Cynthia, how exactly do you propose getting Rush off the air? How about the 1st Amendment right of freedom of speech? Censorship? You have to remember that Rush is profitable for the radio stations that air his program. Why doesn't Obama, the WH and the DNC just ignore him and get to work fulfilling their campaign promises (one of which was bipartisanship). The attack mode mentality only encourages Rush's behavior.

    March 5, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. carlo

    He's their "closet leader". He's the guy at the helm that the GOP didn't want anyone to point out. If he can get elected politicians to grovel at his feet when they disagree, you tell me what is he then?

    Sounds like a king to me. If I'm wrong, I sure wish that some Republican, ANY Republican, tell us otherwise.

    March 5, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Fatboy is Little Man

    the idiot @ 5:57: What "Work" does rushbo do? He sits behind a mike, spews venom and collects $ 100,000,000.00 a year (yes One Hundred Million Dollars).
    He's been married three times, is a drug addict and visits the Dominican Republic in his private jet to find young boys.

    March 5, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. cameron

    republicans playing the victim? big shocker. there is no "reaching across the aisle" with these lunatic extremists. they have no concept of the word compromise. it's their way or the highway. well, sorry, guys, but you didn't get another fascist in this term. you gotta shut up and let everyone else ATTEMPT to fix what you're blundered, yet again. thanks for nothing, rush, you pig.

    March 5, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. Doug

    Jay...ever heard of spell check? what the he11 is a moran? your a tool

    March 5, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. chuck


    March 5, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. Brook E. Mantia

    Yes, the President should be more focused on the problems we are facing, like Republican obstructionism and the big fat mess they leave in their wake everywhere they go. If President Obama really wanted to turn this country around, he'd outlaw the Republican party as another terrorist organization.

    March 5, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. Cali Girl

    C March 5th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

    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 –

    OMG – Yeah, I can actually believe a GOPer would state that health care is a "priviledge not a right". That is so disgusting.

    March 5, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  21. Reggie

    Rush IS the leader of the repukeblican party, isn't he the one everyone is focused on? Everyone naturally focuses their attention on the alpha dog.

    March 5, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. Stu-Florida

    A de facto leader??? Are they serious???
    The only leading Rush could ever do is to lead the way to the chow line. Why is he always wearing that "slimming black" outfit? Never mind... we know the answer. I'll bet he loves the term "stuffed with pork"!
    The RNC should be real proud of this one!

    March 5, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. John

    Rush is a de facto idiot which is the same as the leader of the right wing of the republican (NAZI) party.

    March 5, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. Dirty Bird

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

    I happen to raise birds as a hobby.

    Can you see this big bald one I'm holding up?

    March 5, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. Cali Girl

    Public is on Obama Kool Aid March 5th, 2009 5:48 pm ET

    He makes much more sense than Obama. Lowest Stock market in 12 years from Obama and he doesn't care. Putting Limbaugh's ego aside, he is much more educated on how to get the US back on track than the Obama spend/give awayplan. Most people critcal of him have not even heard him, they get their opinions from liberal media whom can't debate him. I challenge any non liberal to listen for themselves several shows. If you are liberal, he will hurt your feelings. If Obama was brave enough to debate Rush ad hoc, no speechwriters, as Rush has challenged, Rush would tear him up!

    The stock market started spiraling down while W was in office. Did you really expect Obama to have cleaned up this mess in short time he's been in office?

    March 5, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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