- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Rush Limbaugh saga continued Tuesday, with a candidate for governor in Virginia putting in his two cents and the Democratic National Committee raising money from the new interest in the conservative radio talk-show host.

Terry McAuliffe, a former DNC chairman who is seeking the Democratic nomination in Virginia, challenged Republican candidate Bob McDonnell to “condemn” Mr. Limbaugh’s remarks about hoping President Obama would fail.

He said the comments had “crossed” a line and were not constructive, and urged Mr. McDonnell to “join me” in repudiating the talk-show host.

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A McDonnell aide fired back, saying the Democrat “desperately wants our attention” but did not respond to the request in the letter.

Also Tuesday, in an e-mail titled “What real leadership looks like,” Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine invoked the dust-up to raise money for the DNC.

He cited the legislation Mr. Obama has signed and noted that Democratic accomplishments are a “far cry” from what Republican leaders have been doing.

“Nearly every Republican in Congress voted against the Recovery plan. Instead, they’re following Rush Limbaugh, who last week reiterated his hope that President Obama fails,” he wrote DNC supporters in an e-mail.

Mr. Kaine said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele had done the “right thing” by denouncing Mr. Limbaugh, before calling the radio host to apologize.

“Following Rush Limbaugh and the failed attack politics of the past - as Republicans are doing - is not the kind of leadership that’s going to get America back on a path to strength and prosperity. So it’s going to be up to us to lead the way,” he wrote. “Make a donation now so that we can continue showing what real leadership can do for America.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the ongoing drama - which he had helped to stoke earlier in the week - during Tuesday’s briefing.

“I’ve encouraged members of the press to ask Republicans whether they agree with Mr. Limbaugh’s adage that he hopes that the president’s economic ideas fail,” he said. “I was a little surprised at the speed in which Mr. Steele, the head of the RNC, apologized to the head of the Republican Party.”

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