May 6th, 2009
08:22 PM ET
14 years ago

Limbaugh to Powell: 'Become a Democrat'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Limbaugh took aim at Powell's comments about the GOP."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rush Limbaugh fired back at Colin Powell for his critical comments earlier this week, saying Wednesday that the former secretary of state should join the Democratic Party.

"What Colin Powell needs to do is close the loop and become a Democrat instead of claiming to be a Republican interested in reforming the Republican Party," Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday.

Limbaugh also took aim at Powell's decision to endorse President Obama over John McCain during the presidential election, repeating his earlier sentiment that Powell's move was "solely based on race."

"He's just mad at me because I'm the one person in the country who had the guts to explain his endorsement of Obama," Limbaugh said. "It was purely and solely based on race."

During a speech on Monday, Powell said the "the Republican Party is in deep trouble" and said the GOP would be better off without Limbaugh, according to a report by the National Journal.

"I think what Rush does as an entertainer diminishes the party and intrudes or inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that we would be better to do without," Powell said.

Earlier: Powell: GOP 'polarization' backfired in election

Filed under: Colin Powell • Extra • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. walleye

    If Limbarf believes Powell endorsed Obama based on race, then it seals the case. Limbarf is AN IDIOT. I watched Powell explain the reasons he endorsed Obama. They was logical, relevant and TRUE. He was best suited for the job as he is now showing us. Being an ex-POW, as honest as he is, was no reason for anyone to vote for McCain. He just does not have the qualifications. Limbarf has been eating nothing but sour grapes. He is the worst thing that could have happened to the GOP. They should denounce and get as far away from him as they could if they are ever to regain any semblence of reason for their party.

    May 6, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. David

    It seems when you become a racist, the mind is the first thing to go. It also seems they are having second thoughts about their 'color blind' decision to make Steele the Republican Chairman. Today they stripped him of his control of RNC funds, and he's not at any of the Rebuild, Retool, Rebrand the Republican Party Meetings. It seems the further right they the Repubs go, where won't be room for people like Steele or

    May 6, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. STLSue

    Rush is a conservative and NOT a republican. He tells his audiance this all the time. When will people begin to listen.

    May 6, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Peter from Austin

    Yep, We should listen to a radio entertainer as opposed to a former four star general and secretary of state. Oh wait, I don't have to listen to that idiot Limbaugh, I'm a democrat.

    May 6, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Tom Erskine

    Oh, what an absolute hypocrite...and a coward! Regardless of his political identification, Colin Powell has done more to serve this country and put his life on the line than Rush has EVER done! Mr. wrap-yourself-in-the- flag and claim patriot, Rush Limbaugh, was too chicken to put on a uniform and grab a rifle—put his butt on the line— and really fight for his country the way Colin Powell did without reservation or discussion!
    He needs to be careful about whom he condemns when he'd NEVER put his butt where his mount is...I bet if the truth were known, the majority of his listeners have NO MILITARY SERVICE—they were too scared of getting shot at!!!

    May 6, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. David F

    Really Bob? Only an entertainer? So why when any Republican says anything even remotely critical of him do they always seem to go crawling on their hands and knees begging forgiveness of him? Powell, I'm betting, will let Rush stew in his own juices rather than even acknowledging his retort.

    IMO, Powell is one of the only figure from the Bush Administration I have any modicum of respect for; he realized he'd been a patsy and resigned rather than have to deal with them for the next four years.

    May 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. James

    I really do not understand why this is even news worthy. Rush has a selective audience and Powell is looking for job. Since neither one is in control of any party, who cares?

    May 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Brian MacDougall

    As a life-long Democrat, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I love seeing Rush trash an upstanding Republican every day. It's Rush's way, or the highway! Very inclusive.

    On the other hand, I believe we need at least a two party system in this country and Rush and Palin and Joe the Plumber are collapsing the GOP into a party that will never hold power again. That, to me, is a shame.

    PS: If you can watch Rush mock Michael J. Fox, I guess you can watch anything. But when I watch it, all I see is a sad, abusive little bully.

    May 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Jake

    i can't decide who is more entertaining at this point! Rush the vile, disgusting blowhard entertainer or the Republican Party?

    May 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. The Real Issue

    The Real Issue is that Limbaugh rants and raves without a clue to what the American public is looking for. He is to the extreme right and America is not. Limbaugh is continuously pulling down the Republican party and that's all right, because the party is out of the mainstream.

    May 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. jdelan

    Limbaugh and his ilk are why the Republican party is on the outside looking in. He is an idiot.

    May 6, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Earl

    The irony is that the right wing (e.g., Limbaugh) 1) is driving the last remaining moderates out of the party, but 2) without moderates, the party will remain a regional one with very little national power.

    May 6, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. yoyolite

    Is it racist when whites vote and endorse whites? HMMMM? Racist because whites vote white. Yep sounds good to me!!!

    May 6, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Mary2345

    I say Hooray for Colin Powell. Finally someone in the GOP has the guts and the good sense to see and openly declare the damage that Limbaugh is doing, with his incessant and increasingly divisive rhetoric. If he had his way, he would expel everyone in the party more moderate than George W and himself, and the party would be so narrow and exclusive that it would lose any last remaining shreds of relevance.

    May 6, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Tina,NC

    The Republican Party better wake up and stop bowing down to people like Rush. Powell and Specter are just two examples of what's going on in the Republican Party. I grew up in a family of Republicans. My dad and I being the only Democrats. I can name at least 15 family members who voted for the Democrats this time. I don't see the Republican party coming back for a long time because they will never go against the extreme Christian right. If they did that they would never win in the primaries.

    May 6, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. eric

    I don't believe Powell's endorsement of Obama was based solely on race.

    I do, however, believe that Limbaugh's comments are.

    While hatred may be a powerful uniting force, if the Republican Party wants to win over the country again, it needs to demonstrate that it can offer the country something more constructive than muck-raking.

    May 6, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. Justin

    If you're not straight ticket republican you're not welcome in the modern GOP and are a 'dirty socialist'.

    Rush and his buddies can call the rest of us Americans socialist all they want. I'll take socialism over fascism any day.

    May 6, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Kevin

    Another day, another shot in the dark from Rush.

    He himself said not 10 days ago that McCain and his daughter should leave the Republican party along with specter, and now he's criticizing Powell for not backing McCain, claiming he went with Obama based on race?

    Rush, you yourself only supported McCain because he was a member of your party, even though you clearly have no respect for his policies or principles. Stop being a hypocrite, everything that comes out of your mouth is only digging the grave of the GOP further.

    May 6, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    @ Dutch in VA, who said "If anything, Gen. Powell should be the leader of the Republican Party."

    Hey it buddy...don't go giving them good ideas.

    May 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. WonderfulWanda

    I don't think Powell is someone that Limbaugh should take on, because Powell will not say "I'm sorry" or "I respect him, but"...

    May 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Dave

    Powell is right.
    Limbaugh is taking entertainment to a place that makes the GOP a radical fringe group. This is not helpful for the GOP or America.

    May 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Dwayne

    Okay. Then I guess it's safe to say that every white man that Limbaugh voted for was based soley on race.

    May 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Matt

    It's not that Powell's angry at Limbaugh for being the one guy to have the guts to explain the reasoning behind Powell's endorsement of Obama. It's that Limbaugh is angry at Powell for being yet another prominent Republican to say that Limbaugh is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

    May 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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