Limbaugh Unloads On Those Who Killed His Rams Dream : The Two-Way In non-Balloon Boy news, Rush Limbaugh on Thursday took after his adversaries who killed his chances to be a minority owner of the St. Louis Rams. And he doesn't leave unscorched Dave Checketts, the leader of the investment group seeking to buy t...
NPR logo Limbaugh Unloads On Those Who Killed His Rams Dream

Limbaugh Unloads On Those Who Killed His Rams Dream

In non-Balloon Boy news, conservative radio superstar Rush Limbaugh on Thursday took after his adversaries who killed his chances to be a minority owner of the National Football League's St. Louis Rams.

Rush Limbaugh used his Thursday show to settle some scores. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images hide caption

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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

And he doesn't leave unscorched Dave Checketts, the leader of the investment group seeking to buy the NFL team, who invited Limbaugh to come along for the ride, only to throw him under the bus when the controversy erupted.

At the start of Thursday's show, Limbaugh said Checketts came to his house and offered him an ownership stake earlier this year. Limbaugh recalls asking Checketts at their second meeting if he and the other investors were ready to take the heat sure to come once it became public knowledge that Limbaugh was part of the group. Checketts assured him they were.

And adding to the sense that he was doublecrossed by Checketts, Limbaugh says he was never told noted liberal philanthropist George Soros was one of Checketts' partners.

An excerpt from the show's transcript:

"Are you aware of the firestorm this —" "Oh, yes, totally aware, Rush, and believe me, I wouldn't have approached you if I hadn't taken care of that. I would not have even come and asked you to be part of the group if I had not cleared your involvement with people at the highest levels of the National Football League."

And my mistake at that point was not asking him, "All right, do you really mean it, and who did you speak to?" He gave me a couple of names that are pretty high up and led me to believe that it was all handled and that he was fully prepared for what was going to happen. When the whole thing started to unravel last week, whenever this thing leaked — and, by the way, I learned yesterday that George Soros might be in this group. Reuters had a story that George Soros is one of Dave Checketts's partners. I did not know that. I wasn't told that. Mr. Checketts is not the primary partner here. The NFL has a rule that the primary owner has to have 30% equity in the team, and our group lost our 30% equity guy, and we had to scramble and find a new one, and I was told who it was, but now I'm wondering if it was Soros and I wasn't told. Soros and Checketts did, I have learned, partner together previously to try to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mr. Soros, of course, is well known politically for his left-wing slants, his politics fit in perfectly, apparently, with what the National Football League is becoming. But I wonder if they know that he is also involved in the movement to legalize marijuana and how that will play as the owners decide whether or not he's fit. This is all speculative because I don't know that he's in the group. Reuters reported it yesterday.

But Limbaugh was only working up to his crescendo. That came when he started took after the high-profile African Americans who publicly spoke against his possible ownership.

So when this all started to unravel with the leaking of my being part of the group, the predictable firestorm started, and I said, "Are you guys prepared here? Do you understand what's going on?" "Oh, yeah, we want you to be a partner, don't worry, Rush, I would not have gone this far if I hadn't wired this before I even spoke to you." Now, remember, I did not seek them out, they sought me out. They came here to my home. So eventually when DeMaurice Smith — and he may pronounce it DeMaurice, I'm not sure — DeMaurice Smith is the new executive director of the National Football League Players Association, he sent a letter to the Commissioner Roger Goodell strongly objecting to my being anywhere near the National Football League on the basis that I don't unify, I'm a divider and divisive and this sort of thing.

Then of course the two race hustlers, the Reverend Jackson and Reverend Sharpton got involved, and I got a call on Tuesday night from Dave Checketts, "I'm sorry, I have to ask you to withdraw." And I said, "I thought you had this wired, I thought —" "Well, Rush, obviously I'm sorry, I feel terrible about this but we can't go forward with you in the group." And I said, "Well, I'm not going to withdraw. If you want me out you go public and fire me," which he did. He sent me a letter yesterday afternoon right after the program and told me that the announcement would come this morning, and he wanted me to know that it was a very tough personal decision for him to make, he had a lot of respect for me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but when I got to the airport — Kathryn and I flew to Missouri last night for a family dinner in Cape Girardeau and I had to go to St. Louis first to pick up some of the family, then back down to Cape Girardeau.

But Limbaugh wanted it known he was aware of who really was behind the whole debacle — President Barack Obama.

And the real reason, the real reason — and there are many, many reasons that are valid, but the real reason — that pressure was brought upon me by Sharpton and Jackson and DeMaurice Smith and the commissioner is that the Players Association is using my involvement in the Rams and this whole episode as a bit of leverage in their negotiations, the upcoming negotiations with the league and with the owners on a new collective bargaining agreement. That is what's really going on, and the Players Association... I don't know how many players know this, but Mr. Smith has let it be known that if he has to he'll bring the White House into this. He'll bring the Congressional Black Caucus into this.

So Obama's America is quite possibly going to include the National Football League, and pressure from Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus and other places might be brought to bear on the owners. I can't imagine that that's anything they want. You know, as all businesses are, they're regulated to a certain extent by the federal government but this would be a huge expansion of that. And that threat is being bandied about. And I don't expect anyone to admit it. The owners are not going to admit that. They don't want to. I'm sure that the reaction to this today will be, "Ah, Limbaugh doesn't know what he's talking about." It will be another one of these things, but that is one of the things that I do know is going on behind the scenes.