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On the February 6 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, correspondent Carol Costello reported on conservative radio talk-show hosts' condemnations of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), stating that "conservatives cannot stomach" the idea of a ticket consisting of McCain and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Costello's report included an audio clip in which Laura Ingraham asserted on her show that some conservatives would turn themselves into "suicide voters" and vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) rather than vote for McCain.
In the CNN clip, Ingraham said: "McCain has been -- has so radicalized key conservatives that some have vowed to turn themselves into suicide voters next November by pulling the lever for Hillary Clinton."
From the February 6 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
COSTELLO: The talkers called McCain's big night a win for liberal Democrats, since part of John McCain's platform was reaching across party lines.
RUSH LIMBAUGH (talk show host): We want is to defeat those people. We view those people as threats to the American way of life as we've always known it.
COSTELLO: On Laura Ingraham's show, she lamented McCain's victory, reminding her listeners Ronald Reagan would not have been happy -- especially today, on what would have been his 97th birthday. She then urged them to go to a Heritage Foundation's website called What Would Reagan Do.
RONALD REAGAN (former U.S. president): Tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let them know and nail them on it.
COSTELLO: Still, Ingraham wasn't ready to declare McCain's win meant the death of Reaganism or conservative talk radio just yet.
INGRAHAM: Before people start writing again the obituary, whether it's for talk radio -- blah, blah, blah, we've heard that before -- or the obituary of conservatism, remember what was happening last night. In state after state, John McCain wasn't winning conservative votes.
COSTELLO: McCain did come in third among conservatives. But Huckabee won in five states on Super Tuesday, even though talkers told their listeners a vote for Huckabee is like a vote for McCain.
HUCKABEE: People across this country are saying that, yes, we heard what the pundits said. But this is our vote, not theirs. This is our election, not theirs. This is our presidency, not theirs.
COSTELLO: And with Huckabee's success came talk of a McCain/Huckabee ticket -- something conservatives cannot stomach.
INGRAHAM: McCain has been -- has so radicalized key conservatives that some have vowed to turn themselves into suicide voters next November by pulling the lever for Hillary Clinton.
COSTELLO: It was a common theme in the world of conservative talk, although some eventually admitted if it came down to a McCain/Huckabee ticket, conservative voters would abstain.