Bias Watch

Rush Limbaugh says Donald Trump told him not to apologize for offensive Pete Buttigieg comments

Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump.Photo: White House photo

Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show that Donald Trump called him personally to tell him not to apologize for his comments regarding Pete Buttigieg’s sexuality.

Last week, on two separate shows, Rush Limbaugh brought up Buttigieg’s sexuality. On Tuesday, he said that parents would have trouble explaining “to their children” why Buttigieg is married to a man.

Related: Donald Trump gives man who insulted people with AIDS the Presidential Medal of Freedom

On Wednesday, he repeated five times in a short segment that Buttigieg kisses his husband Chasten, saying that “Mr. Man Donald Trump” will “have fun with that” during the presidential debates. He also called him “booty judge.”

The comments got national media attention, and Limbaugh responded to that on his show yesterday, insisting that he didn’t say anything about Buttigieg’s sexuality: “At no time, have I lectured Mayor Pete. At no time, have I opined on Mayor Pete as to what I think at all.”

Then he said that he was having a medical procedure done and Donald Trump called him.

“Yeah, powerful, influential member of the media, folks,” he bragged to his listeners. “I have got the White House private number in my phone, so when the White House calls, it says there on my phone.”

He claimed he told his doctors that they needed to hold off on the procedure for half an hour because “the president’s calling.” After his doctors told him they’d wait, he told the White House on the phone, “Can you have the president call me back in 35?”

He did not explain why he told both his doctors and the White House to wait, but when he finally talked to Trump, Trump said: “Rush, I just got to tell you something. Never apologize, don’t ever.”

Rush said he responded, “For what?” because he didn’t know people were criticizing him for his comments.

After blaming others for misinterpreting his comment, Rush said that the real reason people are calling him out for his anti-gay comments is because, “I think they think a lot of people didn’t know that he’s gay.”

He said that people in the media and D.C. blame him is because he “dropped the dime” and outed Buttigieg to “low information voters, the unwashed masses.” That is, his listeners.

While it’s true that some primary voters don’t know that Buttigieg is gay – including one who caucused for him in Iowa – Buttigieg has not made his sexuality a secret in the primary and Limbaugh is not the first person in the media to mention it.

Over the weekend, Buttigieg responded to Limbaugh’s repeated attacks on his sexual orientation.

“I’m not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh,” Buttigieg told Fox News’s Chris Wallace, “or anybody who supports Donald J. Trump as the moral as well as political leader of the United States.”

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