Posted tagged ‘George H.W. Bush’

Rush vs. Bush – Again

March 28, 2015

Politico recently ran a feature on Republican presidential frontrunner Jeb Bush’s problem with talk radio. The piece mentions Laura Ingraham, who said there would be no difference between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, and called for them to run on a ticket together, “Clush 2016.” But it goes deeper into the complicated relationship that talk radio king Rush Limbaugh has with Jeb.

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

The Right Frequency describes the complicated relationship between Limbaugh and the Bush family. The book describes how Limbaugh endorsed Pat Buchanan’s primary challenge to George H.W. Bush in 1992. Limbaugh actually tore into Buchanan in the 1996 Republican presidential primary. In 2000, Limbaugh wholeheartedly supported George. W. Bush in the Republican primary against John McCain.

From Politico:

Bush, who’s all but officially announced he’s running for president, has said he would want to run a “joyful” campaign. He’s said he would want to have “adult conversations.” It’s phrasing that hints at his general distaste for conservative talk radio. Some Bush allies privately refer to some of the medium’s leaders as “warlords”—a description meant to convey the unreasonable, unrealistic and pugilistic agenda of those who thrive off of conflict. Bush, on the other hand, believes a winning Republican campaign a decade and a half into the 21st century must promote inclusion and optimism, not discontent and fear. People think he’s too moderate in part because Limbaugh and the Limbaugh-like are saying he is. So here, almost a year before the 2016 Iowa caucuses, the primaries have started already—the fundraising and positioning of the so-called invisible primary, but a visible one, too, or at least an audible one. Call it the Rush primary.

Every Republican politician of a certain consequence over the last quarter-century has had to make a decision about how to engage with Limbaugh and the many others who populate America’s most redward airwaves. Bush right now isn’t talking about this because (1) it’s so early in the campaign the campaign can’t even technically be called a campaign and (2) that would be unwise. Limbaugh and his imitative competitors don’t need additional oxygen. But based on conversations with strategists and advisers connected to Bush, consultants, show hosts and industry watchers—and what he’s done over the past month—Bush won’t ignore talk radio.

If there is in fact a Rush primary, Bush, headstrong and self-assured, thinks he can win that one, too.

To learn more about Limbaugh’s complicated relationship with the Bush family, read The Right Frequency.

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25 Years of Rush Marks Strength of Talk Radio

August 3, 2013

Rush Limbaugh celebrated his 25th year of his game-changing nationally syndicated radio program this past week. As The Right Frequency explains, talk radio did not start with Limbaugh, but he did revolutionize it — creating a commercially successful model that spawned an industry and in turn created an alternative media. Below is an excerpt from The Right Frequency on Limbaugh, the only host to get his own chapter in the book.

***

Just before the 1992 presidential election, Time magazine asked Rush Limbaugh,

“You’re unabashedly for Bush and against Clinton.
Given 13 million devoted listeners, why is your guy 15 points behind?”

Limbaugh’s answer: “I don’t say that I have influence. I was totally opposed to the 1990 budget deal, and it still happened. I’m not an activist. I do not give out congressional phone numbers. I do not urge behavior. No tea bags. This is entertainment. And in strict marketing terms, does it hurt me to be the only guy not making Dan Quayle jokes?”

Rush Limbaugh has no influence. Tell that to the Democrats in 1994 who lost their seats en masse in the Republican Revolution that was dubbed the Limbaugh Congress. Tell that to the new majority swept in that year that made Limbaugh an honorary member of their freshman class. Tell that to President Bill Clinton who had public fits during his administration over Limbaugh’s commentary.
For that matter, tell it to the Obama White House who made it their strategy in early 2009 to call Limbaugh the leader of the Republican Party, a strategy that did nothing to help Obama against the GOP (which was the intent) but tremendously boosted Limbaugh’s audience and influence.

To be sure, he does not have unlimited political power. His legions of “ditto-heads” are not mind numb robots marching in lockstep. This is evident during the presidential primary season when callers, who insist they agree with Limbaugh 99 percent of the time, wanted to know why he is so down on Pat Buchanan (1996), John McCain (2000 and 2008), Mike Huckabee (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012) and other GOP hopefuls over the years. The “ditto-heads” are
in fact folks who had long sought an advocate who would not mock the views they already held. They found that in Limbaugh.
A month after Republicans faced a beating in the 1992 election, sweeping Bill Clinton into the White House, none other than former President Ronald Reagan wrote a letter to Limbaugh. “Now that I’ve retired from active politics, I don’t mind that you’ve become the number one voice for conservatism.” A remarkable statement from the politician Rush would go on to call Ronaldous Maximus.
Reagan’s December 1992 letter went on to say, “I know the liberals call you ‘the most dangerous man in America,’ but don’t worry about it, they used to say the same about me. Keep up the good work.”
While the left tries to dismiss him, the industry does not, as few people are more decorated than Limbaugh. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1993, often times a lifetime achievement that comes toward the end of a host’s career. Rush was just getting started then. He won a Marconi Award in 1992, 1995, 2000 and 2005, given by the National Association of Broadcasters to
the top radio personality. Reflecting his role as a leader in the conservative movement, in March 2007 he accept the inaugural William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence, given by the Media Research Center.
Simply put, according to Talkers Magazine, the industry bible, “Rush Limbaugh is the greatest radio talk show host of all time.”
He has not prevented Democrats from ever getting elected again. Nor has he controlled the Republican nomination process—obvious in the 2008 choice of McCain as the GOP standard bearer.
He was no cheerleader for Mitt Romney during the 2012 primary either. But he has become in many ways, if not the leader, the inspiration of the conservative movement.

The left has continually gone after him, seeking advertising boycotts, and accusations of various forms of bigotry. The left, which is often so aghast at casting moral judgment, has repeatedly pounced on Limbaugh for his being divorced three time and married four— paying the gay entertainer Sir Elton John $1 million to perform at his most recent wedding. He was married the first time for 18 months; the second time for five years, the third time for 10 years.
He married Kathryn Rogers in the summer of 2010. Though virtually every bad adjective imaginable has been used to describe him, Limbaugh has  contributed millions from his own pocket and raised hundreds of millions for leukemia research. Rush Limbaugh has been a transformative figure in the political, media and entertainment universe.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

Rush Limbaugh: ‘I Don’t Say I Have Influence … I’m Not an Activist’

May 4, 2013

(The following is an excerpt from The Right Frequency.)

Just before the 1992 presidential election, Time magazine asked Rush Limbaugh, “You’re unabashedly for Bush and against Clinton. Given 13 million devoted listeners, why is your guy 15 points behind?”
Limbaugh’s answer: “I don’t say that I have influence. I was totally opposed to the 1990 budget deal, and it still happened. I’m not an activist. I do not give out congressional phone numbers. I do not urge behavior. No tea bags. This is entertainment. And in strict marketing terms, does it hurt me to be the only guy not making Dan Quayle jokes?”
Rush Limbaugh has no influence. Tell that to the Democrats in 1994 who lost their seats en masse in the Republican Revolution that was dubbed the Limbaugh Congress. Tell that to the new majority swept in that year that made Limbaugh an honorary member of their freshman class. Tell that to President Bill Clinton who had public fits during his administration over Limbaugh’s commentary.

Book Cover
For that matter, tell it to the Obama White House who made it their strategy in early 2009 to call Limbaugh the leader of the Republican Party, a strategy that did nothing to help Obama against the GOP (which was the intent) but tremendously boosted Limbaugh’s audience and influence.
To be sure, he does not have unlimited political power. His legions of “ditto-heads” are not mind numb robots marching in lockstep.
This is evident during the presidential primary season when callers, who insist they agree with Limbaugh 99 percent of the time, wanted to know why he is so down on Pat Buchanan (1996), John McCain (2000 and 2008), Mike Huckabee (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012) and other GOP hopefuls over the years. The “ditto-heads” are in fact folks who had long sought an advocate who would not mock the views they already held. They found that in Limbaugh.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Legends Who Shook Up the Political and Media Establishment.

Bookviews: The Right Frequency ‘Excellent Book, Well Worth Reading’

February 3, 2013

From Bookviews:

If you are among the many millions who depend on talk radio to get news and opinion from a conservative point of view, than you will enjoy Fred V/ Lucas’ new book, The Right Frequency: The Story of Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media Establishment ($18.95, History Publishing Company, softcover). L. Brent Bozell III president of the Media Research Center, says, “Author Fred Lucas chronicles conservative talk-radio stars over the decades, reminding us how they kept the American idea alive. Lucas travels back to the early days of talk radio history, describing, for example how Fulton Lewis predicted to Mike Wallace in the 1950s that the Republican Party could be a majority party if they would only let the conservatives run it, instead of wishy-washy, me-too moderates.” That was quite prescient given the way the recent reelection of President Obama is widely attributed to a weak candidate and failure to wage a more aggressive campaign. The Republicans have had a succession of presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon to Reagan and the two Bush presidencies. It took until 1994 to gain control of Congress during the Clinton administration, but political power kept slipping away and today’s talk radio stars, led by Rush Limbaugh, will have plenty to rail against for the next four years. As history, this is an excellent book, well worth reading. 

Click here to see full article.

To order a copy of The Right Frequency, click here.