Paul Begala Calls Rush Limbaugh a ‘Drug-Addled Gasbag’

As many NewsBusters have commented, the liberal media were anything but gracious in victory last night. CNN political analyst Paul Begala was a fine example when during the 8PM “Situation Room,” he took the opportunity to attack the most popular conservative radio talk show host in the country (video here with transcript to follow).

As the conversation centered on the Missouri Senate race, and how stem-cell research and Michael J. Fox might have impacted the outcome, Begala said the following (as previously reported here):

But Bill Bennett was not the face and the voice of the anti-embryonic-stem-cell-research debate. It became Rush Limbaugh, a drug-addled gasbag who is self-discredited. That's good for Claire McCaskill.

Obviously, Begala sees himself as a uniter and not a divider. Thankfully, Bill Bennett was there to clean up the mess:

Well, that's a nasty comment about Rush. It's his personal opinion. That's fine. Rush happens to be a very popular person. Rush also said he would apologize if he were wrong. Rush is also a native of the state of Missouri. And a lot of people listen to him and take him seriously in his good moments and his not-so-good moments.

What follows is a full transcript of this segment.

J.C. WATTS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I will tell you what. You're surely going to have people think through it before they put it on the ballot, because I think the Democrats understand they would put it on the ballot, thinking that would drive their vote. And, again, it ended up driving Republican votes as well, because both...

COOPER: It became an issue in Maryland as well.

WATTS: Exactly. Both sides are pretty intense on that issue, just like Iraq. And, so, I think it -- it might have backfired on -- on the Democrats in that case, because, in the end, it could maybe help Jim Talent.

COOPER: Very briefly, you think it backfired?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No. That's as brief as I can be. No.

COOPER: Well, you can... (LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: But, no, here's why.

COOPER: You can elaborate a little bit.

BEGALA: OK, because look at the theatrics of it. There are principled reasons to oppose embryonic stem cell research. There are principled Americans who do. Bill Bennett is one of them. But Bill Bennett was not the face and the voice of the anti- embryonic-stem-cell-research debate. It became Rush Limbaugh, a drug- addled gasbag who is self-discredited. That's good for Claire McCaskill. And I just talked to her campaign manager, Richard Martin. He says that the turnout in the cities is very high. They're very encouraged that in the kind of Anglo suburbs of eastern Jackson County, which traditionally is pretty Democratic, and should really care about stem cell research, he thinks turnout is going to be something like 70 percent. So, they think the stem cell thing is working big for them.

COOPER: Bill, do you want to...

BENNETT: Well, that's a nasty comment about Rush. It's his personal opinion. That's fine. Rush happens to be a very popular person. Rush also said he would apologize if he were wrong. Rush is also a native of the state of Missouri. And a lot of people listen to him and take him seriously in his good moments and his not-so-good moments.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.