Monday, February 14, 2011

Rush Has His First Mitch Attack

Republican presidential candidates generally try to avoid pissing off radio talk show icons like Rush Limbaugh. Gov. Mitch Daniels' widely-praised speech to CPAC last Friday managed to work Rush's shorts in a bunch. Politico reports on Daniels' admonishment to conservatives to reach out to people who never tune in Rush or other conservative talk radio show hosts:

“You don’t diss the people who are already audiences of those shows — you don’t say that they’re irrelevant or unnecessary,” Limbaugh said on his show Monday afternoon when asked about Daniels’ comments. “Who won elections for your party year after year after year?"

Speaking Friday at CPAC, Daniels said that Republicans needed to broaden their appeal to win elections.

“We will need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean, who surf past C-SPAN to get to SportsCenter,” he said . . .

Attacks on talk radio, Limbaugh said, were "of course done to impress the mainstream media.”

The conservative talker suggested that Daniels was pushing to discredit talk radio and the tea party movement.

“Now he did say that we need to move beyond the audiences of Rush and Sean,” Limbaugh said. “There’ s a context here maybe … that I assumed people understand and know, maybe you don’t.”

Though “it’s going to be interpreted as being petty,” Limbaugh continued on.

“The Republican Party establishment group is really not thrilled with talk radio, they’re not thrilled with the tea party — they don’t like it, they’re trying to find ways around it,” he said.

“I don’t think that we can only win by watering ourselves down and diluting ourselves,” Limbaugh said, adding that he thinks Daniels does. “He has this overriding notion that conservatism is not enough to win. That bothers me, because clearly it is.”
I didn't interpret Daniels' comments to mean he was trying to discredit talk radio hosts like Rush. Indeed, Daniels just recently appeared on Laura Ingraham's show to tout his conservative credentials, which has a very small reach compared to other onservative talk radio shows, particularly Rush's show. I think his larger point was that large segments of the population don't tune in to talk radio and are easily manipulated by the mainstream as they were in the 2008 presidential election to support a totally unqualified, untested person who in reality stood for policies and values a majority of Americans don't support. Rush may perceptively sense that Daniels thinks it is beneath him to suck up to a college drop-out like Rush as he does with the more sophisticated and refined George Will types. By contrast to Rush, Laura Ingraham is an Ivy Leaguer and an attorney like Daniels who worked with him in the Reagan White House.


Nick said...

I'm sure if Sarah Palin had made those remarks, Rush would've agreed with her.

Anyone who doesn't march to Hannity's and Rush's beat is deemed as part of the "establishment."

Bob said...

"...easily manipulated by the mainstream..."

There is nothing more manipulative than conservative "non-mainstream Mainstream press" such as Rush, Sean, Fox News, etc.