Limbaugh: GOP insiders “petulant,” “I’m in charge!”

By Josh

Sep 15, 2010 3:02pm

ABC’s Steven Portnoy reports: Following the Tea Party’s latest major electoral victory over the Republican establishment, Rush Limbaugh gave his party’s inner-circle a tongue-lashing Wednesday, accusing the power players of having a “petulant attitude” and declaring that he – not they – is “in charge” of anointing candidates who can win. “This is about conservatives taking back the Republican Party,” Limbaugh said Wednesday, following Christine O’Donnell’s victory in the GOP senate primary in Delaware over Rep. Mike Castle despite the vociferous objections of party insiders. “Who the hell are they, anyway, to anoint or disanoint somebody as electable or not electable?”  Rush Limbaugh asked Wednesday.  “I’m in charge of that!  … That’s always been my purview and nothing’s changed.” Listing Charlie Crist, Arlen Specter and Dede Scozzafava among the party-backed candidates that Republican voters have rejected at his behest, Limbaugh urged his listeners to continue to ignore the pleadings of Washington-based GOP operatives who warned against a vote for O’Donnell because they view her as unelectable in November. “Look at the petulant attitude.  ‘Screw you – Christine O’Donnell wins, she’s on her own.  You’re on your own,’” Limbaugh said, mocking the initial reported response of the National Republican Senatorial Committee to the Delaware results. (The NRSC said Wednesday it would fund O’Donnell’s campaign.) On Wednesday, Limbaugh responded directly to the concerns of Karl Rove, who said on Fox News after O’Donnell’s victory that “it does conservatives little good to support candidates” like her, warning that Delaware is now “not a race we’re going to be able to win.” “We’re going to throw in the towel here?” Limbaugh rhetorically asked his close ally, who spent a day filling in on his program this summer.  “Why not fight for it?”  “If getting [the senate] majority is really that important, then let’s go balls to the wall for Christine O’Donnell.” Boldly refuting decades-old political wisdom, Limbaugh announced the creation of the “Limbaugh Rule” for Republicans as they were going to the polls on Tuesday: “Vote for the most conservative Republican in the primary, period.” Per Limbaugh, the doctrine for “dittoheads” supplants the “Buckley Rule,” credited to the late conservative author and Limbaugh mentor William F. Buckley, Jr., under which Republican primary voters are to choose the candidate who can win in a general election, no matter his or her degree of ideological purity. “Looks like a lot of voters in Delaware employed the Limbaugh Rule,” Limbaugh said, opening his Wednesday program.  “You’ve got a conservative on the ballot, you vote ‘yes.’ Period.”

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