In his meeting with the bipartisan collection of congressional leaders Friday, President Obama cited conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh as a symbol of partisan politics.
"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," President Obama said, according to the New York Post's Charlie Hurt.
A source present in the room, characterized what the President was driving at as "Limbaugh was basically representative of petty partisan politics -– the broader point being: if we listen to the partisans and are driven only by our political bases -– instead of an interest in getting things done –
we’re not going to be able to accomplish the enormous task of passing the stimulus."
Limbaugh earlier this month said on his radio show and again on Sean Hannity's Colmes-less Fox News broadcast that he hopes Obama fails.
"What is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails?" Limbaugh asked on his radio show. "Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. ...Why do we have to accept the premise here that because of the historical nature of his presidency, that we want him to succeed? This is affirmative action, if we do that. We want to promote failure, we want to promote incompetence, we want to stand by and not object to what he's doing simply because of the color of his skin? Sorry. I got past the historical nature of this months ago. He is the president of the United States, he's my president, he's a human being, and his ideas and policies are what count for me, not his skin color..."
And he told Hannity, "I want him to fail. If his agenda is a far-left collectivism -- some people say socialism -- as a conservative heartfelt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed?"
As for President Obama citing him as part of the proverbial partisan problem, as it were, Limbaugh tells National Review's Byron York writes:
"There are two things going on here. One prong of the Great Unifier's plan is to isolate elected Republicans from their voters and supporters by making the argument about me and not about his plan. He is hoping that these Republicans will also publicly denounce me and thus marginalize me..."
Second, Mr. Limbaugh says, "his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing 'eternal' power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle..."