Feature

Rush Limbaugh’s conflicted cousin

“I have always admired Rush for his humor and savvy. Yet lately, I admit, being a Limbaugh has been a little tough," said Julie Limbaugh about her cousin, whom she calls "Cousin Rusty."

Julie Limbaugh says it’s a mixed bag being related to her famous cousin, Rush. In person, “Cousin Rusty,” as she calls him, is a sweet, caring guy. “Sometimes he invites you to his house for Thanksgiving, all expenses paid, and puts you up in a resort that makes you feel like a movie star,” the 26-year-old graduate student tells Salon.com. “He puts March of the Penguins on his home movie theater screen for the little cousins to watch and makes sure his candy bowls are filled with jelly beans.”

But Limbaugh admits she is tired of having people punish her for what the fiery conservative says on his national radio show. Once, her college registrar lit into her. “She peers through her thick bifocals at my ID and says, ‘I bet you’re not too proud of that last name right now.’ I want to reach over and slam her face into the counter.”

The nasty comments are especially hard for Julie because her own feelings about Cousin Rusty are conflicted. “I have always admired Rush for his humor and savvy. Yet lately, I admit, being a Limbaugh has been a little tough. He has been attacking hope, and now it feels like there’s little room for that. I rarely agree with him or even like what he says. But I can’t hate him. I love him. He’s family.”

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