Cruz called his victory a win for grass-roots conservatives, and, during his daily radio program, Limbaugh blasted media coverage
describing Rubio as an establishment champion.
"I don't like this idea that Marco Rubio is all of a sudden being labeled as an establishment candidate," Limbaugh said, acknowledging Rubio's bipartisan "baggage" of the 2013 Senate bill on immigration reform.
"Marco Rubio is no moderate, Republican centrist," Limbaugh said. "I don't see Marco Rubio as anything other than a legitimate, full-throated conservative."
"Nobody's pure, and nobody is ever free of making mistakes," the hard-right host added.
Limbaugh, who has spoken warmly of Cruz and Trump, also said Tuesday he didn't think Cruz or Rubio were "gloating
" after their showing in Iowa compared to Trump, saying instead it was "the establishment types."
"Marco Rubio I really like. I like Ted Cruz. There are any number of people in this campaign, two or three people, if they win, I'd be happy," Limbaugh continued
on his program.
"But it doesn't matter because the establishment does have their candidate, and it looks like it is going to be Rubio," Limbaugh said, adding Rubio "is gonna end up becoming an enemy of several" potential GOP voters.
Cruz won Iowa after attracting
tea party and evangelical voters, while Trump benefitted from blue-collar first-time voters and Rubio was boosted by conservatives and those valuing electability.
GOP candidates are now turning their attention to New Hampshire, where Trump is leading in polls and several candidates including Rubio are battling for second ahead of the primary next Tuesday