Rush Limbaugh certainly doesn't need me defending him and, given the latest dust-up with President Obama, I even suspect he's loving this.

But I've seen clips of Rush on other news networks, clearly taken out of context, that make the guy out to be some nut job.

He's not. Not one bit.

When Rush says he doesn't want Barack Obama to succeed, he's not saying he doesn't like Barack Obama. He's saying he doesn't like Barack Obama's policies.

He's saying he doesn't like big government or plans to make it bigger.

And he's telling Republicans afraid to come down too hard on the new president, to get some backbone and challenge what Rush calls "the same old policies" from this president.

Now I'm not saying you have to concur with that, but for Rush it would be hypocritical for any conservative to wish a free-spending liberal well. He'd be lying to himself. And those Republicans espousing the same at press conferences would be lying to the nation.

What Rush is saying is: Be true to your convictions. If you're against big government, be against making it bigger.

It has nothing to do with the guy espousing the change, Rush is saying, just the change he's espousing.

Immediately he was pounced on for being racist, as all such criticisms inevitably seem to go here.

But that's not what this is about here.

This is about a conservative guy saying conservative guys shouldn't wish a liberal guy well.

Because what they're wishing well is more spending, more government, more stimulus, more of the very things they detest in their core.

Which is why Rush is cutting them to the core because they are losing their core.

Confusing their fondness for a president who is a good and decent man with policies about which they'd otherwise never be saying a single good and decent thing.

I have great respect for this president and admire his pragmatism during this crisis. But that doesn't mean I won't challenge him. And that doesn't mean I'll confuse supporting him with supporting economic policies that could doom him and us.

It's about the freedom to call out your leaders when you think they're making a mistake. And not being called names in return when you do.

Believe me, Rush can defend himself. He knows it comes with the turf.

I sometimes wonder whether the president wants to. Because it comes with his turf too.

Watch Neil Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on "Your World with Cavuto" and send your comments to cavuto@foxnews.com

Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.