Renowned Auto Critic Rush Limbaugh Doesn't Like the Chevy Volt, Upsets Gov. Granholm

· · 10 years ago

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Rush Limbaugh has an opinion about plug-in cars. Limbaugh has made a career out of antagonizing Democrats at every turn, and as President Barack Obama has been out on the road in support of the 2009 Recovery Act—which allocated billions of dollars in loans and grants to incentivize EVs—you would expect figures like Limbaugh to question the wisdom of spending government money to support an unproven technology that has yet to make real waves in the market. (Sort of like that "internet" thing, 50 years ago.)

"The domestic automobile manufacturers have been forced to design and make cars that fewer and fewer people wanted because the environmentalist wackos had taken control of the regulatory agencies at the federal government," said Limbaugh, last month. "I don't know where the charging stations are. The charging station is your house, so that 40-mile range has gotta include you getting home and then staying home for three to four hours to charge the thing. It's (a) 20-mile range."

Enter Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. When asked about Limbaugh's grossly inaccurate criticisms, Granholm upped the hyperbole. "It's un-American! I can't believe this somebody would say this about this American product... Why wouldn't you be supportive of American manufacturers building American vehicles with American workers who now have jobs as a result of this? Why wouldn't you be supportive of that?"

"I wonder who sold more General Motors products, me or Jennifer Granholm?" Limbaugh fired back a few days ago. "(It's) something the American people, by definition, don't want. It's being subsidized. The iPhone is a game-changer, and it doesn't take a subsidy... Who has sold more iPhones in America: Rush Limbaugh, Jennifer Granholm, or Moochelle Obama?"

Don't be surprised if Granholm or other Democratic politicians respond in kind. Like other so-called "shock-jocks," Limbaugh's success has always been dependent on his ability to provoke people.

But Granholm didn't exactly do the Volt any favors in her response. Rush's comments about the car have been riddled with inaccuracies throughout—including his claim that the Volt's batteries will be "made in Korea." But rather than clarifying the record, Granholm opted to call the radio host "un-American," which likely delighted him and his producers to no end.

For all his reach and power within the conservative movement, Limbaugh's opinions about cars are tantamount to wise-cracking from the back of the classroom—and Granholm's response only served to boost his reputation as the class clown.

But the Volt and other electrics ultimately won't fail or succeed based on what a radio host has to say, or how vigorously they are defended by the politicians who support them. If the Volt is a good enough car—and if Chevy is able to eventually bring prices down to the point that they're no longer dependent on the $7,500 subsidy—it will be a huge success. And by then, Limbaugh will have long ago moved to his next controversy.

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