Yesterday, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, complained to Politico about how Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talkers are able to “stand back and throw bricks” instead of offering “real leadership” in the middle of high-profile public policy battles. Gingrey’s brave remarks got him in hot water.
This morning — because of what he called “high volume of phone calls and correspondence” in response to his comments — Gingrey issued a retraction, declaring his loyalty to hate radio. “I see eye-to-eye with Rush Limbaugh,” he said, later adding that he, Sean Hannity, and Newt Gingrich were “the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience.”
But Gingrey’s mea culpa was not yet complete. Apparently concluding that his criticism of Limbaugh was so off-base that it merited a personal, on-air apology to Limbaugh, Gingrey made a rare guest appearance on Limbaugh’s radio show this afternoon. Addressing the hate radio host as a “conservative giant,” Gingrey apologized for what he termed his “foot-in-mouth disease”:
GINGREY: Rush, thank you so much. I thank you for the opportunity, of course this is not exactly the way to I wanted to come on. … Mainly, I want to express to you and all your listeners my very sincere regret for those comments I made yesterday to Politico. … I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments. … I regret those stupid comments.
LIMBAUGH: Well, look, I appreciate that. … I’m glad that you called.
Gingrey concluded by saying, “[T]he best possible message for this country would be for every single republican to vote against [the economy recover package].” Watch it: