HONOLULU – Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh remained hospitalized in Hawaii Thursday after experiencing chest pains similar to a heart attack, according to the guest host on his nationally syndicated radio show.
Limbaugh was rushed to a Honolulu hospital Wednesday during a vacation.
"He is being treated today, continues to rest comfortably, and remains in good spirits," The Queen's Medical Center said Thursday in a news release. "Mr. Limbaugh appreciates the prayers and well wishes of his many fans and supporters."
On the radio show, guest host Walter E. Williams described Limbaugh's pains as similar to the feeling of a "heart attack coming on." He said doctors haven't confirmed whether the 58-year-old had a heart attack, and more exams were planned Thursday.
Williams said any information about the cause of the pain would have to come from Limbaugh himself.
"He's doing very well and he appreciates your prayers and concerns," Williams said, asking callers to just say "dittos" for their well-wishes and get on to questions on political and social issues.
"Rush is in good, stable condition and as comfortable as one can be in a hospital while on vacation, but he's in good hands," he said.
Williams, an economics professor at George Mason University, was already scheduled to fill in Thursday while Limbaugh was on vacation.
Kit Carson, Limbaugh's chief of staff, told The Associated Press that Limbaugh left for his Christmas vacation Dec. 23 and was due to return to his show Jan. 4. Carson didn't have any information on whether that schedule would change.
Limbaugh broadcasts from a studio near his mansion in Palm Beach, Fla.
Honolulu television station KITV reported that paramedics took Limbaugh from the Kahala Hotel and Resort to The Queen's Medical Center in serious condition.
The report said Limbaugh was seen golfing at Waialae Country Club — a country club next to the hotel — earlier this week.
With his sarcastic putdowns of liberal policies, parodies and self-promotion, he began capturing conservative listeners in the 1980s and grew to become the highest-rated radio broadcaster in the U.S. Recently, he's found a renewed purpose and has boosted ratings by railing against Barack Obama's presidency.
His three-hour weekday show is heard on some 600 radio stations across the country, including KHVH in Honolulu, and more than 14 million people listen to him at least once a week.
Americans said in a poll last month that Limbaugh was America's most influential conservative voice.
In 2001, Limbaugh reported he had lost most of his hearing due to an autoimmune inner-ear disease. He had surgery to have an electronic device placed in his skull to restore his hearing.
Two years later, Limbaugh acknowledged he was addicted to pain medicine. He blamed the addiction on severe back pain and took a five-week leave from his radio show to enter rehab.
Limbaugh began his talk radio career on KFBK-AM in Sacramento, Calif., where he had his own show from 1984 to 1988. The station continues to air him live.
"We wish him a very speedy recovery and wish him the best of health," Operations Manager Alan Eisenson said Thursday. "We're looking forward to having him back on the air."