RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says Limbaugh inspired 'millions of conservatives'

Rush Limbaugh dead at 70 after cancer battle

Conservative talk radio pioneer Rush Limbaugh died at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced.

EXCLUSIVE: Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel touted Rush Limbaugh as a “true patriot” just hours after his death, saying the late conservative talk radio icon inspired “millions of conservatives.” 

“The conservative cause has lost an icon today,” McDaniel said in a statement to Fox News Wednesday. “Rush Limbaugh was a true patriot who made immeasurable contributions to our national politics, inspiring millions of conservatives to join our movement.” 

She added: “Please keep his wife Kathryn and his family in your prayers.” 

Limbaugh, the influential media icon who transformed talk radio and helped shape the modern-day Republican Party, died Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO PIONEER, DEAD AT 70

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, made the announcement on his radio show. “Losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life,” she said. “Rush will forever be the greatest of all time.”

The radio icon learned he had Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump at the State of the Union address days later. First lady Melania Trump then presented America’s highest civilian honor to Limbaugh in an emotional moment on the heels of his cancer diagnosis.

“Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” then-President Trump said during the address.

Limbaugh helped boost Trump’s influence prior to the 2016 election by taking him seriously as a candidate when other established conservatives didn’t want the former reality television star anywhere near the Republican Party. Many of Limbaugh’s listeners eventually became Trump supporters and the radio legend continued to defend Trump throughout his presidency despite occasional disagreements.

In the heat of the 2020 presidential election, Limbaugh hosted Trump in October for what was an unprecedented two-hour “radio rally,” during which Trump was virtually given control of the coveted golden microphone to answer questions from the host and his listeners.

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.

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