Last week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the Republican Party is in “deep trouble” because it is “getting smaller” and being led by far right polarizing figures. Specifically, he said that Rush Limbaugh “diminishes the party and intrudes or inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that we would be better to do without.” Limbaugh then responded that Powell ought to “close the loop” and leave the Republican Party instead of “claiming” to be interested in reforming it. Today on CBS’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer asked Cheney about the spat. Cheney said that he comes down squarely on the side of Limbaugh:
CHENEY: Well, if I had to choose — in terms of being a Republican — I’d go with Rush Limbaugh, I think. My take on it was that Colin had already left the party. I didn’t know he was still a Republican. [...]
SCHIEFFER: And you said you’d take Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell?
CHENEY: I would. Politically.
During the Bush administration, of course, Cheney and Powell often sparred over their differences on foreign policy. On the other hand, Cheney has long been a fervent admirer of Rush Limbaugh. In March, Cheney told CNN, “Rush is a good friend. I love him. … I think Rush is a good man and serves a very important purpose.”
Today on ABC’s This Week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also said, “I don’t want to moderate either. I think our policies, the principles of our party, are as viable today as they have been in the past.”