Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was confronted Thursday by multiple callers upset over his coverage of Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
According to the individuals who phoned into his program, Limbaugh has not given Trump an adequate amount of scrutiny and instead gone out of his way to defend him.
The calls came as the talk show host provided a defense for Trump's Wednesday gaffe on abortion in which the brash billionaire endorsed a legal punishment for women who would have an abortion if the procedure were theoretically outlawed.
"I believe that most of the time you stimulate my intelligence, but today I feel like you're insulting my intelligence — and that of many other people," a caller identified as Gene from Philadelphia told the host.
Another caller, identified as Ron in Indiana, told Limbaugh that his "opinion accuracy may have gone down a little" because his defense of Trump's abortion remark was "off a little bit at a fundamental level."
"A true pro-lifer would instinctively not go after the would-be mother. It's an instinct," the caller told Limbaugh. "It's part of how you think."
Limbaugh seemed to have enough by the time the third caller phoned in.
"Hey, Rush. I've been listening to you for a long time, and you've always said you would just be objective, not endorse candidates, not take sides," Mike in South Carolina said. "[B]ut, Rush, come on, being objective here, I look to you as a source of common sense, and it just seems to me you're just making — Rush, you practically spent the last hour and a half just trying to explain this thing and slice it and dice it 87 ways to Sunday."
"Wait a second," Limbaugh interjected.
The caller continued, "It's just recently it's almost like you're going so far out of your way and almost doing back flips and cartwheels to defend Trump. It's just a turn-off at this point."
Limbaugh asked the caller why Trump was "not losing any supporters" from his gaffes.
"Throughout this entire campaign everybody has tried every which way they know to separate Trump from his supporters. Nothing has worked," the radio host said. "Yet I have people calling here and e-mailing me telling me, 'Rush, you have got to tell people what a fraud Trump is. You've got to. It's too important. You've got to tell 'em they're screwing up. You've got to tell 'em they've gotta abandon Trump.'"
"Everybody and their uncle has tried that, and all that happens is those people glue themselves tighter to Trump no matter what flaw, no matter what ignorant remark, no matter what apparent sign of incompetence, inexperience, no matter what you mention, his support base either grows or stays the same," he added. "Does that not fascinate you? Does that not make you curious? I mean, I know it ticks you off. I know it makes you mad."
Limbaugh asked the caller how he would "tell people that they are making a grave error."
"How would you tell people that they are putting the country in their hands and they're about to destroy the whole thing because they're supporting a know-nothing?" he asked.
Mike told Limbaugh that he felt Trump's supporters "are kind of like Obama's" and that "people are starting to wake up." He said he called "worked up" because the host was defending Trump "from so many different angles."
Limbaugh contended that because Trump "might end up being the nominee" he would not destroy him.
"It's all got to be about beating Hillary Clinton. Whoever the nominee is. You don't have any control over it. I don't have any control over it, nobody else does," he said. "Yet we all try to do what we can to bend and shape things to end up the way we want them."
Thursday's show is not the first time that listeners have called in to confront Limbaugh on Trump.
Earlier this month, a caller who self-identified as Terry repeatedly asked the conservative personality why he was not "warning" his audience about what she considered to be the dangers of the Trump presidency.
“Because I’m not voting for Hillary,” Limbaugh replied at the time. ‘If Trump’s the nominee I’m voting for him.”
Limbaugh argued the Democratic Party is “the most destructive force in this country today” and that he would not vote for Clinton “no matter what.”
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