Conservative Radio Hosts Criticizing Trump's Attack On Cruz Once Defend His Racist and Xenophobic Ideas

Conservative radio hosts criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for calling Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) a “maniac,” but previously supported Trump after he came under attack for suggesting the United States ban all Muslims from entering the country, for falsely claiming that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered during the 9/11 attacks, and for characterizing all Hispanic immigrants as criminals.

Donald Trump Calls Cruz “A Little Bit Of A Maniac”

Trump: Sen. Ted Cruz Unqualified To Be President Because He's “Like A Little Bit Of A Maniac.” According to a December 13 article in Politico, Republican presidential candidate and GOP front-runner Donald Trump criticized Ted Cruz, saying he is not “qualified to be president” because of “the way he's dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there like a -- you know, frankly like a little bit of a maniac.” [Politico, 12/13/15]

Conservative Radio Hosts Slam Trump For Calling Cruz A “Maniac”

Rush Limbaugh Calls Trump's Comments “A Huge Mistake.” On the December 14 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, radio host Rush Limbaugh questioned Trump's comments and called them a “mistake.” He went on to claim a “genuine conservative” wouldn't attack Cruz “this way”:

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): My questioning here about the way Trump has gone after Cruz here, calling him a maniac, refusing to work with people in the Senate. The reason I'm focusing on that, folks, because that's so unlike Trump. I mean, that's a huge mistake. But on paper it's a huge mistake. Trump gets away with his mistakes. Such is the bond of loyalty that his support base has for him that he gets away with them. And I don't think he's made that many. Don't misunderstand. But for any of you who are holding out hope that Trump is a genuine conservative. A genuine conservative, even in the Republican field, would not go after Cruz this way. So that just raised a red flag for me, made me somewhat curious. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 12/14/15]

Sean Hannity Cautions Trump Against Attacking “Loved” Ted Cruz. On the December 14 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, host Sean Hannity acknowledged Trump's previous strategy of attacking candidates, but suggested it won't be as “efficient” with Cruz:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Here is the problem with going after Ted Cruz who is now rising dramatically in the polls from a Trump perspective. Ted Cruz is loved by the conservative base. Unlike, I think Ben Carson was and I think people gave him a real hard deep look and love him personally. And I think that his own campaign hurt him by putting out there that he wasn't up to speed on foreign policy, especially now that foreign policy is playing such a big role in this campaign. But I think there's gonna be a difference in attacking Ted Cruz. Because Ted Cruz, when he did the filibuster in the Senate, that was loved by conservatives. They were cheering Ted Cruz standing up against what he calls the Washington cartel. So I'm not so sure that thatsame strategy is going to be as efficient if he's going up against a strong conservative in the field. And I don't think there's anyone that is viewed as a strong conservative in the field as Cruz is viewed, so I'm not sure if this is going to work. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 12/14/15]

Mark Levin Criticizes Trump For Calling Cruz “A Maniac.” On the December 14 edition of Cumulus Media Networks' The Mark Levin Show, radio host Mark Levin criticized Donald Trump for calling Cruz a maniac, adding that while Trump is a “straight talker,”he" doesn't like that about others":

MARK LEVIN (HOST): I would encourage these candidates and Donald Trump to come back to us, because I'm not following him or anybody else to the left, I can tell you that right now. No way.


Now last week I pointed out, don't get caught up in this, Trump or Cruz. They want you two guys to fight. Why play games? Why do what the media tell you to do?


LEVIN: Because you know Donald Trump, it's [Sen. Mitch] McConnell who'sis the maniac, it's [Sen. John] McCain  who's the maniac, it's [Sen. Lindsey] Graham who's the maniac, it's not Cruz. The people of Texas, many conservatives, support Cruz. More and more conservatives are announcing for Cruz because of the way he's taken on the Republican establishment. There is no easy way to do it, you can't do it with mittens. And it's amazing to me to have to tell Donald Trump this. Does Donald Trump wear mittens? No. He is mal-treated by everything from Macy's and the PGA to hosts and others so forth and so on. Because he is a straight talker, and you like that about him. And yet, he apparently doesn't like that about others. [Cumulus Media Networks, The Mark Levin Show, 12/14/15]

Laura Ingraham: Trump's Comments on Ted Cruz Were Not “A Smart Move.” On the December 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, frequent guest and radio host Laura Ingraham criticized Donald Trump for calling Ted Cruz a maniac, stating, “I just think that's kind of loose -- loose verbiage which I don't think really advancing the ball for Trump ”:

BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): What I found interesting yesterday, andlistening to Mark Levin and maybe you on your show, I didn't have a chance but, Rush Limbaugh. They're really upset that Donald Trump for the first time used the term “maniac” to talk about Ted Cruz. They said,“Well is that how he's going to label all conservatives?”Because most people look at Ted Cruz as a conservative's conservative. Do you agree that that might have been a little different going after him as opposed to Jeb [Bush] and [Sen. Marco] Rubio and [Sen.] Rand [Paul]?

LAURA INGRAHAM: Yeah, you know, we don't check in with each other before our shows, but not surprisingly, I said something quite similar on radio yesterday. I think we have to be really clear on what's going on here. It is the outsider candidates, versus the establishment. And the outsiders are, you know, they have about 65 percent of the electorate. OK? So it's Carson, Cruz, and Trump. For the life of me, I don't understand why Donald Trump thinks pointing the -- you know, the laser down at Cruz is smart. You want -- you want to just get rid of these -- these insider candidates. Expose the divide in the Republican Party. And urge those guys to either move off the stage or start compromising with the American people. But, Cruz, I just don't think that was a smart move. And I don't think it made all that much sense. I mean a “maniac?” He was doing what he was sent to do by his constituents. And you can argue that the tactics of the filibuster didn't really work. I mean I see that point. But a “maniac”? I just think that's kind of loose -- loose verbiage which I don't think really advances the ball for Trump. I think he's best when he's going after the establishment candidates. [Fox News Channel, Fox & Friends, 12/15/15]

Right-Wing Radio Hosts Previously Defended Trump's Comments

Rush Limbaugh: Trump And I Say “Similar Things” About Immigrants, And Now He's “Changed The Entire Debate.”  During the July 8 edition of Premiere Radio Network's The Rush Limbaugh Show, host Rush Limbaugh claimed that Donald Trump has “changed the entire debate on immigration” and that “a bunch of us have been saying similar things ... but none of us are running for President”:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: We have got to acknowledge the overwhelming accomplishment. The blinding achievement of Donald Trump. In this way, remember folks, it was only yesterday, this is key now, it was only only yesterday, that I cited something for you I had seen on Fox yesterday morning, during the Bill Hemmer show. They had their political director out there, Chris Stirewalt come out and they were talking about the latest developments in the Republican presidential campaign with Trump and so forth and one of the points Stirewalt made, “Well Trump is Trump and it's cool, it's fun and so forth, but the problem Trump is having is that he, no matter what is he talking about gets ignored, because he is the issue. Trump has been unable to make himself not the issue. So whatever it is he cares about, no one is talking about. Instead they're talking about him.”Well, in less than 24 hours, that has all changed. Look at what Donald Trump has done. Donald Trump has single handedly, in terms of electoral politics now. A bunch of us have been saying similar things, doing similar things, but none of us are running for President. And none of us are being covered by the media day in and day out with every syllable that we utter. Donald Trump has changed the entire debate on immigration. And he is not the story today. [Premier Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 7/8/15]

Rush Limbaugh Praised Trump For Asking “Who's Doing The Raping?” During a CNN interview about his launch speech, Trump asked host Don Lemon, “Who's doing the raping?” On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh later praised Trump for the question:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: So liberals believe all this cockamamie crap. They believe all these rapes are taking place, but you're not supposed to talk about who's doing the raping. “Who's doing the raping, Don?” We're talking about women, immigrants coming to the country being raped. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 7/2/15]

Sean Hannity Defends Trump's Characterization Of Hispanic Immigrants As Criminals. On the June 29 edition of his radio show, Fox's Sean Hannity defended Trump's characterization of Hispanic immigrants as criminals, reiterating the candidate's position that immigration is connected with drug trafficking (emphasis added):

SEAN HANNITY: We've got a problem in this country. If he [Trump] can make that statement and CNN refers to it as “racially-tinged,” because [inaudible...] could play this on TV. Floor to ceiling drugs confiscated by people crossing our southern border. You want to talk about crime? Well what do you think -- who's coming from Latin America and Mexico? Are they rich, successful Mexicans, Nicaraguans, El Salvador residents? No! Why would they leave if they're so successful? It's people that have not had opportunity in Mexico and so they will raise all this money and give it to these human traffickers, human traffickers take full advantage of them, take every penny they've got and then maybe get them across the border in a perilous journey in which some people don't make it. Now if we really care about our fellow human beings, we owe it to them not to put that -- sort of like a sign up that says “Take a risk you can try and come across because we're going to make it easy for you” and it turns out not to be so easy. But if we had a fence, if we wanted to secure the border, it wouldn't be a problem. So when Trump says, “are they sending their best, their brightest?” In other words, if you have a pool of people, if we opened up America's borders, and who would apply to come to America? We probably would have our choice of doctors, and lawyers, and computer programmers, everybody wants to come to America. You know that's a great thing, we're not building a fence to keep people in, we're building a fence to prevent people from coming in because the world would flood here, which they've been doing. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 6/29/15]

And The Same Hosts Also Defended Trump's Anti-Muslim Comments

Rush Limbaugh: “Americans Are Well Aware That Muslims Were Cheering” The 9/11 Attacks. On the November 23 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh defended Trump's claim that Muslims cheered the 9/11 attacks, saying, "The Washington Post had a story about cheering Muslims in New Jersey" and that “Americans are well aware that Muslims were cheering” the attacks:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: I mean, this is the funny thing, they're fact-checking Trump, they're claiming Trump is making this up. Now Trump, if I have this right, Trump says that he saw tens of thousands of Muslims cheering in New Jersey, on 9/11. And the media promptly went into gear, and trying to prove that he's lying, and made it up. So they went in into every news archival database they could think of, to see if there were stories about this. And they couldn't find any, so they've concluded that Trump was lying. One of the fact-checkers is a guy that works at The Washington Post, and for some reason he didn't check his own paper's archives, because The Washington Post had a story about cheering Muslims in New Jersey on 9/11. The difference is it wasn't thousands, the story did not say it was thousands. But Trump is standing by it.


LIMBAUGH: And, so here comes Trump saying that he saw Muslims cheer on 9/11, he adds tens or thousands there. The bottom line is that a lot of Americans are well aware that Muslims were cheering. Maybe not in New Jersey in great numbers, but around the world they were because we saw the video. On 9/11 and in the aftermath, we saw video on the news, unquote of Muslims all over the world, in certain places, cheering. So, regardless the specific details, the American people and a lot of Trump supporters know, I mean it was militant Islamists who conducted 9/11, it's militant Islamists that make up ISIS. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/23/15]

Rush Limbaugh Defends Donald Trump Amid Controversial Comments About Implementing A Muslim Database. On the November 20 edition of Premiere Radio Network's The Rush Limbaugh Show, host Rush Limbaugh defended Donald Trump's Muslim database idea, claiming that Trump was “set up” by the “drive-by media” who want to “take [him] out”:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: OK, now two things about this.The first is, as I said, everybody in the drive-by media is running with this because they think they've got Trump again. They are salivating out there, folks, they are hoping, they've got their fingers crossed, they've doubled down. They are putting this story everywhere. Trump steps in it, Trump racist, Trump bigoted. Trump anti-Muslim, wants database, wants to go to their mosques, to sign them up, wants to have them carry around symbols on their clothes to tell everybody who they are, and he never said it. And this reporter Hunter Walker retweeted the headline from the AP, the AP headline," Trump says he would absolutely implement Muslim database." This little know-nothing reporter is so proud of his work today. This is, I say, journalism 101, this is what they teach you when you want to take out a political opponent or a powerful person you don't like. This is how you do it with innuendo. Again here's what happened. Trump comes off stage, should their be a database system tracks Muslims that are in this country, it's a set up question from the get-go. Nobody has suggested it. Trump says there should be a lot of systems, beyond databases, we have a lot of systems. We should have and today you can do it right now. We have to have a border, we have to have strength, we have to have a wall, and we can't let what's happening to this country happen again. He has not confirmed a database, he has not confirmed registration of Muslims, he has changed the question to his favorite subject the wall, and the border, and keeping illegal immigrants out. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/20/15]

Laura Ingraham: “I'd Go Farther” Than Trump's Plan To Ban Muslims From Entering The US And “Do A Pause On All Immigration.” On the December 11 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group's The Laura Ingraham Show, host Laura Ingraham said about Donald Trump, “you might disagree with the policy,” but he is “not a bigot”:

LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Among those in the media who are just most disturbed by the idea of a Trump presidency or Trump nomination is Charles Krauthammer at Fox News. And I've been on Special Report with him and, you know, we all like Charles. But this is a question that [Special Report Anchor] Bret Baier asked him just looking at the numbers last night. Let's listen.


BRET BAIER: There's the possibility that by March, Trump wraps this thing up.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, look, 30 percent is still not a majority. The reason he's way out in front is because there are 14 other guys and gals out there who divide the vote. If you take away even the 1's and the 2 percent and the 5 percent and the 6's, assuming they are so-called establishment, and you add them onto Rubio, even to a Cruz, although he's not exactly establishment, Trump doesn't win.


INGRAHAM: That some wishful thinking there?  Is that just pragmatic thinking?

BYRON YORK: I do believe there's, well look, and it's not just Charles. There's been a lot of wishful punditry that has gone on in this race, you know, starting when Trump --

INGRAHAM: He called him a bigot the other night. He called him a bigot.

YORK: Yeah, I know, but that's been --

INGRAHAM: He said Trump is bigoted. I mean, I know Trump a little bit. One thing, yeah, he's not a bigot. I mean, you might disagree with the policy and I said early on it wouldn't be my policy. I'd do a pause on all immigration. I mean, I'd go farther than Trump. I'd do a pause on immigration, so I'm like even, I guess I'm even worse than Trump. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 12/11/15]

Laura Ingraham Defends Trump's 9/11 Claim About Cheering Muslim Crowds During 9/11 Attacks. During the December 1 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group's The Laura Ingraham Show, host Laura Ingraham tried to substantiate Trump's claims aboutMuslims celebrating during 9/11 attacks, stating,“There were individuals in the United States, Muslim background, who were celebrating, as I read from that Michigan Court of Appeals decision yesterday. [...Y]ou know one Ford Motor company workplace there were Muslims celebrating”:

LAURA INGRAHAM: Well that was yesterday, saying that the Muslims celebrations didn't happen. That's not what I was talking about, but [Chris Christie] said it didn't happen, Chris Christie contradicts Rudy Giuliani. Rudy Giuliani said it actually did happen, so those are the comments that we're hearing on CNN today. But going getting into the shooting match with Trump, on whether Muslims were on a rooftop or not? I just don't think that's helpful. I think it, he's at his best and his strongest when, as he was on Morning Joe, focused on jobs, the economy, climate change, ISIS, the war on terror, leading as -- with the experience as a former prosecutor, I thought all of that was very strong. I think most people understand we do have a radicalization problem around the world with Islam, that's beyond obvious. And there were individuals in the United States, Muslim background, who were celebrating, as I read from that Michigan Court of Appeals decision yesterday. Which confirmed in, you know one Ford Motor company workplace there were Muslims celebrating. But we'll get into more of this. We have a lot more to get to on the Laura Ingraham Show. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 12/1/2015]