Rush Limbaugh said Monday that President Donald Trump told him to “never apologize” for mocking Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg about PDA with his husband.
Limbaugh, a conservative talk show host, was responding on-air to Buttigieg’s comment on CNN Sunday that he was “not going take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”
After denying having lectured the former South Bend, Indiana mayor, Limbaugh relayed what he said was a phone conversation with Trump, whom he said “checks in every now and then to see how I’m doing.”
“Hell, the president even called me about this!” Limbaugh recalled. “He said, ‘Rush, I just got to tell you something. Never apologize. Don’t ever apologize’ — and I said, ‘For what?'”
“I had no idea this thing had even bubbled up. You know, I’m up doing the medical thing that I have to do here, and I wasn’t even aware of this,” he added.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment.
Limbaugh announced his cancer diagnosis on a Feb. 3 episode of “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” warning listeners he would occasionally be out for treatment. A day later, Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the State of the Union address “in recognition of all you have done for our nation.”
Rush Limbaugh says Trump would have “fun” against Buttigieg in general election
Limbaugh drew condemnation from liberals and Democrats for remarks he made on his show last Wednesday when summarizing the state of the post-New Hampshire primary Democratic presidential field.
“You’ve got Fauxcahontas way back there in the background barely out of the tepee bringing up the tail end,” Limbaugh said, referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, who until recently claimed to be Native American.
Limbaugh then took aim at the other top Democratic candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent, and finally Buttigieg.
“Biden’s gone. So you’re faced with a dyed-in-the-wool socialist who’s not even a Democrat … a gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages,” he said.
“Can you see Trump having fun with that? And Amy Klobuchar,” Limbaugh went on, targeting the Democratic senator from Minnesota. “So whoever the grand pooh-bahs in the Democrat Party are, you’re looking at your options today, and you’re asking, ‘OK, can we win with Klobuchar? We don’t want to put Klobuchar up there because she doesn’t have a prayer.”
“Then, they’re sitting there, and they’re looking at Mayor Pete, a 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage. And they’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this gonna look, a 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband onstage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s gonna happen there?'” Limbaugh said.
“They’ve got to be looking at that. They’ve got to be saying that despite all the great progress and despite all the great ‘wokeness’ and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president. They have to be saying this, don’t they?”
On the campaign trail, Buttigieg, the first openly gay person to run a major campaign for president, has unapologetically showcased his marriage to junior high school teacher Chasten Buttigieg.
Liberals outraged as usual
A number Democrats and liberals decried Limbaugh’s commentary about Pete Buttigieg, with some calling it a “homophobic rant.”
CNN had Ben Ferguson on to talk about Limbaugh attacking Buttigieg for being gay
Ferguson: Is anybody going to look masculine next to Donald Trump on stage?
Scuitto: Let me take issue with your premise, what's more manly, volunteering for military service, or avoiding it? pic.twitter.com/7vdtOl5YQ7
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) February 13, 2020
Limbaugh has been outraging the left since he began his national show in 1988. He has rarely has apologized for anything he says, and has often leaned into controversy instead.
For example, in 2007, Limbaugh inspired conservative political satirist Paul Shanklin to record a song entitled “Barack the Magic Negro,” which mocked a liberal op-ed about then-presidential Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Amid outrage, he repeatedly played the song, set to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” for his audience.
One exception came in 2012, when he suggested then-Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke was a “prostitute.” Fluke had spoken before a Democrat-led House policy committee on the need for contraceptives to be included in the pending Obamacare legislation, saying she she struggled to afford contraceptives that could cost $3,000 a month.
Four days later, Limbaugh apologized on his website, saying he “chose the wrong words.”