Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele took umbrage Saturday night when CNN's D.L. Hughley referred to radio host Rush Limbaugh as "the de facto leader of the Republican party."
"No he's not. I'm the de facto leader of the Republican party," Steele said. The RNC chief went on to call Limbaugh, who that very day delivered the keynote address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, a mere "entertainer" whose show is "incendiary" and "ugly."
On his radio show today, Limbaugh fired back, calling the RNC and Michael Steele "so-called Republicans" and saying that they "need a little leadership."
"So I am an entertainer and I have 20 million listeners because of my great song and dance routine," Limbaugh said. "Michael Steele, you are head of the Republican National Committee. You are not head of the Republican party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the Republican National Committee...and when you call them asking for money, they hang up on you."
"I hope that changes," Limbaugh continued. "It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of being some talking-head media star."
UPDATE: Rush continued firing shots at Steele later in the show.
"I'm not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don't want to be," he said. "I would be embarrassed to say that I'm in charge of the Republican Party in a sad-sack state that it's in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it's in, I would quit."
Rush then mocked those who have criticized him for saying he wants Obama to fail, and directly challenged them to choose: You either want Obama to succeed or fail at his goal of dismantling conservatism.
"So send those fundraising requests out," Rush said in a sneering tone, in an apparent reference to Steele, adding: "Make sure you say, `We want Obama to succeed.' So people understand your compassion."
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says he has reached out to Rush Limbaugh to tell him he meant no offense when he referred to the popular conservative radio host as an “entertainer” whose show can be “incendiary.”
“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”
Did Steele say that Rush's speech to the convention looked like a Nazi rally? Or did someone else say that? Who? I've been very busy the last two days but I think I read that someplace. And it kind of rang (tolled) a bell as far as I'm concerned, because when Rush was speaking and getting really nasty and his audience got all riled up and started chanting "USA, USA, USA!" Well, my very thoughts! A whole lot like fascism. And, good lord---why does Rush, of ALL people, not wear a flag pin on his lapel?
Well, I wonder if he likes Alaska Gov? Can't recall. Anyway, I think she can hibernate for a couple years and still come out like Superwoman, smelling like a rose and be the real leader of the party. She has that 'something' that will draw people and votes. Granted it is not what will be needed to run the party and the U.S. but she has "it".
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