GOP candidates Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have proclaimed the occasional praises and defenses made on their behalf by conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh, but over the last two weeks the talk show host’s biggest recipient of endorsing words has been Ted Cruz. This shouldn’t be a surprise; for years Limbaugh has been promoting the concept that only true conservatism can save the country from the disastrous path that it’s on.
This is significant for one very important reason: talk shows rely on listeners to drive their revenues. This is why the majority of them in any other primary election will refuse to endorse a candidate until the race is already decided. It can be ratings suicide when endorsing one candidate over many, particularly this early on when there isn’t even a semblance of consensus forming around anyone in particular. To step out on a limb and endorse Cruz, who technically isn’t even the frontrunner, goes a long way towards the credibility that the campaign has built up in becoming the only true conservative choice
Here’s an ad by the Cruz campaign that focuses on Limbaugh in two ways. First, it echoes the sentiment by Limbaugh and many other pundits that the biggest problem for Republicans in Washington is that they’re too willing to make deals. Then, it plays one of Limbaugh’s quotes directly.