Rush Limbaugh profile: Cigar-chomping, Democrat-baiting Rush Limbaugh is a radio talk show host who has been feted by Republicans for decades.
The number one voice for Conservatism in our country Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ronald Reagan described him as "the number one voice for Conservatism in our country" while, during the Clinton era, the National Review magazine grandly dubbed him the "leader of Conservative Principles.
Broadcasting from what he describes as a "heavily fortified bunker" in Palm Beach, Florida, Limbaugh has been America's most listened-to talk show host since the mid-1990s.
The show, which airs for three hours every weekday, has just reached its 20th year in syndication.Heard on some 600 radio stations across America, it still attracts a weekly audience of more than 14 million people.He earns a salary to match. Last year, Limbaugh, 58,signed a new contract with Clear Channel Communications that he said would earn him about $38 million a year, as well as a $100 million signing bonus.
Praised by Republicans for helping to offset what they see as liberal bias in the US media, Limbaugh is regarded as an enormously influential figure in presidential elections.Democrats have accused him of dirty tactics. During the recent presidential nomination battle, he launched Operation Chaos, a radio campaign to encourage Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton and so prolong the in-fighting among Democrats.
Limbaugh admits that his taste for political controversy is motivated primarily by business considerations.
He told the New York Times last year:"First and foremost, I'm a businessman.My first goal is to attract the largest possible audience so I can charge confiscatory ad rates.
"I happen to have great entertainment skills, but that enables me to sell airtime."