On the August 20 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, discussing comments made by White House senior adviser Karl Rove about Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY), Rush Limbaugh claimed that "nobody criticizes Hillary. ... Well, you might say, 'No, Michelle Obama and Mrs. Edwards are out there criticizing her,' but, see, I finally figured this one out, too. You can't hit the girl. You just -- you can't hit the girl." He continued: "And for [Democratic presidential candidates John] Edwards and [Sen. Barack] Obama (IL) to go out there and criticize Hillary would -- she would -- she plays the victim better than anybody does, and she could make real hay out of that. So they've got their wives out there ripping her." He added: "But the drive-bys" -- a term Limbaugh uses to denote the mainstream media -- "aren't taking that seriously, because Hillary's the inevitable candidate."
From the August 20 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: I did a little research here, folks, and I found -- you know, the Republican attack machine, quote unquote, went after Al Gore pretty good in 2000, and his negatives were not nearly as high as Mrs. Clinton's. And then in 2004, the so-called Republican attack machine went out after John Kerry, who served in Vietnam. And his negatives didn't score nearly as high as Mrs. Clinton's do.
By the way, the attack machine, as she calls it, is simply the truth squad. All we do is get the truth of these people out there. The thing about these Democrats, especially Mrs. Clinton, is when you -- when you call them on their facts, and how they're wrong about things, they consider it an attack. You know full well, folks -- you wish there were an attack machine in the Republican Party, don't you?
LIMBAUGH: So, I think -- as I said earlier -- I think she's getting ready to run against [Republican presidential candidate] Rudy [Giuliani]. I think that's what they think, or who they think the nominee on our side is going to be, and I think they want to.
So, in the meantime, Rove is out there trying to alert everybody to just what her record is. And, by the way, her incompetence is the hidden message. And the drive-bys are just -- they are just -- nobody criticizes Hillary. Why, they don't know what to do with this. This is unprecedented. Well, you might say, "No, Michelle Obama and Mrs. Edwards are out there criticizing her," but, see, I finally figured this one out, too. You can't hit the girl. You just -- you can't hit the girl. And for Edwards and Obama to go out there and criticize Hillary would -- she would -- she plays the victim better than anybody does, and she could make real hay out of that. So they've got their wives out there ripping her. But the drive-bys aren't taking that seriously, because Hillary's the inevitable candidate.
So here comes Rove, and he unloads first on this program, then goes on Meet the Press, then wherever else he went on Sunday, and unloads with basically the same message, and they're all out there saying that "Karl Rove singled out Hillary Rodham Clinton for criticism." If I may be so bold, he didn't single her out at all each and every time he has been asked about it -- including on this program. And I'll admit something to you, I hadn't intended to ask him about Hillary Clinton because I didn't think that I'd get an answer. But we had the audio sound bite of the ad that she was running, accusing this White House of not seeing half or more of the population.