CNN’s Michael Smerconish believes that radio hosts Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh have “supplanted” Republican Party leadership.
Friday on “CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin,” Smerconish argued that Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh are “great in [the] primary season, great to assist someone in winning a nomination, but not the way in which you go after the 42 percent of the country who are independents. And one other thing, make no mistake. The best outcome for those personalities: Hillary. They get to complain for four or eight more years. Think about that.”
Brooke Baldwin began by asking Smerconish about his column where he argued about how conservative talk radio hosts basically “have a grip on Republicans.”
Smerconish argued that conservative talk show hosts have a “greater sway on the GOP base than does the party leadership. And that, that has taken place over last 30 years.”
“Brooke, when I’m out and about, not here on CNN, not answering the phone on my own radio program, but leading my real life, people engage me about politics and what I hear most often is the question, people will say, explain to me, ‘How did Donald Trump get to be the frontrunner. How did Ted Cruz, two relatively bombastic personalities, get to be in the position,'” Smerconish said.
“And what do you say?” Baldwin asked.
Smerconish replied, “I say look to the leadership of the Republican Party. I’m not talking about Reince Priebus, I am not talking about Sean Spicier. I’m talking about Beck and Limbaugh and Hannity because they’ve supplanted the leadership of the GOP. And so those candidates are a reflection, I think, of the talk radio world.”
Baldwin added, “Rhetoric, everything that’s been…”
Agreeing, Smerconish said, “Absolutely, stirring the pot. But the problem I think that the party exists, the Republican Party, Democratic Party, for one purpose, to win elections. Those personalities exist for a different person which is to attract ears and eyeballs and clicks and frankly to make money. And I think those purposes are at odds.”