Limbaugh explains Cheney's motivations

The reason the former vice president is speaking out, the radio host says, is "love of and for his country."

Published May 11, 2009 6:45PM (EDT)

Clearly, Rush Limbaugh reads War Room. Earlier today, I asked what former Vice President Dick Cheney's motives are for continuing to publicly spar with President Obama, despite the fact that the White House is clearly loving the opportunity to engage with Cheney. Then, on his radio show, Limbaugh -- who's interviewed Cheney before -- gave this explanation:

He doesn't need the money. He has no further political ambitions. He is not hot for interns. He is not a torture freak. He knows that he is toxic and despised by the drive-by media and the Democrat party and the left in this country. What motivation does Dick Cheney have to go out and say these things? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is motivated by national interest? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is motivated by love of and for his country? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is speaking from his heart and is not speaking politically?

Dick Cheney's not concerned about legacies. He's smart enough to know that the legacy that's written about the Bush administration is gonna be BS until this generation of writers has assumed room temperature and moved on. So he's not -- he knows he can't correct the historical record. He's going on these shows to talk to the American people. He's one Republican voice. He's also saying we shouldn't moderate as a party. We only win when we are conservatives ... Dick Cheney knows that people in the middle of the road get run over...

(Hat-tip to Time's Mark Halperin.)

And, predictably, Democrats are eating this up. The Democratic National Committee has just sent two e-mails to reporters reminding us that former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has been a target of both Limbaugh and Cheney in recent days, has a higher approval rating than the two men combined.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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