Talk-show giant Rush Limbaugh said on his program Tuesday that news reports stating that Sen. Bob Dole sent him a scolding letter via e-mail are false. “It was not a scolding e-mail, not a scolding letter at all,” Limbaugh told listeners. “In fact, Senator Dole did not even endorse McCain in this letter.”
Moreover, Limbaugh said Dole had been manipulated by the McCain campaign. “The leaking of his personal letter to the media with a dishonest spin speaks to the insecurity of the McCain camp,” Limbaugh said. Limbaugh described the e-mail he received from Sen. Dole as “respectful,” and “gracious,” and in no way scolding.
“Now, this shows you just how willing the media are to be manipulated by McCain,” Limbaugh said, “and they are invested in his campaign and how the McCain camp is unscrupulous to take a private note, lie about its contents, leak it to the media - [this] is not the way you treat a World War II war hero, a former Republican leader, and a wholly decent guy like Bob Dole.”
During the program, Rush read Dole’s letter, which began “Dear Rush: I’ve not seen you in a long time but I do hear you frequently.”
Dole goes on to explain that he’s avoided 2008 presidential politics, then lists areas where he agrees with McCain’s positions, stating: “I cannot recall a single instance when he didn’t support the party on critical votes” during the nine-year span when the two served together in the senate.
In the e-mail Rush read, however, Dole also says he “totally disagreed” with the McCain-Feingold legislation on campaign-finance reform; disagreed with McCain’s opposition to President Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003; and dole writes, “I do not agree with Senator McCain that Governor Romney ever suggested a timetable for troop withdrawals in Iraq,” according to Limbaugh’s reading of Dole’s e-mail.
Dole’s letter concludes, “I believe our major candidates are mainstream conservatives. Our nominee will address our concerns by keeping taxes low, reducing corporate taxes, protecting and assisting the vulnerable, strengthening our
traditional values, and above all, keeping America strong militarily whatever the cost. Whoever wins the Republican nomination will need your support. Two terms for the Clintons are enough. God bless America.”
Limbaugh said he received a follow up note Tuesday morning from a Dole associate that stated Dole’s e-mail was not intended as an endorsement of McCain over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
The conservative talk host added that Dole was not in the Senate for immigration reform, the Gang of 14 fight over judicial nominees, or for the Bush tax cuts that McCain opposed. “In other words, ladies and gentlemen, Senator Dole was not around for any of it, to put a fine point on it. You see, Bob Dole is something that John McCain isn’t: Loyal Republican.”
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