The new RNC chairman Michael Steele got into a smackdown with Rush Limbaugh over who is the de facto leader of the GOP. Guess who backed down?

Mr. Steele bristled after a questioner on CNN referred to Mr. Limbaugh as the de facto leader of the Republican Party on Saturday.

“No he’s not – I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party,” Mr. Steele responded.

“Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer,” he said. “Rush Limbaugh, the whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it’s incendiary, yes, it’s ugly.”

Mr. Steele told Politico on Monday that he had called Mr. Limbaugh to apologize.

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Mr. Steele told The Politico. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”

Oh dear.

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