Recalling how candidate and President Ronald Reagan was relentlessly attacked in the mainstream media in the early 1980s, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh
on Thursday detailed the myriad attacks
now being launched against GOP candidate Newt Gingrich.
He also detailed how Gingrich personally led the defense of Reagan in the early 1980s, before the advent of conservative talk radio and Fox News.
Gingrich, Limbaugh recalled, organized a group of young Republican representatives who would take to the floor of the House at night and muster a detailed defense of Reagan and his policies when many in the Republican establishment were turning their backs or refusing to defend the Reagan record.
Specifically, Limbaugh said:
- “I first heard of Newt Gingrich when he was perhaps the premier defender of Ronald Reagan. This was in the early 1980s; of course, Reagan assumed office in 1981.”
- “Newt had appointed himself the personal defender of Ronald Reagan and had appointed himself the singular person with his buddies to counter all of what he thought were the lies of the day being spouted by the media and the Democrats.”
- "It was everything you wish was happening today, is all I can tell you. It was everything you wish the entire Republican Party was doing today. It was led by Newt Gingrich, and what was he doing? He was defending Reagan. Now, all of this stuff that hit Drudge and everywhere else last night about Newt telling everybody the country goes to hell if they continue Reaganism and that Newt insulted Reagan and that the Reagan administration failed and Iran-Contra... I never heard any of that. I started doing this particular program in Sacramento in 1984, and I was just as immersed in national politics then as I am now, and I could honestly tell you this.”
- "Newt Gingrich and Bob Walker and a couple of others that were members of what was called the Conservative Opportunity Society, I don't know that it had been named as such yet, but it was a bunch of young, relatively new members of the House on the Republican side who were conservatives. They had special orders every night. Once the House had finished its official business, as long as somebody shows up on the floor of the House to speak, the cameras on C-SPAN stay on. It didn't matter that nobody else was in the House chamber. They stayed on until the last person left the floor."
Limbaugh was responding to a series of media hit pieces
on Gingrich that appear online today representing an apparent “coordinated attack” on the Republican presidential candidate in the days leading up to Florida’s primary election.
Limbaugh cited the blog of Greg Sargent of The Plum Line, who wrote a story titled “Romney paints Gingrich as mentally unstable,” as well as a headline on the Drudge Report proclaiming, “Gingrich reportedly insulted Reagan.” He also denounced an article by Elliott Abrams
of the National Review.
“I hope that Elliott Abrams and [American Spectator chief] Bob Tyrrell and the rest of them will have just as much fire against Obama as they do Newt. I hope that we see this same kind of focused opposition to Obama once that day comes. I really do.”
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