February 8, 2009

Rush Limbaugh’s GOP role in question

U.S. conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has a place in the Republican Party, but may not as a self-proclaimed party leader, party officials say.

Rich Bond, a former Republican National Committee chairman, said while Limbaugh's aggressive rhetoric has some merit, it also can potentially limit the party's draw among more ideological voters, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

The question is: Are we going to have an all-white-man litmus test under the Republican Party? Or is there room for diverse opinion on environmental issues, on the issue of right to life, the issue of taxes and spending? Bond said.

GOP strategist Jan van Lohuizen agreed, saying Limbaugh's AM radio show only helps the Republican Party in certain aspects.

He motivates a core Republican, who is a very important part of the Republican coalition, and we need those guys to be interested and active, van Lohuizen told the Times. But it's not enough. The Republican Party has shrunk and it needs to be expanding.

The newspaper said Limbaugh's radio program is broadcast by 600 stations nationwide with the conservative star enjoying the fruits of a $400 million contract.