Thursday marked one year since the passing of American icon and conservative talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh and, to mark the date, the Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends had co-host Ainsley Earhardt interview Rush’s widow Kathryn about how she’s been over the past year, Rush’s faith, his hobbies, how he came to be, and what he’d think of America over the past year.
“It is hard to believe but today marks one year since the passing of radio icon, our friend, Rush Limbaugh. I had a chance to sit down with his beautiful wife Kathryn to reflect on his life and his legacy, and what he would think of America today,” Earhardt said in the lead-in to the first airing of an interview excerpt in the 6:00 a.m. Eastern hour (which reaired two hours later and is available in full on Fox Nation).
Earhardt began the interview by asking Kathryn how she’s been and complimenting her on the Palm Beach home she shared with Rush (click “expand”):
EARHARDT: Thank you so much for welcoming us into your beautiful home. How are you doing? It's been a year now.
KATHRYN LIMBAUGH: I'm doing well for the most part. You know, it's been very difficult, but knowing how many people are out there praying for me, praying for Rush, I very much think this was the nation's loss.
EARHARDT: When we pulled into your driveway and we walked in, I felt his presence. There are so many wonderful symbols of America throughout this house and that was important to him, right?
K. LIMBAUGH: To me, it really represents Rush in so many ways, not because of the grandness of it. That's not really him. It represents success, American freedom.
After reliving Rush’s rise (with clips of a few trademark catchphrases thrown in), they shifted to his hobbies, which Kathryn said consisted of “always” being “mentally engaged, whether it was watching a television program or reading his iPad.”
She added that it embodied his belief “that life is show prep and I think it was very much, in his case.”
On his faith, Earhardt noted it “grew later in life and especially toward the end,” which led to Kathryn stating Rush “believed strongly in his relationship with God” and that “there was a much higher plan, a much higher purpose.”
Following discussion of his cancer diagnosis and that he was able to subsequently “hear some of the wonderful eulogies,” Earhardt went to the day of his passing, what Kathryn “miss[es] the most,” and if it’s “hit” her how much “impact...your family has on this country” (click “expand”):
EARHARDT: You were on air immediately sharing that news.
K. LIMBAUGH [on 02/17/21]: It is with profound sadness our beloved Rush passed away this morning. [BACK PRESENT] I wanted them to hear that devastating news in the most familiar way possible. I knew this audience would remember where they were when they lost their hero.
EARHARDT: What did you love the most about him, and what do you miss the most?
K. LIMBAUGH: He's one of a kind. He always led us to believe that America's best days are ahead. He would say I'm just a voice on the radio, but he was so much more. I call him America's Winston Churchill.
R. LIMBAUGH [on 02/28/09]: I want the country to survive. I want the country to succeed.
EARHARDT: The impact that your family has on this country — has that hit you?
K. LIMBAUGH: Absolutely. Rush is buried in St. Louis. There's two benches because I thought anyone who goes to visit him would want to talk with him. I happened to be sitting there when out of nowhere a man gave me his rosary that he had brought there to give to Rush and in that time, I felt he's still with us.
EARHARDT: How beautiful.
K. LIMBAUGH: He's living on through these people.
A few moments later, the excerpt ended with Earhardt complimenting Kathryn on how she’s been “a wonderful wife” and “continue[d] to share your thanks and your love for the people listening,” which led Kathryn to emphasize that Rush’s “audience meant everything to him and we want that to carry on and make sure that we continue our American values, that we continue to have pride for our symbols.”
As for what he’d say now, Kathryn relayed: “[H]e would be rather furious. He would be upset with — with the United States not being as strong as it has been and should be. I know he would say it's not time to panic.”
Reacting to the 6:00 a.m. Eastern airing, co-host Steve Doocy said “that report was great because it was so much about Rush and it reminds us how much we miss him,” including those who knew that, wherever they were during his show, they could find a station to tune into someone who was “a great broadcaster,” educator, “and an amazing entertainer.”
Two hours later, Earhardt said Kathryn wanted viewers to know how thankful she’s been “for the outpouring of support, all the letters, all the flowers, they cover the gates at the end of the driveway. Fans would come by there and put mini-microphones and flowers and notes.”
And to watch Rush’s speech from our 2017 MRC Gala, you can do so here.