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Limbaugh Urges Texas Republicans to Vote for Clinton

Republicans for Hillary Clinton Rush Limbaugh yesterday urged his listeners in Texas to vote for Hillary Clinton, so as to keep the Democrats pounding one another a little longer.

Limbaugh has been actively urging his Texas listeners to cross over and vote for Clinton in that state’s open primary Tuesday, arguing it helps the Republicans if the Democratic race remains unsettled for weeks to come. “I want Hillary to stay in this…this is too good a soap opera,” Limbaugh told fellow conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham on Fox News Friday. He reiterated the comments on his Monday show and replayed the exchange with Ingram.

He also said Clinton is more willing than the Republican National Committee and John McCain’s campaign to criticize Barack Obama. “We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically. It’s obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it, they don’t have the stomach for it,” Limbaugh continued. “As you probably know we’re getting all kinds of memos from the RNC saying we’re not going to be critical. Mark McKinnon of McCain’s campaign said he’ll quit if they get critical over Obama. This is the presidency of the United States we’re talking about. I want our party to win I want the Democrats to lose.”

[...]

“Wouldn’t you love to cream Hillary though…why are you so afraid of her? Look at how ineptly she has campaigned against Obama,” Limbaugh responded to one listener who said she wanted to see Clinton out of the race immediately. “I’m asking people to cross over, and if they can stomach it and I know it’s a difficult thing to do, vote for Clinton,” he also told Ingraham Friday. “But it will sustain this soap opera, and it’s something I think we need and it’ll be fun, too.”

It would indeed be fun. Like the previous efforts by Democrats to take advantage of open primaries and damage Republicans, though, I would consider it foul play. Perfectly legal, of course, but certainly not within the spirit of the rules.

Like the Kos-led effort in Michigan, I’m pretty sure this won’t work. As Alex Mooney notes, “exit polling showed Democrats who voted in that primary favored McCain,” not Romney (although Romney won on his own accord). Dave Weigel points out that a similar effort in Wisconsin failed spectacularly, with “Republican crossover voters” going “72-28 for Obama over Clinton.”

While I subscribe to the conventional wisdom that Clinton would be the weaker opponent in the fall, we really don’t know that with any certainty. Far better, it seems to me, to let the process play out fair and square. Certainly, Republicans wouldn’t want to have any complicity in electing Hillary Clinton president.

Image: A Progressive Alamedan via Google

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Anderson says:

    I would note my impression that Texas Republicans are more likely to obey Rush than Wisconsin Republicans.

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  2. SeniorD says:

    I hope Texas Republicans DO cross over and vote for Herself! The wooden stake needs to be driven hard and deep to rid the world of Clinton’s Aliskyite Socialism so a humiliating defeat in the General Election would be the final nail.

    After all, do you really think Herself! wants to be in debt to Rush? Think of all the fun he could have during the run-up.

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  3. Michael says:

    Limbaugh has been actively urging his Texas listeners to cross over and vote for Clinton in that state’s open primary Tuesday, arguing it helps the Republicans if the Democratic race remains unsettled for weeks to come.

    I don’t see how this helps the Republicans any. So far is seems McCain’s campaign can’t settle on a message because the don’t know who they’re campaigning against.

    They don’t want to end up using the same message in the general election that the losing Democrat used in the primary. If Hillary constantly hammers on the “inexperience” of Obama, and Obama wins anyway, what would McCain sound like other than an echo of a losing candidate if he says the same?

    Now is usually the time when the campaigns start crafting their general election messages, and both Obama and Clinton already know who they will be campaigning against, but McCain does not. And despite the fact that both Democrats largely agree on issues and policy, McCain’s message should be significantly different depending on which one is the nominee.

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  4. Steve Plunk says:

    I see how further uncertainly could help Republicans and could hurt them. But the point is this is bad form. What happen to the idea of a clean, fair fight? I hate to see conservatives take up the methods of modern liberals where the ends justify the means.

    It sure exposes the giant fault of open primaries.

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  5. legion says:

    But the point is this is bad form. What happen to the idea of a clean, fair fight?

    ?!? Tell me you’re being tongue-in-cheek, here. I don’t think the GOP has even tried to run a “clean, fair fight” – at any level – in years.

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  6. [...] Outside Beltway – Texas listeners to cross over and vote for Clinton in that state’s open primary Tuesday, arguing it helps the Republicans if the Democratic race remains unsettled for weeks to come. “I want Hillary to stay in this…this is too good a soap opera Read More [...]

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  7. sam says:

    I hate to see conservatives take up the methods of modern liberals where the ends justify the means.

    Yeah like what happened to McCain in the South Carolina primary …damn libruls…

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  8. Chris says:

    Even if there are some Texas Republicans who end up voting for Hillary, because of how Texas hands out its delegates, the effect would be pretty minimal. Places with lots of republicans get fewer delegates by design.

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  9. legion says:

    Places with lots of republicans get fewer delegates by design.

    Uh, yeah Chris… Democratic primaries are know for callously giving Republicans damn little representation. Or are you referring to the borderline-criminal redistricting and gerrymandering of TX voting areas? That setup put in place by one of the GOP’s own disgraced sleazebags? Yeah, that’s real unfair to beat them at their own game…

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  10. [...] weakest candidate run against the Republican machine in the general election this fall. Yesterday, James reported here that Rush Limbaugh was urging his Texas supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton to help weaken Obama [...]

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  11. Earl Smith says:
  12. Steve says:

    Does Rush reject democracy outright, or do his obeying listeners just not care?

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