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Posted by on Mar 10, 2008 in Politics | 11 comments

Bill Clinton Went On Rush Limbaugh’s Show Day Of Texas Primary

Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton’s efforts to reunite the Democratic Party — and get the votes of some independent voters — could become tougher than ever with news that former President Bill Clinton appeared on conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s show…on the day of the Texas primary.

If the story catches on, it will likely strike a decidedly sour note with many Democrats — and adds to the increasing instances in this campaign that anything will be done to get votes.

Why? Because Limbaugh is considered the quintessential demonizer of Democrats by Democrats and this means the former President was trying to help the conservative talk show host’s efforts to get Republicans to cross over in the Texas primary to vote for Hillary Clinton.

There is an irony here since Bill Clinton helped Limbaugh become quite a wealthy man over the years. But here it seems to be “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

The “crime” is made worse by the fact that the avowed purpose of Limbaugh and those talkers who joined him in this effort to get GOP crossovers was to a) throw a monkey wrench into Obama’s string of victories and break his momentum b) help force the Democratic battle for the nomination to go on longer and become more bitter in order to weaken the Democrats and help Republican chances c) get Senator Clinton as candidate because some Republicans perceived her as the weaker candidate.

Even worse: the Clinton’s have not been easily accessible to some PROGRESSIVE talk show hosts such as Ed Schultz.

But it turns out as if there apparently was a mutual overlap of interests here — the desire of Limbaugh, his fill-in host that day and other conservatives to influence the race and the former President to do whatever it took to get every single vote for Hillary Clinton, even if it meant crossover votes from Republicans who wanted to weaken the Democrats. Crossover, schmossover, weaken Obama, schmeaken Obama — as long as it’s a vote for Hillary…

It’s an almost mind-boggling development — and one that could undercut the Clinton’s credibility among many Democrats. Some blog reaction:

Andrew Sullivan:

You may have missed it – almost everyone missed it – but Bill Clinton was on Rush Limbaugh’s show the day of the Texas primary. You can hear the radio here. Limbaugh himself was sick that day, apparently, but he had already urged Republicans to cross over to keep Hillary Clinton in the race. Bill saw an opening – and went there.

Now just wrap your mind around this: the Clintons were happy to support a cynical, partisan Republican campaign to wound the Democratic front-runner, and they were brazen enough to go on the Limbaugh show to do so.

There also seems little doubt that Republican mischief played a real role in affecting the results. And they call Obama’s call for them to release their tax returns a tactic worthy of Ken Starr. I repeat: the chutzpah and the cynicism just leave you speechless. And as you find it impossible to do much but splutter, the Clintons plow on with new self-serving lies.

–TPM Cafe has a MUST READ HERE with Limbaugh’s campaign to get Republicans to cross over and vote for Hillary Clinton. Read it all. TPM notes:

Rush was saying the day before that he felt a “flu” coming on, and then Tuesday he was “sick” and had the substitute host, and then Wednesday he was back to crow about his achievement in getting Hillary elected.

Justin Gardner:

Folks, this is an ex-President! That is absolutely nuts! But he apparently wanted to get all those ditto heads to come vote for Hillary so she could stay in the race….

And to think she made an issue of Obama’s mention of Ronald Reagan, as if he were some Republican in Democrat’s clothing. The “do and say anything” crew strikes again.

Prairie Weather:

Oh that is so unfair the Clintons are just dedicated Americans trying to get back the White House at any cost to save us from ourselves to show how much George Bush has taught them to get around the “no third term” rule to help small children and little old people out while keeping our defenses strong and changing our economy back into a bubble.

Comments from Left Field recounts the infamous “mistake” Limbaugh made on his now defunct TV show when he showed a photo of then first-daughter Chelsea Clinton when mentioning a dog. He writes:

Interestingly, the Clinton campaign has engaged in the most unusual tactic of embracing the right in order to wrestle from Obama a nomination that would seem to be his based upon math alone. One thing that seems to have escaped scrutiny up until now is that years after Rush Limbaugh called Bill Clinton’s daughter a dog, the former president was actually a guest on Limbaugh’s show.

Rush wasn’t there, he was conveniently sick so that the two wouldn’t have to share a studio together. This still doesn’t change the fact that Rush had been calling for Republicans to vote for Hillary. Clinton’s appearance with a guest host only seemed to endorse this call.

…It may seem hypocritical to point to Republican support for Clinton as a bad thing when Obama partisans point to Republican support for Obama a good thing, but here’s the simple truth of the matter. Obamacans, as they are called, are planning on voting for Obama in the General Election. Clintonicans (I made that up, and I can see one of the reasons why no one really uses it) seem to be looking instead at merely sabotaging the Democratic nomination process.

But, in general this is simply the onset of what seems to be a disturbing pattern on the Clintons relying upon the right to take out Obama.

This became even more apparent when Clinton decided to become the president of the John McCain fan club. I know, I believe, what she was trying to do here, but I also believe it failed fantastically due to a miscalculation regarding how we view the world around us.

There IS a pattern now emerging from the Clinton campaign. Not a nice one. And not one that will appeal to many independent voters.

Was Limbaugh sick? As Marshall implies, this seems set up in a way to provide some “plausible deniability” so that Clinton was not tarnished with actually appearing with Limbaugh — but would be on with a substitute host. If the story gains “legs,” look for that argument from the Clinton camp and its defenders.

P.S. Did John McCain ever appear on Schultz’s or Randi Rhodes’ show on the day of a primary where Democrats could cross over and vote for him instead of other Republican nominees? Can you IMAGINE how McCain would have been skewered by Republicans if he did?

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • MaryL

    Current election shenanigans aside, consider this: Limbaugh has said some truly foul things about Bill, Hillary and, worse yet, their daughter Chelsea when she was still a teenager and was first in the public eye. But Bill Clinton can countenance appearing on Limbaugh’s show with only the veil of a guest host to protect him from well-deserved opprobrium? Maudit!

  • GeorgeSorwell

    Am I really required to care about this?

    I know, last week a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama called Clinton a monster and thus had to be forced to resign. I’m sure I could find a bunch of similar examples of ginned-up outrage producing completely out-of-proportion consequences going back through the entire campaign.

    Or, rather, you can find them. If you care. Not me. Because I don’t care.

    Why should I care?

  • Jammer

    Hey, they are reaching out to bring everyone together. Right? I suppose if Republicans can vote in the Democratic primary, a stupid idea in and of itself, its fair game for Clinton to troll for Republican votes. That said I am not altogether happy about it. Although frankly I would view Schulz the same way. He has been an enemy to Clinton THIS year and if I were Clinton I wouldnt get near Schulz. And the point that if McCain did this he would be skewered by Republicans is really irrelevant to the article. In addition, I see ZERO evidence the Clintons are trying to sabotage the nominating process or split the party or anything of the same. Just watch please and stop forecasting. Watch what the Clintons do if Hillary loses the nomination. Make your judgments then. Making your judgments now, before it has happened, and with a 50% chance you are wrong anyway, and then getting all bent out of shape based on your forecasting of something that hasnt happened yet is not very elegant thinking.

  • cosmoetica

    It took a week for this to make news?

  • DLS

    Castro is next! Or Chavez, even.

  • Slamfu

    Like Stephen King’s “Carrie”, they are just inviting her to the prom so they can mess with her once she steps inside. Once Clinton got the nomination the GOP “aisle-crossers” she’s working with now would turn on her so fast there would be a sonic boom. Rush is slime. I was willing to chalk up the rest of Hillary’s campaign tactics to-in-the-trenches campaigning, but Limbaugh mocked her teenage daughter nationally to score some cheap political points and indulge his and his fans’ idiotic sense of humor.

    Once again, Obama looking better everyday.

  • DLS

    If Clinton wins, his show gets one more boost of vitality before his likely retirement (my guess). Between now and then, though, he and the other talkers have to pull for McCain. Ha. Of course, some of them may secretly or not-so-secretly hope that Clinton or Obama win rather than McCain so they can criticize from a position of attack rather than (“)defense.(“)

  • JSpencer

    Rush’s whole shtick has always been about division and how he can use it to pump himself up. And we all know that has strong appeal to certain folks (god I’m polite), but the fact that WJC would actually go on his show, while Rush plays hooky is incredibly ironic. These are indeed strange times we live in…. Is it possible Bill is just reaching a point where the 02 just gets so far?

  • Slamfu

    Rush would love nothing more than Clinton to get in there for 8 years. He’d have 8 years of material, he could recycle most of it from the 90’s.

  • StockBoySF

    “I suppose if Republicans can vote in the Democratic primary, a stupid idea in and of itself, its fair game for Clinton to troll for Republican votes.”

    Yeah it is fair for Dems to go after R votes, but the Republicans want Hillary to win the Democratic nomination because they see her as more vulnerable against McCain.

    McCain and Obama both appeal to cross-over voters, so O gives M a run for his money there. And O can win states that H can’t. Also with O there is a clear choice of ending the war in iraq sooner or- with McCain- staying in Iraq indefinitely. The Iraq issue is much more muddle with Hillary. Also a lot of people won’t vote for Hillary because she’s seen as a divisive figure- even before Obama took the stage.

    But going back to the idea of TX Republicans voting for Hillary- ha! That’s a laugh. If McCain weren’t already the nominee (technically the presumptive nominee, but he already has all the delegates needed) then the TX Republicans would have been more involved in their own race. They’re just spoilers in the Dem race now, getting to choose who they want to vote AGAINST in the general. Wouldn’t that be a hoot if the R’s in the upcoming races voted for Hillary because of that reason and that is what gave her the nomination, but she lost the WH?

    No offense to those Republicans who voted for a Dem, but to those Republicans who don’t actually support a Dem candidate, STAY OUT OF OUR BUSINESS and vote for the person you support. Same goes for Dems supporting Rs (but I haven’t heard of any similar stories).

    Lastly, I’ve said before that Hillary approaches this presidential process like a war. She will do and say anything to get win the battle, and then go on to fight the next battle. She doesn’t care what she is doing to the party because she expects Democrats to fall in line. Well, I can tell you now that since McCain attracts indies and Dems as well, Hillary needs more than just Democratic loyalists to vote for her if she wants to win the WH. But she doesn’t see it that way. She wants it her way.

  • Joe Doakes

    Bill Clinton did NOT go on Rush’s show.

    Bill Clinton went on Mark Davis’ show earlier that day at WBAP.
    Later that day Mark Davis guest hosted for Limbug and replayed that interview.

    People have acknowledged this at donklephant, at freerepublic, and even at democratic underground.

    Why do you believe Andrew Sullivan.

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