This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace aired a clip of President Obama saying last month, “The only way to solve the great challenges of our time is put aside stale ideology and petty partisanship and embrace what works.” Wallace then asked DNC chair Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA), “Isn’t going after Rush Limbaugh a perfect example of the stale ideology and petty partisanship the president was talking about?”
Kaine noted that “we wouldn’t even be talking about Rush Limbaugh at all had he not said he wanted the president to fail,” later adding, “at a time of crisis in this nation, nobody should be rooting for this president to fail.” However, Wallace took issue with Kaine’s framing of Limbaugh’s quote, and then came to his defense:
WALLACE: I do want to point out though just as a point of information, that Rush Limbaugh says, and I think if you read what he says, he wasn’t saying I want the president to fail. He was saying I want his policies, his agenda to fail and that he disagreed with them and thought they were bad for America.
Apart from the fact that there is little distinction between wanting Obama to fail and wanting his policies to fail (with both ultimately meaning that the country has failed), Limbaugh himself originally said that he hopes Obama, personally, fails:
Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it. [...] “I hope he fails.” And that would be the most outrageous thing anybody in this climate could say.
As Dan Gilgoff, author of U.S. News’s “God & Country” blog pointed out of the above transcript, “In some places, Limbaugh says he wants Obama’s brand of liberalism to fail. In others, though, he says he hopes that Obama fails, without distinguishing between the president and his agenda” which is something that “Limbaugh even acknowledges.”
Media Matters has more of Limbaugh’s repeated claims that he hopes Obama fails.