Bob Dole sends letter to Rush Limbaugh on McCain



I have not seen you in a long time but I do hear you frequently and I know that you have serious reservations about Senator McCain.

Not that many care but I have not been involved in the Republican Primary contest because Elizabeth, a good conservative, is running for reelection in North Carolina where Romney, McCain and Huckabee each enjoy considerable support.

I was the Republican Leader from January 1985 until I left the Senate voluntarily in June 1996. I worked closely with Senator McCain when he came to the Senate in 1987 until I departed. I cannot recall a single instance when he did not support the Party on critical votes.

(At my age, I cannot be entirely certain but here are a few key conservative examples:)

1. Consistent pro-life record

2. Strong advocate for strict constructionist judges (We were misled on the Souter nomination)

3. Supported voluntary school prayer

4. Supported Constitutional Amendment for a Balanced Budget (needed two-thirds and lost by one vote – 66-34)

5. Strong advocate for reducing spending and opposing pork barrel “ear marks” which has, I might add, angered some of his colleagues

6. Consistent on defending Second Amendment rights

7. Opposed “Hillary Care” which would have been devastating

8. Probably the Senate’s strongest advocate for strong national defense

9. Of course he has cast many votes since I left. I totally disagreed with the McCain-Feingold legislation. On immigration, Senator McCain was not in the Senate when Congress passed President Reagan’s immigration legislation which passed overwhelmingly. It granted amnesty to 2.7 million illegals. It was not much different than the 2007 McCain, Kennedy, Bush effort.

I disagree with his votes against the Bush tax cuts but I believe his pledge to make them permanent and I do not agree that Governor Romney ever suggested a timetable for troop withdrawals in Iraq.

McCain is a friend and I proudly wore his P.O.W. bracelet bearing his name while he was still a guest at the “Hanoi Hilton.” I believe our major candidates are mainstream conservatives and that our nominee will address our concerns by keeping taxes low, reducing corporate taxes, protecting and assisting the vulnerable, strengthening our traditional values, and above all, keeping America strong militarily, whatever the cost.

Whoever wins the Republican nomination will need your enthusiastic support. Two terms for the Clintons are enough.

Gob Bless America,


P.S. Rush, I just came across a document from the Senate Library which shows Presidential Support scores. Let me give you ratings for “Mr. Conservative” Senator Helms through 2002 (Helms retired in January 2003) and Senator McCain through 2004.

“Presidential Support”

List of McCain’s voting record here

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  • John Fairplay

    Note that Dole does not endorse McCain in this letter.

  • eagel eye

    Dole is right and Rush should button his lips before he does any more damage.

  • Jack

    Bob Dole,John McCain are a couple of Losers.
    Rush, Turn the Volume up on the
    Golden EIB Microphone so some losers
    above can hear you.

  • mary

    Wow…………..I just listen to Rush for the entertainment value. He is such a fruitcake. Most listeners don’t take his advice, if they do they’re just drinkin from the ole koolaid pitcher! Part of the entertainment value is the fact that he belives he is relevant.

  • notnewt

    Would you take advice on how to beat Clinton from Bob Dole?

    • eagle eye

      Apart from

      “Whoever wins the Republican nomination will need your enthusiastic support.”

      did Dole give advice on how to beat the Clintons?

      Do you disagree with what he did say?

      • notnewt

        Dole was trying to convince Rush to support McCain, if McCain should become the Republican nominee for president. Rush has recently been saying things that suggest he won’t do that. There are a lot of reasons why conservatives might not want to support McCain, even if he ran against Hillary. There might be worse things than another Clinton in the White House. McCain might be one of them.

        There were actually a number of significant conservative achievements during the Clinton years:
        -no major costly liberal social programs were enacted, including no national health care (Hillary’s legislative incompetence would be a continuing “plus” as far as conservatives are concerned);
        -budget deficits were eliminated;
        -Clinton got us into only one minor regional war (Bosnia) which we are still trying to get out of, but that hardly compares to the Bush fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan;
        -Hillary’s personality practically guarantees that her administration would be as full of scandal and ineptitude as that of Bill. It was Billary’s ineptitude that allowed conservatives to gain control of Congress for the first time in 50 years.

        In contrast, Bush, who looked like a good conservative going in, has practically disgraced the conservative movement:
        -no major conservative legislative accomplishment. No Child Left Behind is actually a liberal accomplishment as it will intimately involve the federal government in local school decisions in ways never before imagined.
        -huge deficits.
        -Congress back in control of liberals.
        -two unnecessary major regional wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) which are still unsuccessfully trying to identify and accomplish some useful purpose.

        It seems ironic that conservatives might look back nostalgically on the Clinton presidency when comparing it to Bush. But it shows how bad an ineffective conservative can be. McCain shows lots of signs of possibly being even worse than Bush. Conservatives can reasonably argue that he would be bad for the country and bad for conservatives. So it is reasonably foreseeable that, yes, Dole is wrong when he says that “two terms for the Clintons are enough.” A third term for Billary would arguably be better than one term for McCain.

  • Jack

    Bob Dole sent the Letter to Rush to basically tell him to Shut Up and go away. Liberal Socialist “Mary” above Monitor’s Rush, she doesn’t listen to Rush. She can’t stand Rush the same way that I hate PBS – NPR. Oh and Rush and other concervative talk radio show’s are privately FUNDED where as Mary’s NPR PBS still get public subsidies.
    They’ll be cut off and Maybe the IRS dismantled in my Life time.

    Ps: 5.1.1 Slick willie and Billary had a Republican Congress to stop there _ _ _ _ except the Monica blue stain part in 96-99. Slick willie should have been Convicted on his impeachment and thrown out.

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