On Phil Gingrey and Rush Limbaugh

You’ve no doubt seen this article in the Politico. The article, which originally erred by naming Tom Price instead of properly citing Phil Gingrey, quotes Gingrey as follows:

“I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach,” Gingrey said. “I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell.”

I ran a primary campaign against Phil Gingrey in 2002. Sadly, we lost in the runoff. Back then we accurately characterized him as an unimaginative whore to leadership. Of course then in a Democrat controlled Georgia state legislature, Phil was always the first Republican in line to kowtow to Democrat Governor Roy Barnes. Everybody knew Phil would be the first Republican to sell out the caucus to the Governor in the state legislature.

Nothing has changed. You should not extrapolate from Gingrey’s comments that the average Republican member of the House of Representatives feels that way. I hear from dozens of them daily and they all think Rush is right. That’s exactly why Boehner has shifted to full opposition against the stimulus package.

During the farm bill debate in 2007, the Georgia Republicans in the House made a pact to stick together and vote against the bill. Going into it, they intended to. But then someone pointed out to them that if they had state wide ambitions, they needed to support the farm bill. It was, of course, fatuous nonsense. But Gingrey promptly marched down to the floor and voted for the farm bill, betraying the rest of his colleagues (Kingston voted for it too, but everyone knew he would given the massive amount of farmers in his district lobbying him. Gingrey had zero farmers).

So don’t be surprised by this. Just note that should Gingrey ever run state wide in Georgia we’ll actively oppose him.


  1. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    “Back then we accurately characterized him as an unimaginative whore to leadership.”

    Erick, can’t the same be said about Price? … The guy is such a worm.
    Although I must admit, he’s casted as the perfect whiney-type against the new adminstration….

  2. Harry says:

    So Gingrey is a stalking horse for the House leadership? I can imagine some RINOs are feeling Obamamania in their districts and are willing to throw principle overboard. Folks, this is where the rubber meets the road.

  3. I Am Jacks Post says:

    The farmer population in his District notwithstanding, Kingston was always going to vote for the Farm Bill because someone was cutting checks.

  4. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Harry, without throwing around the terms “conservative” or “liberal, ” what exactly is a non-RINO. I’m sure you’ll use the tired old terms God, Guns, and Abortion….lol

  5. Harry says:

    A non-RINO at this juncture would be someone who stands firm in loyal opposition to the program of the other party that is currently in the ascendency. That’s how you avoid becoming a One-Party State, or a personality cult.

  6. Icarus says:

    “someone who stands firm in loyal opposition to the program of the other party that is currently in the ascendency. ”

    So much for the “party of ideas”. We just need to figure out what the other guys are doing, and then do the opposite? So much for leadership while we’re at it.

  7. shep1975 says:

    There are a lot of farmers in the 11th who will disagree with your accessment that there are, or were, no farmers over here. The 11th is mostly a rural district with the exception of suburban Cobb County. I don’t know which district you ran that losing campaign in, but it must not have been the 11th.

  8. rightofcenter says:

    Well, Erick did say it was a losing campaign. I guess we now know why. If Gingrey is a leadership whore, I guess Erick is a Rush Limbaugh whore. Rush Limbaugh is a toxic cancer on the Republican Party, and unless the intelligent leadership of the Party recognizes this and acts in a corresponding manner, the Party will continue to contract until it consists of nothing but the “true believers”. “True believers” being defined as the dittoheads (such as Erick).

  9. JonHodges says:

    I talked to one of Gingrey’s staffers about the Farm bill, and he tried to make it sound like Gingery would have lost vast quantities of votes, had he not voted with the liberals. I do agree with Jason in so far as there is plenty of farmland in the 11th. But the number of actual farmers receiving subsidies in the 11th would be another more interesting statistic. Gingrey better oppose the next bailout, take a look at what the Federal Reserve has done without Congress…

  10. Harry says:

    Why do you think Rush is a toxic cancer on the Republican party? I think he’s helped millions to ID themselves as Republicans.

  11. I’d like to know when and where the Washington Republicans ever took Rush’s advice? If they had actually taken his advice, they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in.

  12. shep1975 says:

    Buzz, see 1994 and the GOP revolution.

    Rightof center, despite the spin Erick has given to his post as opposed to mine, most of us conservatives, Phil Gingrey included, listen to Rush regularly, as well as other talk show hosts. I consider myself a “dittohead,” but being a dittohead does not mean following Rush blindly. Even Rush doesn’t claim to be right 100% of the time, just 98% of the time. In a 3 hour broadcast, that means he’ll get something wrong.

    Buzz and Erick just give Rush more credit than Rush gives himself.

  13. John Konop says:

    I know and like Phil Gingrey. Erick you are cherry picking issues to go after Phil for telling pundits like you and Rush to act like adults. Many of us want solutions on all sides not hate spewing politics that divides people. This is mirror check time for people like you on both sides who have made a living on gut level politics. The odd part you and Al Sharpton pimp the system with hate as your product.

  14. John Konop says:

    Erick why do you and Rush consider yourselves conservative when you supported the out of control spending and trade deals that destroyed our economy? Unlike you and Rush, Phil Gingrey did speak up and voted against NAFTA, CAFTA….while you supported it.

    And when I warned years ago about debt growing faster than GDP you took the LIBERAL economic view that this was no big deal.

    GDP vs. DEBT

    This was one of the cornerstones of my run for office. The truth is, we have been using government-backed debt to cover up trade deficits for years. All Bush did was put the formula on steroids to pay for Iraq, drug prescription… We cannot sustain an economy based on consuming way more than we produce—bottom line.

    MT….You can’t use credit to pay bills in a sustainable fashion. That is, pulling forward demand is destructive to the economy and paying principal and interest (”Bills”) with the issuance of yet more credit is suicidal.

    Again, I return to the math. I have seen many complex derivations of various credit models, most of which rely on integration and differential equations. While all of this is cute (and I actually understand most of it where the “Average Joe” on the street does not) the fact remains that when it comes to economics and monetary theory all this hand waving is a bunch of noise intended to obfuscate, not inform.

    In fact the economic issues can be simply explained through exponents, as I have repeatedly pointed out.
    If you have economic growth of 3% over 10 years your economic output grows to 1.34 times its original size (not 1.30.) If consumer debt grows by 5% over the same 10 years the debt load grows to 1.62 times the original size (not 1.50.) The longer this disparity goes on the worse the situation gets……
    read more


  15. atlantaman says:

    I happened to listen to Mark Levin last night, who is syndicated on WGST around 9:00 pm. Boy did he go off on Gingrey. Basically said he was deadwood who needs to resign because he could be taking up the spot of a future Ronald Reagan. He did say that he had spoken with Tom Price before and liked him a lot.

  16. John Konop says:


    You think Rush who supported tax cuts without proper spending cuts, trade deals that destroyed our manufacturing base and deregulating government backed loans should be the spokesman for the GOP on economics?


  17. bowersville says:

    Sadly, there is no spokesman for the GOP. We have Boehner, McConnell and apparently going to get Duncan again. Those three led the charge to where the GOP is today. Like puppy dogs led on the Bush leash, those three led the way by following GWB with the votes in Congress, not Limbaugh.

    I hope Gingrey’s little tantrum about Limbaugh isn’t a prelude to jumping ship and supporting the stimulus plan unabated. If so, I hope Limbaugh dwells on him and other Republicans every day for months to come.

    There appears to be some wavering among the Blue Dogs, the Republicans certainly don’t need to offer cover for them.

  18. John Konop says:


    Obama is very smart he is using Rush as the poster child for what is wrong with the GOP. At the end Rush will only push Republicans in tough districts or Statewide races toward the Blue Dogs.

    Rush is popular with parts of the GOP base but on a macro he kills the GOP.

  19. Bill Simon says:

    “There are a lot of farmers in the 11th who will disagree with your accessment that there are, or were, no farmers over here. ”

    Yeah! Roger Kahn had a farm in that district, didn’t he?

  20. John, John, John….. You give too much credence to a pawn of a political apparatus that needed to win an election. Look at the realities. He never served one term in the U.S. Senate, 2 terms in the Illinois legislature and worked as a community organizer. Now he has been elevated to highest office in our Union and perhaps the free world.

    Nearly a BILLION dollars was spent on his campaign. America ate, drank and slept Obama for 2 years from the paid media and the “free press”. In one of his spokesmen’s terms, “change is whatever you want it to be”.

    Simply peruse http://www.whitehouse.gov and look at his agenda. Read the daily papers and watch the television. The new “untested” leader is systematically dismantling foreign policy that was created by Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr.. So what’s a talk master supposed to do? What is anyone who is politically astute supposed to do? Bow our speak out?

  21. Bowersville, don’t forget that we have Cornyn now heading up the NRSC, who presents himself as “staking out a sharply partisan approach to the task of rescuing his party from the steep losses it suffered in the last two election cycles” (CQ) — but then votes for Timothy Geithner to be Treasury Secretary.

    Yeah, there’s a great GOP spokesman, who won’t even vote against tax cheats for Treasury Secretary.

  22. bowersville, I look for Mike Pence to begin a move. He’s a conservative congressman from Indiana. Years ago, he hosted a popular talk radio program in Indiana. He is well versed and aggressive. I’m putting my money on him.

  23. Bill Simon says:

    As I recall Gingrey’s opponent’s campaign strategy in action, the Cecil Staton campaign focused MORE on accusing Gingrey of being an adulterer and trying to make other sleazy lies stick, rather than talk about issues of importance to that district.

    I had not known until now, Erick, that you were the campaign manager for Staton.

  24. Bill Simon says:

    Thinking further now…that also means that that entire campaign’s mail program ran out of Century Strategies because Linda Hamrick and Elizabeth “The Hottest Lobbyist Hottie in the Dome” LaVack operated in the grassroots activities exactly like Ralph Reed trained them to.

    Which explains a lot more as to why you supported Ralph in the 2006 Lt. Guv primary.

  25. John Konop says:

    Maurice Atkinson

    You should read the “Art of War”

    A very important lessen is never underestimate your opponent. Also winning the peace is harder than winning the war.

  26. John, that’s a book I’ll have to read. I’ve read bits of it, but will do so. However, I’ve been around the block a few times and know that timing is everything. The longer this agenda goes unchallenged, the easier it is for them to implement it on a wholesale basis. The American public is not nearly as astute as they were 50 years ago. There is no civic mindset. People have no clue of their responsibilities, nor do the vast majority want to participate. When a population becomes so apathetic, they become like the frog in the kettle. Our House and Senate leaders are stung and numb by the recent elections and have no clue what to do. They were as complacent and culpable as the general public. So when people begin to question and attack an agenda that virtually destroys what America has historically been about, in my opinion, folks need to listen.

    The mantra for the past 2 years was “inclusion”, however, half of America (the conservative half) have been sent scrambling for cover.

    This is like ’92 when Clinton embarked on some changes by attempting to eliminate the ban on gays in the military. The military and the public raised their voices in an uproar. Pres. Clinton, then introduced a compromise, don’t ask don’t tell. Then for months Hilary empanelled her “health care team” to orchestrate a wholesale change in the system. At a Town Hall meeting in Omaha, Herman Cain blew the whistle and left the Clinton’s saying they were not responsible for every undercapitalized business. Again, this challenge stirred the public and Newt led the revolt. I’m seeing the exact same things.

    Like it or not Bush compromised more with the Dems than they want to give him credit for. In fact, these budgets that the status quo Republicans and Dems sent for Bush to sign were pork laden and if you recall, we got our gooses cooked in ’06 because of it. That and the corruption scandals.

    Hopefully, our Party has learned some valuable lessons and we being to field competent and qualified candidates to seek seats. What I am seeing is not giving much promise, as we simply want to stack candidates for seats that Republicans will likely win (i.e., Gov.), creating an internal war where Dems have the opportunity to divide and conquer.

    In my opinion, we need to use this window of opportunity to field candidates for the SoS and Ins. Comm. posts, discourage candidates that will not be competitive or encourage them to run for seats such as AG, and Labor Commissioner. That is not saying the latter are not important, however, the power of the incumbency is huge. We need strong candidates there. Hopefully we will field those as well.

    I do believe President Obama has an opportunity to make a significant mark on history. He already has. However, he could do so much more than to mire himself in petty issues that divide and weaken us. He has a real rags to riches story and could be a champion for people to become more than they are. I don’t see that coming from the near Trillion Dollar stimulus bill. It appears that our national leaders have far less confidence in the free enterprise system that we little guys.

  27. Three Jack says:

    konop, how did gingrey vote against nafta? he wasn’t even an elected official back in 1993.

    given a choice, the gop would be much better off following the advice of rush over phil gingrey who is best known as a go along to get along guy.

  28. John Konop says:

    Maurice Atkinson

    I do not agree with the bailout plan but Rush’s idea is just as bad. The concept of financing tax cuts is one of the ways we got into this mess.

    A real fiscal conservative understands promoting tax cuts without proper spending cuts is NUTS!

    Also stimulus spending that does not produce more tax revenue than it cost is NUTS!

    Do you get both sides are wrong!

    We need real adults to debate what to do not talking point fools on both sides!

  29. Bill Simon says:

    Three Jack,

    Which “Rush” should we follow? The one who, during 2005-2006 lavished the Republicans in Congress with praise and “atta-boy/girl” support and went RIGHT along with EVERY bill they passed and…in his words exactly on the day after the GOP lost in November 2006…”I toted their water and I’m not doing it anymore!”

    Or, the one now? I’m sorry..I’m having a very difficult time discerning when I should bet the whole GOP slate of principles on WTF “Rush” thinks is right at any given moment in time.

  30. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    As usual you demonstrated a talking point view of economics.

    Why do you think Rush who supported tax cuts without proper spending cuts, trade deals that destroyed our manufacturing base and deregulating government backed loans should be the platform for GOP economics?

  31. IndyInjun says:

    Count me with Erick, Buzz and Limbaugh.

    Gingrey was front and center for George W. Bush, perhaps more so than anyone else on the Georgia Delegation.

    I won’t be satisfied until every last one of these ruinous clowns are out of office. None of them is a Republican by the standards of the party.

    The reason the current Congress is there is because of utter revulsion of the GOP’s relentless attack on this country. The people had no choice but to vote the clearly CORRUPT TO THE CORE GOP, even though there was zero confidence that the Dems would do better.

    There has never been a bigger THEFT in the history of the world than what is being revealed right now. Gingrey and his House colleagues were clearly to blame.

    Limbaugh is anti-Democrat, period.

    Gingrey is pro lucre, period.

    A pox on them both for destroying my country.

  32. Three Jack says:

    bill, i’m not saying rush has THE answer. but i would take his advice over gingrey’s if we are discussing the future of the gop.

  33. Three Jack says:

    konop, i’m struggling to see where my post had anything to do with economic theory, or for that matter, how this thread has anything to do with economics.

    we are discussing politics, a topic i realize you would like to avoid considering your lack of understanding on the matter.

    when did gingrey vote against nafta konop?

  34. John Konop says:

    Part of the debate is about the bailout plan. Do you understand the issue at all? Let me help you understand the debate.

    Dems are proposing spending some of the money on projects which would not generate enough tax revenue to offset the cost.

    Rush is proposing financing tax cuts without enough revenue to offset the cost.

    A rational person would see this is not a smart fiscally conservative plan in the long run.

    BTW Icarus and I wrote a plan addressing the core issue of the lending market drying up.

    As far as trade yes I was wrong about him voting against NAFTA since he was not in the congress at the time. I had it confused with this bill.

    Block NAFTA Superhighway & North American Union.
    Gingrey co-sponsored blocking NAFTA Superhighway & North American Union
    This resolution urges disengaging from the NAFTA Superhighway System and the North American because these proposals threaten U.S. sovereignty:
    • Whereas US trade deficits with Mexico and Canada have significantly increased since the implementation of NAFTA;
    • Whereas a NAFTA Superhighway System from the west coast of Mexico through the US and into Canada has been suggested as part of a North American Union to facilitate trade;
    • Whereas the State of Texas has already begun planning of the Trans-Texas Corridor, a major multi-modal transportation project beginning at the US-Mexico border, which would serve as an initial section of a NAFTA Superhighway System;
    • Whereas it could be particularly difficult for Americans to collect insurance from Mexican companies which employ Mexican drivers involved in accidents;
    • Whereas future unrestricted foreign trucking can act collaterally as a conduit for illegal drugs, illegal human smuggling, and terrorist activities; and
    • Whereas a NAFTA Superhighway System would likely include be controlled by foreign management, which threatens the sovereignty of the US:
    • Now, therefore, be it Resolved: that the US should not engage in the construction of a NAFTA Superhighway System;
    • that the US should not allow the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) to implement further regulations that would create a North American Union with Mexico and Canada; and
    • the President should indicate strong opposition to these acts or any other proposals that threaten the sovereignty of the United States.

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