Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said on his show on Thursday that Republicans would waste their time backing presidential candidates who try to court more moderate voters, Media Matters reported.
Limbaugh specifically criticized former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) for describing himself last week as “one of those Republicans” who believed that humanity is contributing to global warming.
“Why would you do that? Who in the hell are you trying to get votes from by doing that?” Limbaugh complained. “We’re not gonna win by trying to siphon off liberals.”
Limbaugh said that line of rhetoric came from a “defensive posture” often taken by conservatives. Because they believe themselves to be a minority in the country, he argued, Republicans lean toward choosing moderate presidential candidates.
“They keep talking about these same moderate, Northeastern Republicans that the donor class likes to get behind, but they don’t win,” he said. “It’d be great if they did, but they don’t win. [Sen. John] McCain didn’t win. Romney didn’t win. And they’re not going to.”
Instead, Limbaugh said, Republicans should emphasize the difference between themselves and progressives, describing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) as “the blueprint on how to beat them back.”
“What I do know is that Scott Walker was personally targeted on education and unions,” Limbaugh said of the unsuccessful recall effort against Walker in 2012. “They tried to destroy him [in] every which way possible. We want winners, do we not?”
However, Limbaugh did not mention Walker’s links to conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch. Their company’s political action committee contributed $108,000 to Walker’s election campaign.
Romney told campaign donors on Jan. 9 that he was “considering” running for the presidency again. Both he and Walker spoke at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in San Diego, California a week later.
Listen to Limbaugh’s commentary, as posted by Media Matters, below.