WASHINGTON -- Democrats have frequently labeled the GOP the "party of no" over the past year, and Republicans acknowledge this line of attack has hurt them. But according to Rush Limbaugh, they should be "proud" of it.
President Obama and Republican leaders have agreed to meet for a bipartisan summit to discuss health care legislation. Obama issued the invitation over the weekend and after some initial uncertainty, GOP leaders accepted.
Limbaugh warned Republicans this was merely a "trap," counseling them to miss the event and to wear the "party of no" label as a badge of honor. He said they should be wholly and proudly opposed to Obama's health care plan.
"A clear majority of people do not want it," he said Wednesday on his radio show. "Do not be afraid of being the party of no if you don't do this. Be proud of being the party of no."
But some Republicans have openly indicated they dislike the label and appreciated Obama's acknowledgment that they have their own substantial ideas, which he made publicly at his previous bipartisan question-and-answer session with the House GOP late in January.
"For [Obama] to say, 'I have read your proposals and they are substantive proposals,' that is a huge thing for Republicans," Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said after the event.
Republicans have made no serious indication they will support Obama's health care plan, but proving they are at least holding meetings with the president might help shed their "party of no" label.
The Fox & Friends hosts on Wednesday played a clip of Limbaugh's remarks on their show, discussing them with conservative political consultant and commentator Dick Morris.
Morris disagreed with Limbaugh, saying "of course" Republicans should attend the summit and "they should beat Obama at his own game" in the talks.
The legislation was approved by both chambers of Congress last year but ran into a roadblock after Republican Scott Brown's election to the senate, which allowed his party the final vote it needed to mount a successful filibuster.
This video is from Fox News' Fox & Friends, broadcast Feb. 11, 2010.