Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh rejected reports that he is rooting for the failure of President Obama on his syndicated program Tuesday.
(AP Photo/Gary He)
Instead, he suggested that President Obama stands to gain from an economic failure.
"I am an average citizen…I have a microphone," Mr. Limbaugh said. He argued that he has been financially fortuitous in his life and asked why he would want to see the economy fail and his capital shrink.
Mr. Limbaugh also responded to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's comment on CBS' 'Face the Nation' Sunday that Limbaugh "is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party."
Limbaugh once again denied that he is the party's de facto leader.
"I have no control…I am not in charge of one political policy," he said today. "Why in the world would I want the economy to fail and destroy everything I am produced …I want just the opposite…I want to get out of this."
Controversy erupted after Mr. Limbaugh said in mid-January that he did not want President Obama's politics to succeed. The flames were fanned this weekend when he made the following remarks at a conservative conference in Washington, D.C.: "What is so strange about being honest and saying, I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed?" The commentator received a standing ovation for his comments.
Chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele told CNN Monday that Limbaugh is not the leader of his party and called his show "entertainment."
"Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly," Steele said. The chairman later apologized to Limbaugh.
"No one" is for economic collapse, Limbaugh said on his show this morning, "except maybe Obama."
The president, Limbaugh said, is the "one person who can do something" about the economy "attitudinally," and "he is standing mute." Mr. Limbaugh claimed that President Obama has the ability to give a speech and ease people's concerns, but there is no proof that the economy has been helped by his words or actions.
"Ask yourself, who is benefitting?" Limbaugh said. "Who said a crisis is a terrible thing to waste?…Rahm Emanuel."
Adding a little humor to the heated controversy, David Letterman asked Katie Couric on CBS 'The Late Show' what she thought about Rush Limbaugh's "bonehead" image.
Click here to watch the questioning.