Zev Chafets' new book "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One" on Obama-Limbaugh golf round
When President Obama was asked if he would play a round of golf with his talk-radio nemesis Rush Limbaugh, the response, relayed by a top Democrat, was: "Limbaugh can play with himself."
This is according to Zev Chafets, a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and a former columnist for the New York Daily News, in his new book, "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," due May 25 from Sentinel, writes New York Post today.
The caustic comeback is another example of the verbal venom between the White House and the conservative radio star. In an interview with CBS News last month, Obama called the views spelled out by Limbaugh and Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck "troublesome."
Chafets, who describes Limbaugh as the power player at the heart of the conservative movement, reports he encouraged Limbaugh to reach out to the president just after last July's "Beer Summit" that Obama hosted between Professor Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. Joseph Crowley, the Cambridge cop who arrested Gates after he locked himself out of his own home.
"You guys are both golfers," Chafets told Limbaugh. "Would you play a round with the president and show the country that there are no hard feelings?"
"He's the president of the United States," Limbaugh told Chafets. "If any president asked me to meet him, or play golf with him, I'd do it. But I promise you that will never happen. His base on the left would have a s--t-fit."
"How about letting me ask?" Chafets said.
"Go ahead," Limbaugh said. "Nothing will come of it."
Chafets writes that he reached out to Obama adviser David Axelrod, "whom I know slightly," but Axelrod didn't return calls. Then Chafets spoke to "a very senior Democratic activist with whom I'm friendly" who said he would convey the message.
A day or two later the adviser responded, "Limbaugh can play with himself." Chafets wouldn't name the aide or say whether the quote was directly from Obama.
On Wednesday, at his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said, "Now, wait a second. They're confusing me with Bill Clinton... So anyway, that's in this book, An Army of One, and it made Page Six today [at the New York Post]. I had no idea that that's what the reaction was. All I remember being asked was would you do it if they invited you. I said, "It's never going to happen. You don't have to sweat it." I didn't have to sweat it. I knew that it would never happen. So that's the story on that."
Watch video segment of Rush (below)