Mike Pence Honors Rush Limbaugh: ‘The Anchor of Conservatism’

Mike Pence appeared on Fox News on Wednesday to mark the passing of Rush Limbaugh and honor the man he called the “anchor of conservatism.” The former Vice President praised the legacy of the talk radio star: “When I served in the House of Representatives, he was our greatest champion when we were fighting a rearguard action for conservative values in Republican and Democrat administrations. He was there giving us air cover every single day.” 

Pence lauded, “When I was governor of Indiana and when I served as vice president, he was the anchor of conservatism.”

Making it all personal, the Vice President asserted, “I scarcely believe that I would have had the opportunities to serve in the Congress, to serve the people of Indiana’s governor, or to serve as your vice president without the life, the example, the encouragement and ultimately to the friendship of Rush Limbaugh.” 

 

 

Discussing Limbaugh’s impact on talk radio and America, Pence explained: 

But make no mistake about it, he reinvented AM radio across the country. John, you and I have been around a while. You know, there was a time when AM talk radio was in decline in the 1980s. Rush Limbaugh stepped into the gap. He had essentially invented conservative talk radio. And I know that there are an awful lot of talk show hosts around the country on the airwaves today who, like me during those years, they would not be on the airwaves without the life, the example, the courage and the talent of Rush Limbaugh. He was a good man. People heard his heart every day. 

The Vice President concluded: 

You know, the Bible says the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and we’re going to make that our prayer for their families. This country will never forget Rush Limbaugh. And I know that his legacy is going to live on for generations in the hearts of millions of Americans that he inspired. And it was an honor to get to know him and honor to call him a friend. And he will be deeply missed.

A partial transcript of the America Reports segment is below. Click “expand” to read more. 

FNC’s America Reports 
02/17/2021
2:01 PM ET

MIKE PENCE: Today, America lost a giant with the passing of Rush Limbaugh. Karen and I literally join millions of Americans and expressing our sympathy to Kathryn, his brother David and the tens of millions of people loved and cherished the incomparable voice. Thank you for having me on. 

(….)

SANDRA SMITH: What did he mean to the conservative movement? 

MIKE PENCE: Well, I must tell you, I mean, when I served in the House of Representatives, he was our greatest champion when we were fighting a rearguard action for conservative values in Republican and Democrat administrations. He was there giving us air cover every single day. When I was governor of Indiana and when I served as vice president, he was the anchor of conservatism. He gave voice to a movement and to the ideals that have always made America great and have been making America great again. I just I feel a personal indebtedness to him though Sandra. Many people don’t know that I spent about a decade in talk radio myself. I was inspired to go into conservative talk radio in the 1990s because of Rush Limbaugh. And I scarcely believe that I would have had the opportunities to serve in the Congress, to serve the people of Indiana’s governor, or to serve as your vice president without the life, the example, the encouragement and ultimately to the friendship of Rush Limbaugh. So our hearts are heavy today. Our prayers are with his family and the millions of Americans who like who like us, loved and cherished Rush Limbaugh.

(….)

JOHN ROBERTS: You preempted me there. I was going to bring up the Mike Pence radio show from back in the early 1990s, where you described yourself as Rush Limbaugh on decaf 

PENCE: I did. I did. And he always enjoyed quoting that. You know, I was in his studio about a year ago and many times that we’ve talked and there was only one Rush Limbaugh, but he inspired not only tens of millions of young conservatives across this country, myself included. But make no mistake about it, he reinvented AM radio across the country. John, you and I have been around a while. You know, there was a time when AM talk radio was in decline in the 1980s. Rush Limbaugh stepped into the gap. He had essentially invented conservative talk radio. And I know that there are an awful lot of talk show hosts around the country on the airwaves today who, like me during those years, they would not be on the airwaves without the life, the example, the courage and the talent of Rush Limbaugh. He was a good man. People heard his heart every day. But no one in my lifetime has ever more consistently given voice to the timeless ideals of this country than Rush Limbaugh. And he will be dearly missed.

(….)

PENCE [on Limbaugh being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.]: Well, it was such a deeply meaningful moment for me, I know for President Trump. I think we both felt that the movement that carried a President Trump into the Oval Office, a movement that saw us rebuild our military, revive our economy, see conservatives appointed to our courts to level, the foundation for that moment, was poured by Rush Limbaugh. And I think President Trump always knew that. And when that evening came, I know it was a privilege for the president to extend the nation’s highest civilian honor to Rush Limbaugh. And for the reasons that I’ve said it was, it was deeply meaningful to me to be able to be there. And I spoke to Rush many times after that. 

And I know how much it meant to him because it was a small token of the gratitude the tens of millions of Americans felt for his relentless belief in this country, his boundless optimism about the American people. I know he meant a great deal to President Trump, who meant a great deal to us. And that’s why today I just, I have to tell you, I thank you for the opportunity to be with you, Sandra and John. And just to say to everyone out there who’s got a heavy heart, like the Pences, that we’re going to be keeping, we’re going to be keeping Katherine and their family and their entire team in our prayers. You know, the Bible says the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and we’re going to make that our prayer for their families. This country will never forget Rush Limbaugh. And I know that his legacy is going to live on for generations in the hearts of millions of Americans that he inspired. And it was an honor to get to know him and honor to call him a friend. And he will be deeply missed.”

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