Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany remembered Rush Limbaugh, who passed away Wednesday, as someone who "exhibited unrelenting boldness to share the truth," saying the United States is "better because of him."
"America has lost the giant of conservatism, a man who inspired tens of thousands of Rush Babies like me to enter politics and media," McEnany said. "I can say without hesitation I would not have entered this field if it were not for those rides in my dad’s pickup truck listening to Rush."
"He exhibited unrelenting boldness to share the truth, and our country is better because of him," she said. "We lost our giant, but the movement he inspired will continue for generations to come."
During an exclusive interview with Fox News last year, McEnany said she had a passion for politics from a very young age, saying it was "almost innate."
"As I grew up, listening to Rush Limbaugh in my dad’s truck shaped my views and only energized me more," McEnany said, noting her "biggest inspiration" was the prominent conservative radio talk show host.
"I was – as they say – a ‘Rush Baby.’ As a high schooler," she recalled, "I would drive my friends to school and force them all to listen to Rush!"
She added: "He spoke common-sense truth that inspired my career. I wouldn’t be here today without his voice in politics."
McEnany tweeted Wednesday that she is "the definition of a 'Rush Baby."
Limbaugh, the influential media icon who transformed talk radio and helped shape the modern-day Republican Party died Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced.
Limbaugh's wife, Kathryn, made the announcement on his radio show. "Losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life," she said. Rush will forever be the greatest of all time."
The radio icon learned he had Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump at the State of the Union address days later. First lady Melania Trump then presented America’s highest civilian honor to Limbaugh in an emotional moment on the heels of his cancer diagnosis.
"Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country," then-President Trump said during the address.
Limbaugh helped boost Trump’s influence prior to the 2016 election by taking him seriously as a candidate when other established conservatives didn’t want the former reality television star anywhere near the Republican Party. Many of Limbaugh’s listeners eventually became Trump supporters and the radio legend continued to defend Trump throughout his presidency despite occasional disagreements.
In the heat of the 2020 presidential election, Limbaugh hosted Trump in October for what was an unprecedented two-hour "radio rally", during which the president was virtually given control of the coveted golden microphone to answer questions from the host and his listeners.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.