- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Rush Limbaugh says fans of self-proclaimed “centrist” Dwayne Johnson should follow the money if they want to know why he broke years of precedent and endorsed Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign.

The conservative radio host was in agreement with an American Greatness op-ed Tuesday detailing big bucks “The Rock” brings in from China.

“He could have been silent,” Mr. Limbaugh said of the celebrity’s endorsement. “He could have just gone through this campaign and not announced a preference. But he’s come out and endorsed Biden. And you might say, ‘So what, Rush? Hollywood guy.’ And a lot of people, ‘But, Rush, but, Rush, Dwayne Johnson’s always been known as a Republican or conservative.’ Yes, I know. But not now.”

At issue is the idea that any public distancing from President Trump by celebrities — a vocal critic of various Chinese policies — will ingratiate them with Beijing.

Mr. Limbaugh then pointed to writer Edward Ring’s piece titled “‘The Rock’ has sold his soul to China,” which detailed the disparity between Mr. Johnson’s domestic box office success versus earnings from China.

“For example, ‘Furious 7’ in 2015 grossed $353 million in the United States but raked in $390 million in China,” Mr. Ring wrote. “‘The Fate of the Furious’ in 2017 grossed $225 million in the United States and $392 million in China. Even more recent blockbusters delivered ongoing disparities. ‘Rampage’ in 2018 grossed $101 million in the United States versus $159 million in China. ‘Skyscraper,’ also released in 2018, grossed $68 million in the United States but hit $98 million in China.”

The op-ed also noted Mr. Johnson’s ‘Teremana’ tequila and efforts to break into the Chinese market.

“Dwayne Johnson obviously doesn’t know who his audience is, or maybe he does,” Mr. Limbaugh continued. “Dwayne Johnson’s audience, just like [NBA star] LeBron James and all these current pop culture icons, it is the ChiComs who are paying them, it is the ChiComs who own them, and it is the Chinese to whom they are loyal.”

“I don’t think he cares, ‘cause believe me, folks, what’s really happening here is that he’s pleasing his masters in China,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “His movies do far better than better in China than they do in the United States, particularly now during COVID, and it’s the same thing with LeBron James and some of these other NBA players.”

Mr. Johnson told fans during his endorsement that it was time for him to “go big” in 2020. 

“As a registered independent for years now with centrist ideologies, I do feel that Vice President Biden and Senator Harris are the best choice to lead our country, and I am endorsing them to become president and vice president of our United States.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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