Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had some kind words for the influential conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh on Thursday during an interview with Time‘s Mark Halperin.
During the interview, Romney was asked if he thought the often controversial radio host had too much influence on the Republican Party.
“You know, Rush Limbaugh has an audience that speaks a very important voice [sic],” Romney said. “I don’t begrudge him the great success he’s had and the influence he has. Sometimes he’s agreed with me; sometimes disagreed with me. And, so I can only look with him, at him and say, ‘Congratulations, well done. You’ve built quite a following.'”
Limbaugh has accused Romney of not being a conservative because he supported an individual mandate for health care while governor of Massachusetts. Romney had also indicated he believed man-made climate change was a problem. He has since disavowed both positions.
Romney told Halperin people had the right to listen to whomever they wished.
“It doesn’t mean that I agree with those voices but I’m certainly not going to suggest to the American people that they turn off their radio and not listen to someone who I may or may not agree with,” he added. “By in large, Rush Limbaugh speaks a number of conservative principles that a lot of us agree with.”