March 4, 2009

Plouffe: Minority Leader Limbaugh

Posted: 07:28 AM ET

by David Plouffe, Campaign Manager for Barack Obama's presidential campaign

The 2008 election sent many messages. At the top: Americans wanted to turn the page on the politics of division and partisan pettiness, and they wanted a government - and country - that would put the middle class first.

Watching the Republicans operate this past month, it would appear that they missed that unmistakable signal.

Instead, Rush Limbaugh has become their leader.

Limbaugh, of course, told his radio listeners that he's rooting for President Obama to fail - and hoping the president's ideas for bolstering our economy fail with him. For many Americans, hungry for leadership and cooperation, this sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard. When Limbaugh reiterated the sentiment this weekend, hundreds of Republican conservatives cheered him on. But instead of rebuking the radio personality or charting their own course, Republican leaders in Washington are paralyzed with fear of crossing their leader. Less than 24 hours after committing the unforgivable sin of criticizing Limbaugh, RNC Chairman Michael Steele felt compelled to publicly apologize. He was not the first and will certainly not be the last.

READ MORE of Plouffe's commentary

Filed under: President Obama • Rush Limbaugh

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barbara manor, Germany   March 4th, 2009 7:48 am ET

The GOP has misrepresented many facts that are on the burner now and it does not help them at all to have a “Rush” try to explain the world.
One point that always amazes me is the unqualified talk about “socialism” verses “Capitalism” as one hears it often now in talks and blogs. I live in Germany but I also lived for over 12 years in the US. Germany has a “social economy” not a “socialistic economy”. The differences are enormous.
In a Democracy the government has many areas of responsibility. First of all is the fair representation of all citizen and to provide a base on which the whole country can prosper. It should protect all people regardless of who they are or what their economic power is. The US gov. has always given more attention and advantages to the rich – costing the whole of society dearly.
I hope the average American will take a good look at what the country really looks like and why. There is a lot of room for improvement. Hopefully they will start to appreciate what the new administration has begun to offer them. An improvement of the hardware (infrastructure, energy etc.) and software (health, education, fair working conditions etc.) of the country are very long overdue! And that is not socialism but perhaps scaling down raw capitalism a little. We would all profit!

Michael C. McHugh   March 4th, 2009 8:29 am ET

We're in a reform era for the first time since the 1960s, which is one reason why Limbaugh and the other preachers of standard Republican orthodoxy now sound ridiculous to most people. They will continue to sound silly until the political cycle shifts back toward conservatism in 10 or 12 years.

In the meantime, they won't get very far by repackaging the ideas of Rutherford B. Hayes, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. The era is just not auspicious for those. They'd do better to take another look at Theodore Roosevelt and the New Nationalism, and at least make the attempt to compete with Obama as reformers rather than reactionaries.

Of course, this will not sit well with the base of the party, for which Limbaugh is such a potent guru, symbol and mouthpiece. Most of them really are as afraid of him as they were of Joe McCarthy!

kenny   March 4th, 2009 8:41 am ET

David Plouffe is a genius !!

j   March 4th, 2009 9:14 am ET

ditto kenny

Patti Myers   March 4th, 2009 10:41 am ET

Hi. I am an Illinois resident who just wanted to comment on the stimulus bill. Well, we are already seeing the side effects of it because in my check last Friday, I got 2 letters from the company that said that as of April 1st, they will no longer be matching us dollar for dollar on our 401K plan. All we get is what we pay in. Also, they will be cutting back on their help with medical and only paying a small percentage to qualified employees. They had been paying as follows:
employed for-
1 year 10% paid
2 years 25% paid
3 years 50% paid
4 years 75% paid
5 years or more FREE
This is also effective as of April 1st. So now everyone will be having to pay for their own medical, and most will NOT be able to afford it.

Jay in Nashville   March 4th, 2009 10:53 am ET

Patti, how does the stimulus bill affect your company? Please tell us how that it is. Many companies have been cutting medical benefits for years. The stopping of putting in matching amounts into 401K has become pretty publicized since last fall. I guess the bottom line is do you want a job longer or medical benefits and 401K match for a shorter period of time.

sean brizendine   March 4th, 2009 11:26 am ET

larry it is obvious that rush limbaugh is a powerhouse for the republicans.
"sean in santa rosa"

The Pack   March 4th, 2009 11:41 am ET

When will President Obama & the goverment tell americans that the U.S. dolllar will no longer be used and the new money"the americ" will be used.The middle class has to fight corporate america,they are trying to wipe out the middle class will president Obama allow this?America will be a 3rd world country if this happens!

debbie   March 4th, 2009 11:54 am ET

Rush finds President Obama's stimulus package Socialism, my view is toward Mr. Limbaugh is I find him the socialist. The wealthy like him has had a free ride on paying their fair share of taxes, now we all have the same rule so Rush insults the President. If he thinks he is beyond paying his fair share in taxes and should get all the tax cuts and loop holes, then I find his way of thinking as Socialism. This is a group that for too long slid by on the working middle class pulling the weight in paying taxes. Now the he has to pay fair taxes, he is yelling at the top of his lungs. It is amusing to hear MCCain and Rush complain but annoying in the same breath. All the wealthy will yell but it is about time we have a President that treats us all fairly. Yes Bush did put us in this shape, I remember President Clinton trying for 8 years to get health care for the ones that needed it but the Republicans shout it down at every vote, but constantly giving theirselves raises. This is not punishment Mr. Limbaugh, this is called fairness not Socialism!

hugh ~ california   March 4th, 2009 12:30 pm ET

I believe in freedom of speech, but I wish that this bloviating hot tempered blowhard bag of wind would shut the hell up! I cannot stand the man. Rush Limbaugh is garbage, the worst example of American values, all he does is spew his hatred on a damned daily basis! The world would be a better place without him.

justice for all   March 4th, 2009 1:49 pm ET

The Era of Big Government and Big spending is here.Not only they
destroyed poor families by breaking up those families by offering welfare checks to single women to keep having babies no more father needed, , the government's plays the father, role. no accountability ,, prove hardship. This policies, they destroy the family. They destroy people's futures. ... President Obama, your agenda its ' not change, and it's not hope.Your policies includes... more death to unborn children and Spending a nation into generational debt is not an act of compassion. These liberal
policies will fail...PERIOD..

julie   March 4th, 2009 2:06 pm ET

B Obama had the BEST campaign managers, David Plouffe & David Axelrok from Chicago..the best..J Kerry had the worst/Mary Jane ??/ & w/his money he could have hired the best..A Gore had /cannot think of her name/ she was OK..J NcCain had a bad one...bitter angry....never smiled..& w/his moneyhe could have hired smone else...go figure..

Joni Berry   March 4th, 2009 2:56 pm ET

While watching last night's show (2-3-09), about this whole Rush controversy, it did not take me long to turn off Larry King. When Stephanie Miller did a southern accent to insinuate that "Rush's Followers" are southern, ignorant and stupid, I was furious. Cut the southern accent to show some type of mental deficiency. We are intelligent, Christian human beings who do not (all) follow Rush. I don't read or listen to his shows. It was a racist, immature and a degrading act by Stephanie Miller. If any of the panel or the American people think Obama or McCain can get this country out of this mess, they are wrong! Benjamin Franklin once stated that it would take a second revolution, kind of cleaning house and rewriting the constitution to make America a true democracy. The American people have not cleaned house yet. The Washington political machinery is still firmly in place on all levels. And until that time, we will see a steady decline in our country until nothing short of a Great Depression occurs. To think this is the legacy for my children and grandchildren makes me sad. But being a Christian Southerner, I will rely on my faith in God and His ability to take the impossible and make it possible.

Michelle   March 4th, 2009 5:26 pm ET

Racist? Really? I guess you don't understand racism. Not enough room here to explain racism to you. How do you connect a southern accent to ignorant and stupid? That's such a stretch. I believe Stephanie was talking about Rush's followers. She could have also been talking about the people featured on the documentary on HBO 'Right America Feeling Wronged. Most Americans know these two segments are such a small number of America as evidenced in results of the Presidential Election. I was outraged at Lars smugness and disconnect with reality. I drew from this no one told him President Obama won both the electoral and majority vote and President Obama is doing what he was elected by Americans to do. Being a lib I watched the whole show.

Eleanor   March 4th, 2009 6:44 pm ET

President Obama is a fair president who offers his hand to all
Why not shock the blabbering Rush Limbaugh with an invite to dinner at the white house ,Mr President . He would likely be so shocked it might even make him mute Ha Ha
Get out the dinner invites President Obama:-)

Joyce Kerensky   March 4th, 2009 6:46 pm ET

I cannot believe how mean spirited some of the people in the Republican Party have been since President Obama's inauguration. Why do the news shows have to talk so much about Rush Limbaugh? He is a disgrace to our country and who would respect him for saying that he hopes that our President fails? If the country fails so does Rush Limbaugh or is he not a part of our country? I cannot believe that the real head of the Republican Party had to apologize to such a crude man. Perhaps the Republican Party needs to find some new leaders who are not so brash, harsh, and mean spirited.

gg   March 4th, 2009 7:00 pm ET

don.t cross ADOLF LIMPBALL

Jan   March 4th, 2009 7:44 pm ET

Since Rush Limbaugh is giving his advice and really believes the government should use it. He sounds like its his way or it isnt right.
I wondered where he was in the past 8 years in giving his solutions to the Republicans to keep us out of this mess long before it ever happened.
They put us in deep and now the new President is expected to fix it pronto. ?
Come on get real
We should all give our President a chance. and as an American support him.
Ive never heard Rush against any Republican but he sure can knock the Democrats even before they can get started trying to clean up the mess . By the way Im for the person not the party or race and I think Rush IS A RACIST

missy moore   March 4th, 2009 8:10 pm ET

This message is in response to the lastest comments by Rush Limbaugh. I understand that Rush just signed on a 400 million dollar contract with Syndicated Services. Given that kind of money and the number of folks out of work – does he intend to hire a large number of folks who have been laid off? Perhaps we can help him in in quest to ensure to make sure the economy fails. Do you know where we can send our resumes to Rush to apply for work?

I watch CNN faithfully – and I hope that you and Rush Limbaugh will hire a lot of folks to help him earn that 400 million.

Sick of the Charlotte – North Carolina....

larry rowland   March 4th, 2009 8:25 pm ET

hi larry, trere is no doubt that limbaugh is still on drugs, if you watch his constant nose sniffing a common sign for a drug addict. if he wants to debate someone he should debate bill o'reilly as they have the same negative frame of mind, and the same troubles with their love lives. larry michigan

Richard (Greenville,South Carolina)   March 4th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

I can't believe that the Republican party can't see past their own egotistical views. Don't they realize that without the middle class, you no longer have police officers to protect you, school teachers to properly educate your children, and cooks to make your fancy food when you go to a restaurant; just to name a few. This conservative, one-sided view has got to stop. We need to support our President and everything he's trying to do. He's not trying to hurt us.

elvis payne   March 4th, 2009 9:26 pm ET


Richard (Greenville,South Carolina)   March 4th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

To -justice for all: Learn how to type. It's as sloppy as your so-called facts towards the administration's goals. If the majority of the country thought that Obama was trying to hurt us, then we wouldn't have voted for him. Anyone who thinks that an entire country can change over night needs a reality check. It took Bush 8 years to destroy this country; the least you can do is be patient enough to give Obama time to fix it. PERIOD!

James Jenkins   March 4th, 2009 11:02 pm ET

I am curious as to where all these critics were when George Bush was giving money away for the last 8 years. When Bush put innocent boys and girls in harms way in Iraq where they lost their lives. Lim the drug addict is just that, a drug addict. Bush and his buddies stole this country blind and now small minded people wish they had John McCain in charge who admittedly said he knows nothing about economics. And poor Sarah, couldn't get a journalism degree for six years do you really think she has the sense to fix this economy? The problem with all of you is this, real equality will never come to America. But as it is, it is what it is!!!!!

James Jenkins   March 4th, 2009 11:13 pm ET

Rush knows everything there is to know about anything. But what gets me is, how come he didn't having the answers to get his buddys in the obstructionist Republican party elected. Every instruction Rush gave to his lackies failed before and after the election of Obama. If I had a mechanic who talked a good game but constantly failed to fix the car I would fire him. But than, that's rational thinking.

justice for all   March 11th, 2009 6:54 pm ET

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner received failing grades for their efforts to revive the economy from participants in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

MSNBC poll: Obama earns 'F' on performance

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