On “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday night, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume explained how conservative radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin can cause serious problems for the GOP.
“I’m not sure you’d say they’re calling the shots, but make no mistake about it, Bill — some of these radio talk show hosts have real influence,” Hume said. “They have a huge following particularly in very conservative areas where they are most popular and where the many members of Congress who inhabit those areas are not worried about getting reelected if they can get nominated. But that are worried about a primary challenge that could deny them the nomination. So they’ll go a long way to avoid it and keeping radio talk show hosts off their back is one way of doing that.”
Hume then linked the influence of radio talk show hosts to the rise of the “defund Obamacare” movement.
“It’s not controlling, but it’s a factor,” Hume said. “If you’re a pragmatic politician up for reelection, you are looking at the landscape and you don’t want to a lot of problems. And in many of these districts the Democrats can’t cause you any problems. There are just not enough of them. What there are enough of is conservative Republicans and conservative Republicans around the country today are very disappointed in their party and its leadership. And they think that the control of the House of Representatives should have been able to give them much more leverage than they have been able to demonstrate and they should have been able to do more with it.”
“And so if you are sitting over in the House of Representatives and some measures of defund Obamacare comes along and you think it’s a suicide mission because it might involve a government shutdown, you are going to be hesitant to oppose it anyway because you don’t want the most conservative — you don’t want the tea party and you don’t want the conservative radio talk show host on your back,” he continued. “That doesn’t mean they can defeat you but it means you don’t want it.”