Rush Limbaugh *endorses Mitt Romney

posted at 2:03 pm on February 5, 2008 by Bryan

Levin, Hannity, Ingraham and now Nobel nominee Rush Limbaugh (membership req’d): Big talk radio swings unanimously for Mitt Romney. Rush makes several solid points that you’ve heard before, mostly regarding how McCain represents the GOP’s national security wing, Huckabee represents its social conservative wing, and Ron Paul represents the economic conservative wing, but Romney is the one candidate who represents all three by himself. Romney is a late convert to all three, which as I wrote the other day explains why conservatives have taken so long to warm up to him.

Rush also makes a point that conservatives won’t benefit if the GOP expands its base by attracting liberals as liberals to the party. I had a similar thought last night while watching Bill Maher tell Larry King what Republicans ought to do to become more competitive in the future. Never mind Republicans have historically held the presidency more than Democrats over the last 60 years. Never mind that Maher hates Christians and conservatives, so he obviously doesn’t have social conservatives’ interests in mind, and never mind that Maher is not exactly friendly to either economic or national security conservatism. Maher noted that McCain has flanked himself with Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that that trio ought to be the GOP’s future. Of course he would think that: He’s a liberal and so are two of them on at least one of the three major GOP planks and McCain’s maverickness makes him a liberal on some issues. If the GOP becomes the kind of party that attracts leftists like Maher and they remain leftists, what does the party stand for?

Turned around another way, McCain’s supporters make much of the fact that he has a record of reaching across the aisle and working with Democrats. But in every case, he’s reaching across the aisle to do what the Democrats want. Where’s the evidence that McCain has ever reached across the aisle and plucked off a few Democrat votes for a conservative issue or cause? I can’t think of a single case, so I’ll put it to the McCain supporters in the HA readership: Name an issue where McCain reached across the aisle and ended up benefiting conservative issues, ideals or causes.

Here’s Rush’s endorsement of Romney. It remains to be seen if it was too little, too late.

RUSH: I think now, based on the way the campaign has shaken out, that there probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that’s Romney. The three stools or the three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives, and the fiscal conservatives. The social conservatives are the cultural people. The fiscal conservatives are the economic crowd: low taxes, smaller government, get out of the way.

Of course, the foreign policy crowd is obviously what it is. I don’t think there’s anybody on our side who doesn’t care about national security, which is why I found it amazing that McCain gets the bulk of those, because the idea that Romney or Huckabee are going to punt national security? In Huckabee’s case, you might just say the things he’s saying about it represent an ignorance born of inexperience in the subject. I don’t think Huckabee has any deleterious intentions about the country. When it comes to the fiscal side, you cannot say — you just cannot say — that John McCain is interested. He’s even admitted he’s not interested in the social side. He’s not interested in the economic side. He said this, and when he has spoken up about it, he sides more often with liberal Democrats on fiscal issues than he does with his own side. That’s problematic. This is why I think — and why I have said — that the Republican Party, not conservatism, but the Republican Party is in big trouble if it is empowered and gets elected by attracting people who also hold liberal Democrat views simply because they like McCain because of his character, his honor, his prisoner of war story, and they don’t like Hillary or Obama.

Now that Rush has endorsed Romney, his “carrying water” speech in 2006 is being brought up against him. You can “gotcha” anyone who spends 20 years, 3 hours a weekday, giving their opinion on the air, and it’s all too easy to snipe from the bushes at someone who’s willing to take a public stand for or against something. The point he made then remains valid, though: The 2006 Republicans were far from perfect but were better on just about every issue than the Democrats who defeated them and that’s why he supported them. There’s a cautionary tale in that election for Republicans who want to sit out 2008, too.

*Clarification: It’s clear from the above, and from Rush’s longstanding criticisms of McCain, that Rush supports Romney for the GOP nomination. Some commenters here and a reader have emailed that strictly speaking, Rush didn’t endorse Romney. I didn’t hear the entire show yesterday or today, but they say that Rush said that he’s still not expressly endorsing a candidate. Fair enough, though that’s a great deal of nuance to pack into a headline. And then there’s how Rush’s site headlined the article in which he names Romney as preferrable to McCain. Here’s a screencap of that.

rush-mittheadline.png

That’s on Rush’s site right now. Don’t call me a “liar” for interpreting the clip above plus that headline as an endorsement.

Update (AP): It’s obviously an endorsement, guys. Rush can cover his ass however he likes but his meaning surely isn’t lost upon his listeners.


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as well as the preservation of the Republican’s ability to block future liberal appointments as a minority party.

RightOFLeft on February 5, 2008 at 5:54 PM

You are truly deluded if you think that the current pack of RINO’s in the Senate have the bag (even all of them combined) to filibuster a lib appointment to the court.

91Veteran on February 5, 2008 at 9:59 PM

But McVain cannot and more importantly WILL NOT harm the Military, and that alone should propel you to NOT stay home in November…

And I daresay, our MILITARY is “what fundamentally makes America the greatest country on the planet…”

Califemme on February 5, 2008 at 6:02 PM

I don’t share your confidence cf. McCain thinks the terrorists need access to US courts, and believes waterboarding is torture.

Since he has so readily agreed to these liberal positions, one wonders how forcefully he will stand up to the libs the next time they demand some poor grunt be prosecuted after being falsely accused of atrocities.

Will he roll over the next time Murtha runs his piehole?

91Veteran on February 5, 2008 at 10:05 PM

Hillary: We have to get the troops out of Iraq. I will start withdrawal within 60 days...because they have pizzas to deliver to some banana republic dictator, and we’ll just ignore the resulting bloodbath.

Oh, Greta, and the price of gas won’t go up because those not delivering pizzas will be delivering workers to the collective.

DreadWolf on February 5, 2008 at 7:30 PM

91Veteran on February 5, 2008 at 10:20 PM

It’s obviously an endorsement, guys. Rush can cover his ass however he likes but his meaning surely isn’t lost upon his listeners.

Rush, Ann and Laura are ecstatic at the thought of a loss in November. Their market share should firm up as they draw the angry conservatives close to their bosom for the next four years.
People will forget their hijinks in no time.

Bradky on February 5, 2008 at 10:39 PM

I guess Rush and the other talking heads on the radio know better than us. I guess people who support McCain and Huckabee are liberals! What is exactly a liberal republican? How many issues make you liberal? McCain and Huckabee liberal…..get real. Republicans and conservatives have spoken and they liked Huck and Mac….and they do not like Mitt. Sorry…get over it.

arizonateacher on February 6, 2008 at 12:15 AM

Where would the Republican minority be under Frist’s proposed rule changes? What kind of judges would we get if Obama or Clinton could get any appointment confirmed with a 51-50 vote?
…..
McCain, in all likelihood, saved the Alito nomination, and preserved the Republican minority’s power to oppose liberal nominations.

RightOFLeft on February 5, 2008 at 6:57 PM

Where would be be? We would have returned back to the way judges were confirmed before the Democrats started filibustering judicial nominees. Yes, this would have made it harder to filibuster the nominees of a Democratic president. But Republicans don’t believe in filibustering the president’s nominees. Republicans believe that they should confirm the president’s nominees unless there is an obvious non-partisan reason they are unacceptable. Democrats believed in total warfare, to include shutting down the Senate unless there was a filibuster-proof majority favoring the nominee. And Alito had that majority anyway, so the Gang of 14 did nothing to get him confirmed.

So McCain completely ignored what the Republicans were trying to do: end filibustering of judicial nominees. By doing it, he accepted that the Democrats had the right to block any nominees they didn’t like, and that they would have to compromise to get a few of the less objectionable ones confirmed. On top of which, he and Lindsay Graham absolutely blocked four of the president’s nominees, all while claiming the “Gang of 14″ deal would only allow filibusters under undefined “extraordinary circumstances.” So they agree not to filibuster wile accepting the filibuster of 4 candidates.

More importantly, the “Gang of 14″ backroom deal allowed senators to quietly kill the nominations of some candidates without being put on record for it.

The Gang of 14 deal was to protect Senators from being accountable for their votes, to allow only the unstoppable judicial candidates from getting through, to allow by default judicial nominees to be filibustered at will, and to frustrate the Republican president’s nominees from being confirmed.

And for what? The next time there is a Democratic president who makes judicial nominations, the Republicans will not stand on the precedent established by Senate during the Bush administration. They won’t filibuster candidates. They may refuse to approve some, but each candidate will get an up-or-down vote.

The Gang of 14 was a nasty backstabbing deal that showed how little McCain cared for what conservatives wanted.
Read more in the National Review article.

theregoestheneighborhood on February 6, 2008 at 1:36 AM

Rush Limbaugh got pwned.

Chakra Hammer on February 6, 2008 at 3:01 AM

Rush, Ann and Laura are ecstatic at the thought of a loss in November. Their market share should firm up as they draw the angry conservatives close to their bosom for the next four years.
People will forget their hijinks in no time.

If these people would sacrifice their country to the left rather than support John McCain then they are truly a danger to the Republic. The radical right is turning their blind quest into a destructive ego fest.

rplat on February 6, 2008 at 7:20 AM

rplat on February 6, 2008 at 7:20 AM

I wouldn’t go so far as to say “sacrifice their country”. I think they are simply opportunists in regards to their personal fortunes. If they really walked the walk one of them would have tried to run for office by now or they would advise the party concept and importance of unity.
Without angry people forming their core of listeners they are marginalized.

As for the radical right… I think it is less radical than childish ala Dems after the 2000 election. McCain is a convenient catalyst primarily because of the immigration bill and ensuing firestorm. It is somewhere south of fifth on the voters concerns according to exit polls.

Bradky on February 6, 2008 at 7:38 AM

In Hawaii flip flops are a way of life, along with SPAM (America’s mystery meat).

Therefore, flip-flops are for the feet and SPAM is destine for the toilet, thus the clear correlation; anyone who flip flops in this election will end up in the toilet.

MSGTAS on February 6, 2008 at 8:56 AM

This primary season has been a bad day for conservative talk radio. Rather than focusing on the good of most of those who sought the GOP nomination, and most of the people had good traits…..Thompson, Rudy, Brownback, Gilmore, Mitt, Mike, Mac were all good candidates, yes some had slight differences than others but all were good. Instead, Rush, Sean, Laura, Hugh, the Great One, and too many others took sides and actually tried to demonize other Republicans and conservatives. And look at the crow they have to eat, look at how much face they lost…..they put so much into hyping Mitt and being unfair to the others and look what and how we conservatives and republicans voted: Mac and Mike, and not really Mitt. Why did they put themselves out there like that and what does it say when they were not able to influence this election?

Allen and Gilmore from Virginia were very conservative…why didn’t talk radio support them?

Fred was very conservative, why didn’t talk radio support him?

Huckabee and McCain are not 100% conservative but they are way to the right of most of the population and talk radio did not suport them.

Why support a guy who was not conservative a few years ago?

Kudos to Bill Bennett and O’Reilly who did not make a silly endorsement.

arizonateacher on February 6, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Two smart guys really.

johnnyU on February 6, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Now that the nomination process is almost over, thanks a bunch, Rush!

Sir Andrew on February 6, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Califemme,

As a side-bar, you shouldn’t be so sensitive about religion…it was only an extreme example of how the military doesn’t protect the individual, the individual protects themselves and those around them.

ColdBore76 on February 5, 2008 at 7:51 PM

Yeah, we are definitely square… And I do agree with the above quote. But I wouldn’t say I’m “sensitive” about religion.

My earlier assesment that the miilitary is what makes us so great came from years of living overseas while my dad was in the USAF. The military (IMO) is America’s representative around the world, since the children, wives, and husbands of military are actively living among the people of the world.

Now, hold that nose and vote McCain if he’s the NOM!

Califemme on February 6, 2008 at 3:41 PM

I don’t share your confidence cf. McCain thinks the terrorists need access to US courts, and believes waterboarding is torture.

Since he has so readily agreed to these liberal positions, one wonders how forcefully he will stand up to the libs the next time they demand some poor grunt be prosecuted after being falsely accused of atrocities.

Will he roll over the next time Murtha runs his piehole?

91Veteran on February 5, 2008 at 10:05 PM

But of course he’ll roll over. Still gotta vote R though, the stakes are much too important.

Califemme on February 6, 2008 at 3:42 PM

Now, hold that nose and vote McCain if he’s the NOM!

Califemme on February 6, 2008 at 3:41 PM

HA, not sure yet but if I must I will def. use the nose plug MM has on her site!

ColdBore76 on February 6, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Now, hold that nose and vote McCain if he’s the NOM!

Califemme on February 6, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Ha! not sure yet, if I must I will def be using the nose plug on display at Michelle’s site..

ColdBore76 on February 6, 2008 at 10:01 PM

I don’t think lack of support for Mcain is sacrificing your country. Continuing to elect Republican presidents that keep drifting left isn’t much different than electing a Democrat. I believe Rush(or another radio commentator, I forget who) mentioned that it may be easier for the conservative republicans in congress and the senate to keep a liberal Democrat in check more than a liberal Republican. I think now it is more important to support the conservatives we have and elect some more than just making sure there is a Republican president. Right now I am starting to feel a bit like the minorities that the Democrats take for granted and vote “D” just because they always have even though they get nothing for it. So for now I will say that I am undecided if I will actually hold my nose and vote for Mcain. He has alot of convincing to do for me. We’ll see on election day.

mbrans on February 6, 2008 at 11:10 PM

Too little too late, Rush.

iamse7en on July 16, 2009 at 5:47 PM

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