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RNC Chair Michael Steele on Limbaugh: ‘Yes, it’s incendiary. Yes, it’s ugly.’

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"RNC Chair Michael Steele on Limbaugh: ‘Yes, it’s incendiary. Yes, it’s ugly.’"

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Last night, RNC Chairman Michael Steele appeared on D.L. Hughley’s show on CNN and disputed Hughley’s statement that Rush Limbaugh “is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.” “I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party!” Steele insisted. Steele admitted that Limbaugh’s shtick is “incendiary” and “ugly”:

STEELE: So let’s put it into context here. Let’s put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it’s incendiary. Yes, it’s ugly.

Watch it:

Transcript:

HUGHLEY: You know what we do, we talk like we’re talking now. You have your view. I have mine. We don’t need incendiary rhetoric.

STEELE: Exactly.

HUGHLEY: Like Rush Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

STEELE: No, he’s not.

HUGHLEY: I will tell you what …

STEELE: I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

HUGHLEY: You know what? I can appreciate that. But no one will actually decry down some of the things he says. Like when he comes out and says he wants the president to fail. I understand he wants liberalism to fail. Like, I get it’s not about the man. But it is still about the idea that he would rather have an idea fail so his idea can move to the forefront. And that would succeed. And that to me is destructive.

STEELE: How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency?

HUGHLEY: You’re absolutely — let me say something. You’re absolutely right.

STEELE: So let’s put it into context here. Let’s put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it’s incendiary. Yes, it’s ugly.

D: You do get a sense that he would say anything.

HUGHLEY: He influences the party. And I tell you what, you’re the first Republican I have talked to, and I have talked to a lot, to say he’s not the leader of his party. I have never heard anybody say that on any show.

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