Conservative talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh announced Thursday that President Donald Trump will be taking the reins of his show on Friday.
“I’m thrilled to announce that our commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump, will be right here tomorrow hosting the largest virtual rally in radio history,” Limbaugh said in a recorded message to his audience.
“Be sure to tune in. You don’t want to miss this. It will be special. And I am really looking forward to it,” he said.
Talkers.com puts the average listening audience at 15.5 million, making it the top-rated talk radio program in the country.
Limbaugh did not make it clear if he will be joining Trump on the air Friday.
He encouraged his listeners to go to his website to submit their questions for the president.
Limbaugh explained that his absence on Thursday’s program was due to his ongoing treatment for lung cancer.
“This is treatment week, and I need some additional rest under doctor’s orders,” he said.
Limbaugh closed his message thanking people for their prayers for him.
“Oh — and, folks, thank you again for all of your continued prayers. I am so moved by your support,” he said.
“You know that I know and believe that they work. And I cannot tell you how appreciative my family and I are for all of you. Thank you, again, very much.”
In February, Trump invited Limbaugh to the State of the Union address, where the president announced he was awarding the conservative icon and philanthropist the Medal of Freedom.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 5, 2020
On Thursday, Trump told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, in his first post-COVID-19 diagnosis interview, that he was looking forward to holding in-person rallies once again.
“I’m ready to go except for the quarantine situation that you have for a little while after you get tested or whatever the procedure is, but I’m ready to do and I look forward to doing the rallies,” he said.
The president also indicated he does not plan to participate in a virtual debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Oct. 15.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the move to a virtual event on Thursday in light of the president’s recent COVID-19 illness.
“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” Trump said.
“That’s not what debating is all about,” he continued. “You sit behind a computer and you do a debate and then they cut you off whenever they want.”
The president also described the host slated for the second debate, Steve Scully of C-SPAN, as a NeverTrumper.
Scully tweeted a New York Times Op-Ed titled, “No, not Trump, Not Ever” in March 2016.
No, Not Trump, Not Ever https://t.co/PFvHTeQSZu
— Steve Scully (@SteveScully) March 18, 2016
Scully also interned for Biden while a college student and later worked on the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1980 presidential campaign, according to a Marie Claire profile story.
He tweeted a picture of himself and Biden at the “Biden Beach Bash ’16.”
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) October 1, 2020
So there is good reason to believe Trump would not get a fair shake if Scully moderates the debate, particularly in the more controlled virtual context.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said that rather than participate in the “sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden,” the president will hold a rally instead, CNBC reported.
In the meantime, it will be fun to see how the president’s turn on Limbaugh’s show goes.
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