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Rush Limbaugh offers to hand President Trump his radio show: ‘One of the few who could fill my shoes’

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Conservative talk radio behemoth Rush Limbaugh has offered to let President Donald Trump take over his daily radio program in an effort to stay in touch with voters and reach tens of millions a week.

The president has been unable to actively campaign in recent weeks due to the prevalence of coronavirus, and it doesn’t appear as though he’ll be able to hit the campaign trail anytime soon, even though some governors are said to be considering ways to reopen their states and their economies as the pandemic wanes in much of the country.

“If the president wants to do this — if he wants to come on and have a show — we’ll let him do it,” Limbaugh said on his national broadcast Wednesday.

“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 could do it noon to three for as long as he wants. He could have direct connect with you in the audience. You know, not a bunch of bureaucrat experts up on the stage, and certainly no journalists choosing the questions or any of that. We’ll do it in a different way than anybody’s ever done town halls or any of that stuff,” Limbaugh, 69, said.

Limbaugh is currently undergoing treatment for Stage 4 lung cancer and has turned his show over to several guest hosts quite often in recent weeks. But none of them would draw an audience like the president would, no question about it.

Still, it’s not at all likely the president would have enough time in his busy schedule to host a three-hour daily radio program, which actually takes much longer each day when you factor in pre-program research and preparation.

That said, The New York Times reported Wednesday that Trump has mentioned that he wanted to start his own talk radio program as the coronavirus pandemic worsened but did not want to compete with Limbaugh, whom he awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February during his State of the Union Address.

The paper noted:

No one in the room was sure how to respond, two of the officials said. Someone suggested hosting the show in the mornings or on weekends, to steer clear of the conservative radio host’s schedule. But Mr. Trump shook his head, saying he envisioned his show as two hours a day, every day. And were it not for Mr. Limbaugh, and the risk of encroaching on his territory, he reiterated, he would do it.

One of the officials involved directly in the effort said it wasn’t the first time Mr. Trump had discussed hosting a radio show from the White House.

But if some in the room that day were unsure whether the president’s proposal was a joke, they knew his deference to Mr. Limbaugh was anything but.

That’s true. The president has a number of media favorites, the Times notes — Fox News figures Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham among them. But Limbaugh is definitely a favorite as well, obviously. Plus, the Times notes that the president appreciates the reach Limbaugh has with his daily show — about 15.5 million people, on average, according to industry metrics.

As for Limbaugh, he believes the president could seamlessly slip into his broadcast chair.

“Donald Trump is one of the few who could fill my shoes. With proper training and proper instruction, I could see that. … I think there’d be nobody better to fill my shoes than Donald Trump. I’ve often said nobody could, but if anybody could, it would be him.”

“I find it once again very pleasingly satisfying that a man who owns television wants to be on radio,” he added.

Jon Dougherty

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