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Tom Ridge on Rush and Powell


RUSH: C-Span's Washington Journal this morning, the host, Steve Scully, was interviewing former Governor Tom Ridge. I told you yesterday Schieffer was on the show the other day, and he said the biggest moment in his career is when he asked Cheney: "Okay, who is the better Republican, Powell or Limbaugh?" and Cheney said, "Limbaugh." Schieffer said he's still getting comments, the most comments, most feedback ever. Scully says, "When the former Vice President Dick Cheney tells Bob Schieffer that Rush Limbaugh is a Republican and Colin Powell is not, what's your reaction?"

RIDGE: Well, I think Colin Powell, ever since I've known him... I don't know how he was registered, if he bothered to register as a military man, uh, worked within the Republican Party. Certainly was out there campaigning for Republicans. I mean, if that... It... Uh, Colin Powell was a Republican as far as I'm concerned. And, uh -- And again, it's that... Enormous regard for the vice president, but, uh, it's -- it's that mindset that I think is -- is, uh... It creates an environment not conducive to, uhh, the openness and the candid and honest disagreement we can have within the party and still retain unity. Unity does not mean unanimity.

RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And what's the other saying going around? "Unity does not mean purity." Nobody is talking "purity." But I still remain... Again, this is within the context of just plain old common sense. I remain puzzled how Mr. Ridge can say that Powell campaigned for Republicans. I must have missed something, because I remember that Colin Powell endorsed the Democrat, Barack Obama, at a strategic point in the campaign in 2008. And then he went out later and said, "Americans want more spending, bigger government, and higher taxes," before California threw that one in the trash. So, look, folks, I know what's going on here. What I also know is that trying to say, "Colin Powell is a Republican and he campaigned for Republican candidates," after endorsing Obama is not going to fly with Republicans. It just isn't going to fly.


RUSH: I've been getting e-mails from people from Virginia. (laughing) "Rush, nobody cares where Tim Kaine is. Hopefully he'll stay out of the state." (laughing) I guess it's this way, folks. If Colin Powell is a good Republican because he supported Obama and supports Obama's agenda, I guess Obama is a good Republican, too. Steve Scully, get Ridge back and ask him that: "Is Obama a good Republican?"



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