Love him or hate him, President Donald Trump is a fascinating personality and quite the talker.
In fact, he may be the only person with the unique attributes needed to replace conservative icon Rush Limbaugh, the radio host said Wednesday, according to the Washington Examiner. Limbaugh was reacting to a New York Times piece claiming that Trump wanted to start a talk radio show to reach Americans living through the coronavirus crisis.
A replacement for Rush?
At a coronavirus task force meeting in March, President Trump suggested having a two-hour talk radio show every day to keep in touch with Americans living through the crisis, The New York Times reported. But the president didn’t want to compete with his friend, according to the report.
Being the New York Times, the article depicts Limbaugh as homophobic and a propagandist for Trump who is dangerously pushing for lockdowns to be lifted. On his radio show, Limbaugh said he was astonished by the piece and started riffing on the idea of Trump hosting his show, while acknowledging some “snarky” editorializing in the article itself.
“He didn’t want to compete. This is an amazing story. There’s an obligatory two snarky paragraphs which tell lies about me, but it’s the New York Times; they have to be in there. That’s what I mean by ‘obligatory,'” Limbaugh said, according to a transcript posted on his website.
He continued: “But you know what it indicates is, what this story does indicate? That probably Donald Trump is one of the few who could fill my shoes. With proper training and proper instruction, I could see that.”
Limbaugh added that the invitation stands for Trump to come on the show at any time and that his appearance could double as an audition. “You know, I would be more than happy. We’re always looking for guest hosts here. If the president wants to guest host this program one day, we’d be happy to run an audition,” he remarked, according to the transcript.
Trump on the radio?
With over 15 million listeners every week, Limbaugh’s radio program is, without a doubt, the most popular in talk radio. Limbaugh talked Wednesday about the unique powers of radio to captivate listeners, something that television — the medium Trump is now using to reach Americans — lacks.
“A great radio program or great radio host is an expert at helping the audience paint their own pictures, which are not distracting,” he said, according to the transcript. “Great radio is not passive listen; it is active. If it’s a good show, you’re not doing anything else while you’re listening to it. But with television, the vast majority of time TV’s on it’s in the background.”
Whatever Trump’s radio aspirations, the president has opted to hold daily, televised press briefings on the pandemic. The media, for its part, has decried Trump’s briefings as opportunities for the president to push “propaganda” about his response to the virus, and some networks have faced calls to drop them altogether.
If Trump were to go on Limbaugh’s show, there’s no telling the kind of hysteria it would induce from the media. But Limbaugh made it clear that Trump is welcome anytime to take the microphone.
“I’m here making it known — and I will call later, too — but I’m doing it here, making it known that this program is available to the president if he wants to audition, if he wants to use it for a town hall, if he wants to have direct connect with you, that we got it handled. We know how to do that. We do it each and every day,” he concluded.