The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

23 December 2007

Limbaugh - Huckabee Row Continues In Former's Absence


Bizarre Mike Vs Rush 'Battle' Continues Into Holidays

*** UPDATE: Limbaugh Issues Press Statement ***

One of the more bizarre political kerfuffles in recent memory has continued right into the Christmas holiday, partially the result of Campaign 2008's insane primary schedule.

What's the true reason for the especially peculiar "battle" between Mike Huckabee and Rush Limbaugh, however? Is it real, or a media concoction designed to keep politics interesting over a slow holiday week?

Do they realize Rush will be off the air for the next week and therefore unable to respond? If so, their timing is perfect. There's nothing like taking shots at the talk titan when he's away from the microphone, most likely out playing golf after visiting family.

If it all sounds a bit too conspiratorial for your tastes, just take a look at this new MSNBC piece:

Also on the candidate's agenda on Saturday – Is Rush Limbaugh picking a fight with Mike Huckabee? Some members of the media seem to think so. Rush had some harsh words for the newest GOP presidential frontrunner on his show last week, supposedly in response to a Huckabee aide calling Rush an "entertainer."

"I don't know [why he's mad]," Huckabee said. "I don't know, I mean I really don't. But all I can do is hope that Rush will love me as much as I love Rush because I think he's terrific and he's been a very clarion voice for the conservative movement. Somebody said something that upset him. I don't know who and I don't know what and I can't fix what I don't know."

But Huckabee said he was willing to try. Asked by The Politico's Jonathan Martin if he had been in contact with the radio personality Huckabee said, "I don't have his number. If you have it Jonathan why don't you give it to me. I'd love to talk to him. So, maybe put it on the web that if he'll call me I'd love to visit with him because I'd certainly like to clarify if there's any issue there. I think he's a person who would probably love to see my candidacy succeed if he knew me."

Let's get this straight: Rush picked the fight, while the angelic Huckabee is an innocent victim working to resolve the dispute? You gotta love those cards over at MSNBC, they sure know how to keep us in stitches.

Though not pushing its luck quite as hard as NBC, CBS is also on board the "Huckabee a victim of Rush's meanness" campaign:

SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Mike Huckabee told reporters today he’d like talk to Rush Limbaugh after the prominent radio host expressed outrage this week over reports that an “unidentified Huckabee supporter in Washington” said Limbaugh “doesn’t think for himself” and is an “entertainer.”

Huckabee said he didn’t know who it was that had upset Limbaugh.

“All I can do is hope Rush will love me as much as I love Rush. Cause I think he's terrific and he's been a very clarion voice for the conservative movement. Somebody said something that upset him. I don't know who and I don't know what. I cannot fix what I don't know."

Limbaugh criticized the former Arkansas governor for “defining who is or who is not conservative.” Limbaugh said Huckabee portrayed himself as anti-elite when in fact he sided with elites.

Though Rush is off the air this week, he has already addressed the topic for all to hear, if the mainstream media is interested in his side of the story (don't hold your breath):

RUSH: All right, Ed Rollins is on the warpath now for his candidate, Mike Huckabee, and he sat down for an interview with CBS News on their -- I guess on their website, and here's the first question: "Let's start with the attacks on Governor Huckabee from a lot of Republican establishment figures lately." Republican establishment figures lately? "Rush Limbaugh has called him 'the Huckster.' Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review has said it would be 'suicide' to nominate him. Why do you think, Mr. Rollins, that Governor Huckabee has provoked all of this criticism?" Ed Rollins: "Well, I think first of all he's not an established candidate. I don't think anybody anticipated early on when he started to run that he would do as well as he's doing. Some of these guys have already picked their candidates and I think to a certain extent the alleged wise men have sat around in either their studios or the newsrooms, basically writing magazine articles. They didn't see it coming, and I think they underestimated him." Ladies and gentlemen, and Mr. Rollins, and for those of you in the Huckabee campaign, I want to turn back the hands of time. We're going to go back to the archives of this program, specifically November the 8th of this year. This is what I said to my audience on that day.

RUSH ARCHIVE: What if Mike Huckabee wins Iowa? What does that do to Mitt Romney and Thompson in New Hampshire and South Carolina, respectively? Secondly, what if Hillary continues to stumble and either Obama or Edwards ends up being the nominee? Now, I know nobody thinks that's possible, which is precisely why I focus on it. The conventional wisdom is she's got it wrapped up and the conventional wisdom is that Mrs. Clinton's got Clinton, Inc., and that Clinton, Inc. can get rid of anybody in her way. But Mrs. Clinton has gotta get out of her own way for 13 months in a row or 12 months in a row in order to stop gaffing. But just think about it. If Hillary continues to stumble, and either Obama or Edwards ends up the nominee, what kind of general election does this lead to? Do you realize the shock? Everybody figures it's Hillary and Giuliani right now, but what if Huckabee wins Iowa, and what if Hillary loses Iowa?

RUSH: That was November the 8th on this program. Mr. Rollins, who's now the campaign chieftain for Mike Huckabee, is saying that I am part of the New York or Wall Street-DC axis, the media elite axis, that didn't see any of this coming. I would maintain, ladies and gentlemen, that if you were listening to this program on November 8th and you heard me say, "What if Mike Huckabee wins Iowa?" you probably thought I was nuts, and you probably thought, "What's he smoking?" I was the first to bring it to attention. I saw it coming -- and I now may be seeing it going, ladies and gentlemen. Now, what I'm reacting to here -- and we brought this up yesterday -- is there was a post on a blog at the Atlantic magazine's website. An unidentified Huckabee supporter in Washington said, "'Honestly...Rush doesn't think for himself. That's not necessarily a slap because he's not paid to be a thinker -- he's an entertainer. I can't remember the last time that he has veered from the talking points from the DC-Manhattan chattering class.'" And I thought, as I told you yesterday, "What in the world here? Anybody that's running a Republican candidate or is on the staff of a Republican presidential candidate can't possibly believe this. Maybe it wasn't Huckabee or anybody in his staff leaking this. Maybe it was somebody else.

Does that sound like Rush started this battle, or did it originate with the Huckabee campaign? For whatever reason, Team Mike thought that attacking Rush Limbaugh would provide a sound victory strategy going into the primaries.

As El Rushbo has gone out of his way to avoid becoming a factor in the GOP presidential contest, there's simply no way he would pick a fight with Mike Huckabee, no more than he would with Romney, Rudy or any of the other frontrunners.

As a result, let's put an end to the silly, MSM- created concept of Rush Limbaugh sticking it to Republican candidates for his own amusement (or whatever reason they give).

UPDATE: In response to media requests from the Politico, your Radio Equalizer and others, Rush Limbaugh has issued this press statement late today:

I don't need to speak to Governor Huckabee. I saw his comments and accept them as honest, sincere and genuine.

What was somewhat stunning about all this is that NO ONE in the GOP field, including advisors and staff, could possibly misread my 19- plus year career the way Gov Huckabee's DC supporter did.

Whoever said those things was essentially repeating the Democrat mantra of all these years: that I am just an entertainer, not an independent thinker, part of the Wall Street/ DC axis. If it was someone on Governor Huckabee's staff or support team, it was just silly, uninformed and thus curious.

Governor Huckabee's campaign is engaged in identity politics at this moment, so I understand his advisor's/ supporter's intent to put the focus on me rather than the substance of my commentary.

As for the Governor not knowing how to reach me... there are people on his Arkansas staff who know full well how to reach me and they have not. But that is not necessary to me. We're not playing in a kindergarten sandbox here. We are all presumably adults.

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  • "Does that sound like Rush started this battle, or did it originate with the Huckabee campaign? For whatever reason, Team Mike thought that attacking Rush Limbaugh would provide a sound victory strategy going into the primaries."

    OK lets this gets this straight. THis all started by somebody that likes Huck in DC that is an "ally" whatever that is and was not even named. THis little blurb starts a whole war and the Huckabee campaign is to blame.? Please. First you know and every knows how DC is. WHen a poiliticans is hot everyone is there "friend".

    That being said you are sort of incorrect. Rush was sort of jabbing Huckabee supporters before this. Did Rush call the Huckabee campaign before he he went on for 4 hours by the Huckabee campaign?

    Huckabee supporters were stunned to say the least. WHy would the Huckabee campaign do this after knowing after the Internet version of Telephone was done this would make Huckabee look bad. By the end of the night on the net I was seeing that Huckabee said this?

    I am pretty pragamtaic about these things. I know this is the silly season. Republicans are at each other throats right now. There are excesses by all sides now as they support this guy.

    Howeverever this is largely a Faux controversy

    By Blogger James H, at 23 December, 2007 13:38  

  • This is Huckabee's fork-beam approach. He's trying to build a coalition of evangelicals on the right and economic populists on the left.

    He figures attacking Rush helps attract the lefties and doesn't hurt with the evangelicals because Rush's divorce and prior bout with addiction. Rush's real influence is with the rest of the Republican coalition, which Huckabee apparently doesn't think he needs to win the nomination.

    Or at least that's my theory.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 December, 2007 13:48  

  • Before we start yelling "Conspiracy", we should take a long look at what was actually said. Rush does not endorse candidates in a Primary, but he has been very consistent pointing out the various weaknesses of the candidates of both parties. Huck has weak points a plenty, and his response to the pointing has been quite erratic and somewhat puzzling.

    There is nothing that would have prevented him from calling into Rush's radio show and discussing this in person, he chose to "go to war" with Rush in this manner. And his choice is having some bad repercussions on his campaign.

    By Blogger Georgfelis, at 23 December, 2007 14:30  

  • Huckabee's timing just plain sucks. If he wanted to pick a fight, he should have started early.

    Now Huckabee has his tail between his legs and is begging for a get-together with Rush. But Rush is on vacation for the next week and then there is the Iowa vote.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 23 December, 2007 14:34  

  • The Christian right (and other fed up conservatives) are supporting Mike Huckabee, but the right’s pundits are not flocking to support him, and many of them are actually trying to derail him. Case in point:

    Rush's Hit-Piece on Huckabee
    (stick with it, audio of Rush)

    Something is very very very very wrong with this picture. Bottom line: The best candidate for the Republican nomination is Huckabee.

    Huckabee - Cinderella Man


    By Anonymous apacallyps, at 23 December, 2007 15:34  

  • Rush had nothing to say about Chucklebee personally, just picked on his goofy policies, his supporters who aren't paying attention to what they are supporting and lack of Chucklebee's worldliness. I agree with Rush, the Chucklebee is good for a few laughs, but falls way short in the serious candidate category.

    No offense meant, but Chucklebee is typical for a silver tongued Baptist minister from the south and the liberties they take with the truth. He is from Arkansas after all. -- Didn't we know someone else with the same gift for gab, and lack of truthfulness?

    By Blogger 10ksnooker, at 23 December, 2007 15:39  

  • I find it amusing that callers to local(MO)talk shows that say they are supporting Huckabee normally call him Hucklebee. They don't even know the man's name, much less his positions. (I guess the last part is understandable, since he flips on issues more than Romney ever has.)

    By Blogger P Campbell, at 23 December, 2007 16:59  

  • OK lets this gets this straight. THis all started by somebody that likes Huck in DC that is an "ally" whatever that is and was not even named.
    Wrong, Sporto. You FAIL the Internets, and the Space/Time Continuum's Graduate Course in 'Media Created Controversy'.... ;-)

    This was started by some hack publishing what HE CLAIMS some ANONYMOUS source, ALLEGED to be affiliated with the Huckleberry campaign in some UNDEFINED way, PURPORTEDLY said, vis-a-vis Limbaugh and the White MEssiah.

    This was pure, 100% USDA Campaign [strike]BS [/strike] steer produced BioFuel.

    By Blogger TC, at 23 December, 2007 17:56  

  • Maloney: response to a Huckabee aide calling Rush an "entertainer."

    Thats exactly what Rush is an ENTERTAINER, he is not a political analysist, not a political science expert, he is a D.J, who goes to GOP media meetings to recite what they tell him too. Essentially, an entertainer who depends on GOP meetings for his message. He is far far far ,from an independent voice, otherwise he would not be at the White House, getting talkig points.
    Not as journalist, nothing but an entertainer.

    Where's Rush doctorite, to prove him to be anything becides an entertainer. He never took a single highter education class, he is an ENTERTAINER. This controversy is for his "ditto heads", he is humiliated that Huckabee's person called it exactly what correct, RUSH IS AN ENTERTAINER, nothing else, not qualified to call himself anything other than an ENTERTAINER, who recites GOP mantra on a radio show in a comical way (occasionally) THAT IS ALL RUSH IS, not an independent thinker, not a political expert, not a political science person, A F*CKING D.J

    Get it Brian?

    A D.J
    like Scott Shannon
    a D.J
    like ohhhhh Howard Stern, Don Imus, Opie and Anthony, the Zoo in the morning etc etc.... AN ENTERTAINER

    This is limbagh telling his audience "ignore the obvious, dont listen to them, Im not an entertainer, I'm the man to depend on for everything". He is embarassed at the truth.

    Anyone who takes him seriously should be embarassed as well, your being educated by a Disc jockey!!!

    You can stick by a D.J, I only listen to people with an education

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 26 December, 2007 10:23  

  • Anyone who supports Huckabee, in my own opinion, needs to be beaten with reeds and shoved into a mailbox.

    Why would I vote for:

    1) Another Governor from Arkansas?
    2) A fiscal liberal exactly like GWB?
    3) A guy who's claims to Christ fall upon the rocks of his service, including letting rapists out of prison to rape again?
    4) Anyone who is not Fred Thompson?

    By Anonymous Negative Fashion, at 26 December, 2007 11:55  

  • Who's Fred Thompson?

    Oh, the dead lobbyist with the slutty wife.

    Yeah, that'll work for America...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 December, 2007 15:42  

  • “You can stick by a D.J, I only listen to people with an education”

    This coming from the idiot who said he listens to Airhead America all day at his house.

    Keep the bull crap coming Mop.

    By Blogger pf1, at 27 December, 2007 00:52  

  • There is no doubt there are many of the beltway republicans do not want a Christian in Washington. If Republican Elites wish to continue on this path of attacking the Religous Right. It is time for the Religous Right to set out this election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27 December, 2007 11:37  

  • Rush weilds a big stick with ditto-heads and that is unfortunate for anyone running for President who will use the "Bully Pulpit" to reverse the trends that are dragging our nation into the slime. I think it is time for all of us to vote for Rush Limbaugh by listening to music instead.

    By Blogger IB4Huck, at 24 January, 2008 01:22  

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