Reacting to the inauguration, Rush Limbaugh suggests Biden had “not legitimately won it”

Limbaugh also repeats conspiracy theory that “maybe 80 million people” voted for Donald Trump. (The real number was 74 million.)

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Citation From the January 20, 2021, edition of Premiere Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): And this inauguration looks like what you would expect from a one-party state. This inauguration looks like the Chinese Olympics, with hundreds and hundreds of flags, to replace people who were not allowed to show up.

Now, why do you think people were not allowed to show up? “Well, people aren't allowed to show up because of COVID. People aren't allowed to show up because of the threats to — the National Guard might open fire on everybody.” That's not why. The reason they put up all these replacements for people is that I don't think they were confident a bunch of people would show up for this.

Because I think they know — I think they know that they are not — you've got to be very careful here in the words I choose — I think they know that this is something that's been arranged, rather than legitimately sought and won. And you can see this in their attitudes, in their smiles, you can see it, hear it in the words that they are uttering.

They've been sweating bullets for four years. And they are now convinced that they have re-secured their complete and total hold on power in Washington. But I think they know that it's fleeting. They're going to do everything they can to make sure it's not fleeting. They're going to do everything possible to make sure that they never lose it again. Don't misunderstand. But I think all of these people have souls. And they all have deep, dark crevices where they engage in deep thoughts about themselves.

And I think when they go there, I think that they — a number of them actually have to admit that they've dodged a bunch of bullets here. And I think they know — and this is the big one — I think they know what 74 million — maybe 80 million people — who did not know for Joe Biden — there is no way they can honestly say to themselves that they represent the power base of the country. They're going to have to take it, they're going to have to hold on to it, and never let go of it. They have not legitimately won it.

Now, I'm on thin ice saying this. I'm making myself a target, saying this. But I've been doing this for 30 years. And it's really no different today, than 30 years ago, no different than last week, in terms of the way I approach this. And I just — it's almost a question of legitimacy. I'm almost of the mind that they know that there's not a full-fledged legitimacy to this. But it doesn't matter, because they're able to lie to themselves, they're able to tell themselves stories.

Limbaugh claimed that Democrats were “able to lie to themselves, they're able to tell themselves stories.” It should be noted, however, that right-wing figures such as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue have circulated the false claim — just echoed by Limbaugh himself — alleging that roughly 80 million people voted for President Donald Trump, but that this was erased and concealed by a conspiracy involving the voting machines.

In reality, it was Joe Biden who received 81 million votes versus Trump's 74 million. In addition, the hand recount of paper ballots in the swing state of Georgia did not significantly change the results, a point that Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had attempted to explain to Trump on their now-infamous January 2 phone call.