Rush Limbaugh: Trump has been planning this for years
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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday said it's now clear to him that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE was eyeing the Oval Office long before 2016.

“This is something Trump has been planning for years,” Limbaugh said on his show, according to a transcript.


The radio host said that he and Trump, who was mentioned as a possible candidate in the 2012 cycle, have long been golfing buddies, and that on one of their outings the real estate mogul would grill him about politics and criticize President Obama.

“He was acutely interested,” Limbaugh said. “This was not just idle chatter during a round of golf. It was pretty focused and intense, although I didn't attach this kind of meaning to it.”

“At no point did I ever think, ‘My God, this guy sounds like he's thinking of running.’ I just thought it was somebody that was deeply interested and talking about things that you don't normally hear him talk about in public. But now looking back on everything that's happened, I think two or three years ago he was planning this."

Limbaugh added that some of Trump’s recent comments in support of Planned Parenthood were calculated to make himself more appealing to general election voters. 

“All that stuff that happened in the South Carolina primary, I think what it means is that Trump already thinks in terms of being the nominee,” he said. “I think he's been running a national presidential campaign for a while now. In other words, I think he's been focused on Hillary [Clinton]. I don't think his real focus has just been on [Ted] Cruz or Jeb [Bush] or [Marco] Rubio.”

In a press conference Tuesday evening after securing several Super Tuesday victories, Trump told reporters that he believes Planned Parenthood provides important services for women but that the organization shouldn’t receive funding for abortions.

“Folks, he's running a national campaign here, and he's talking about broadening the base,” Limbaugh added.

“Last night he said, ‘We're gonna unify.’ Last night he acknowledged a point that I've been trying to make everybody here for weeks now, and that is that he has put together a coalition that's way beyond the Republican base. It's way beyond a conservative Republican base.“