Ron Paul: 'Pretty sad' that Limbaugh is GOP leader
Demonstrating again his propensity to go out on a limb, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) had some choice words of criticism for Rush Limbaugh, the conservative media talk show host who was the star attraction at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference.
In a phone interview Monday morning with CNN’s John Roberts, Paul said of Limbaugh, “He is a leader. He does say the right things now and I think a lot of people like to hear what he’s saying but I think it’s also a little bit polarizing and confrontational and I think that’s why the Democrats are bragging that Limbaugh now speaks for the Republicans so I guess the Democrats think its to their advantage if he’s leading the charge.”
Responding to a question from Roberts on what it means for the Republican Party that their “spokesperson” is a radio talk show host and not a member of the political leadership, Paul said, “I think it’s pretty sad. It’s a good point to make. That means the Republicans are really starving for some type of leadership.”
A 2008 presidential contender, Paul was a dark horse candidate for the Republican nomination. His advocacy against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as his criticisms of infringements on civil liberties under the Bush administration have often put him at odds with the majority of his party but have also led to strong support from civil libertarians.
“He really doesn’t broaden the base,” said Paul of Limbaugh. “It’s still very narrow and that’s why some of us would like to see an approach that would emphasize personal liberties, civil liberties, looking at the drug war… It’s really the old Republican Party because even Limbaugh was a big supporter of Bush so he doesn’t have anything new either when it comes to bringing our troops homes, not expanding the war in Afghanistan..
In criticizing Limbaugh, Paul joins Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who also had some unflattering remarks to say about the popular talk show host.
“Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer,” Steele said to CNN's D.L. Hughley on Saturday. “Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes it’s incendiary, yes it’s ugly.”
Said Roberts of Paul, “I was fascinated that in terms of expanding the base, Ron Paul is bringing a lot of young people in the door. It’s fascinating. This 72-year-old white guy from Texas is bringing a lot of young people in.”
Paul demurred though to Roberts’ enquiries of whether he would run for president in 2012.
“I don’t think so. It’s a long way off. I can hardly imagine what [state] the country is is going to be in. Right now I just plan on promoting the cause.”
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast Mar. 2, 2009.
Download video via RawReplay.com
|Get Raw exclusives as they break -- Email & mobile