Rush Breaks with GOP Establishment, Praises Ron Paul
Rush Limbaugh is right about Ron Paul
By Jack Hunter
(Read full transcript of Limbaugh’s comments here)
I became a conservative because of Rush Limbaugh. In fact, only three contemporary American political figures have had a real life-changing influence on me: Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan during his presidential runs in the 1990s, and Ron Paul, for whom I remain a humble servant as his 2012 campaign’s official blogger.
But first there was Rush.
In the summer of 1992, my mother would often fold laundry in the family kitchen while listening to Limbaugh’s radio program. Regularly listening with her, usually over lunch, quickly my interest went from curiosity to ardent devotion. By the time I was 17, I considered myself a hardcore conservative, scheduling my days around Limbaugh’s program, which I would eagerly listen to for all three hours. I devoured his books “The Way Things Ought to Be” and “See, I Told You So,” and I watched virtually every episode of his television program. When Rush appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1995, I arrived at the store as the clerk was turning the key to get the first copy, which asked: “Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America?”
Seeing the cover, I exclaimed, “Yes! Of course he is, you stupid liberals!” aloud in the store.
In the time between then and now, a chasm widened between Rush and I, particularly during the dark days of George W. Bush’s presidency. In the 1990s, Pat Buchanan’s wars with the Republican Party became my wars, and the same has been true of Ron Paul’s battles with the GOP — but these fights were always about the Republican Party not being conservative enough. The Goldwater-Reagan tradition of limited government that Rush preached to me as a teenager, what today we might call “constitutional conservatism” — this has been almost completely absent from the GOP for most of my adult life, and certainly during the Bush years. In my own capacity as a talk radio host in Charleston, South Carolina (inspired by Rush) and as a columnist, I regularly attacked the Bush administration for not being conservative enough. I also attacked my fellow conservatives for not attacking Bush enough. It was tough love, and Limbaugh was a frequent target.
But let’s forget all that. Let’s forget about some of the negative things Rush has said about Ron Paul (and Buchanan). Let’s instead focus on something of vital importance that Limbaugh said this week.
Mere hours before Paul announced his “Restore America Now” budget plan in Las Vegas on Monday, Rush was asked by a caller on his program how any of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates were going to seriously address our looming fiscal crisis once they reached the White House. The man was looking for answers — and Rush gave it to him: “You’re not going to believe my answer. Ron Paul has a good idea.”
Limbaugh chuckled with the caller a bit, but then got serious as he outlined Paul’s budget proposal…
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