Obama to GOP leaders: Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh; Update: Rush responds

Haven’t they already?

President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

One White House official confirmed the comment but said he was simply trying to make a larger point about bipartisan efforts.

Smart points in response from Tom Maguire, especially number three. If, contra his campaign rhetoric, The One really does plan on bringing back Fairness, he just made his task of selling it to the public as a nonpartisan measure not aimed squarely at conservative talk radio a lot harder. Exit question: What’s his game here? Obama’s a shrewd guy; he must have known a comment like that would leak and that Limbaugh would have a field day with it. Maybe he’s trying to buy himself cover with the left by antagonizing Rush into a blood feud? Progressives will be less likely to grumble about his tack to the center if their archenemy is on the air every day accusing him of being the Marxist antichrist. Or, doubly Machiavellian, maybe he’s trying to bolster Rush’s influence so that he’ll drag the GOP back to the right, leaving the center to Obama and the Dems. Maybe? All theories welcome! The more sinister, the better.

Update: Limbaugh fires back, via Byron York:

To make the argument about me instead of his plan makes sense from his perspective. Obama’s plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR’s New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts. It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward. It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing “eternal” power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle.

Follow the link and note well the conclusion.