When FOX News starts debating who's in charge of the Republican Party you know they have a problem. The answer is simple: no one is. They are all busy eating each other. They have nothing to say or offer. They are bankrupt like the economy. All the Republicans can do is wait and hope Obama fails.
VAN SUSTEREN: Steele quickly tried to make nice, saying, "My intent was not to go after Rush. I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership."
Now, just moments ago, we spoke to Sean Hannity, host of "Hannity" on FOX News.
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VAN SUSTEREN: Sean, thanks -- Sean, thanks for sticking around. So I want you to be the big explainer. What is this, for lack of a better word, controversy, the Rush Limbaugh-Michael Steele? What's going on?
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": Greta, by the way, it's great to be here. Thank you for having me. You know, first of all, Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh go back a long way. And look, I can't give you the specifics of it because I didn't hear the initial interview of it. But the gist of it was, is that Michael was on a -- a program, said something, you know, that Rush is an entertainer, et cetera, et cetera, and that he was controversial.
It wasn't what he meant. I talked to Michael on my radio program today, and Mike is a fan of Rush Limbaugh's, has been a friend for years. And so what he did was, he said, Look, I misspoke. It wasn't what I meant. It didn't come out the way I intended. I apologize to Rush. And Rush accepted the apology, controversy over.
VAN SUSTEREN: I guess the word "entertainer" is the word that probably was the biggest jab? Or do you agree or not?
HANNITY: Yes. You know what? Rush I know responded on his program because I think he was, rightly so, a little bit offended, Greta. But you know, look, there's nothing wrong with saying -- I'm on the radio every day, and I want to inform and entertain and offer news and opinions that I think an audience can't get in the -- I call the Obama mania media, Greta. But I try and give a point of view that I think people won't get elsewhere.
But look, Rush is -- I know him. I'm friends with him. He's a gracious, gracious man, and when he says it's over, I don't think there's anything left here.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I take it that Michael Steele, it's over for him, too, because Rush did fire back pretty -- you know, hard back at him, saying he -- you know, he shouldn't being going on TV, or I forgot what exactly, but he fired back equally as strong. So...
HANNITY: He did.
VAN SUSTEREN: Michael accepts that, and is it over?
HANNITY: As far as I know, they're both saying that it's over, so I'm -- I'm accepting that it's over. I'm going to tell you what. I want it to be over, and I know Rush, if he says it's over, it's over. And I'll tell you why, Greta, is there's too much at stake.
There's too much that people that like Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh agree on, and that is that this is the single biggest takeover of the economy in our history, that we have -- you know, we have Americans tonight, Greta, that have literally lost half their retirement income, that literally are afraid for their jobs. We got job numbers coming out Friday. I would anticipate they're not going to be good. We have 10 percent unemployment in states like California. That's not good. And you know, here we have more spending, more reckless than ever before, more earmarks. You're covering it. We're covering it.
And you know what? Conservatives that believe in limited government, our Constitution, free markets, capitalism -- I want to see these guys united, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sean, who is, if you were to guess tonight -- I mean, I realize things change as time marches -- who's the head of the Republican Party right now? Who's the leader?
HANNITY: Well -- you know, there are a lot of leaders in the Republican Party. I mean, certainly, Michael Steele is the chairman of the Republican National Committee. If you're asking maybe in the sense of who's going to be the next presidential candidate, I think it's too early to tell.
If you're asking if I think it's Rush Limbaugh, I would argue that Rush is the leader of the conservative movement in the country. I think he is -- has been the strongest, the most conservative, the most articulate voice of Reagan conservatism in the country.
And -- you know, I got to tell you something. He has been consistent throughout the years. He -- he -- look, I don't identify myself -- and this surprises a lot of people -- I'm not a Republican. I vote Republican usually, but I consider myself a conservative first. When I listen to Rush, I hear -- he has very similar values. He is a Reagan conservative. He believes in limited government, the things that I just discussed.
So you know, I mean, we could break this down and differentiate who's the leader, who's not the leader. I don't know who the leader is. I don't appoint leaders. Michael Steele is the head of the RNC. I would say Rush is by far the most articulate defining voice of conservatism in America today, and you know, as a conservative, I'm glad he's out there.