GOP Rep. Tiahrt: Limbaugh 'just an entertainer'

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) is the latest Republicans to cross paths with talk show host Rush Limbaugh, calling the conservative talk radio powerhouse "just an entertainer."

"No, no, he's just an entertainer," Tiahrt told the Kansas City Star's editorial board yesterday when asked whether Limbaugh is a leader of the GOP.

Tiahrt is the midst of a run for the Senate, and will face Rep. Jerry Moran in the primary to replace conservative Sen. Sam Brownback (R), who is retiring. Both will seek to emphasize their conservative credentials, and a slight toward Limbaugh could prove to be a test of each's orthodoxy.

Tiahrt isn't the only fellow lawmaker to run into trouble for minimizing Limbaugh. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele were both forced to backtrack on statements downplaying Limbaugh's influence within the Republican Party.