Limbaugh, Defending Romney, Has Bain Tie

Bain-owned Clear Channel pays $400 million for his show. Layoffs at Clear Channel last fall.

Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh has emerged as a key defender of Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, where — his Republican and Democratic critics charge — layoffs at companies Bain owned should be blamed on Romney.

But Limbaugh has his own tie to the venture capital firm: Bain owns Clear Channel Communications, whose subsidiary inked a $400 million, eight-year syndication deal with Limbaugh in 2008.

Since Bain and another investor bought the company in 2006, Clear Channel has undergone waves of consolidation and layoffs; the most recent set of cuts at local stations was reported just last October.

Limbaugh is, of course, a staunch defender of capitalism in almost any context; his defense of Romney has been in line with his broader views.

His defenses of Romney — and attacks on Romney’s critics — have been heart-felt.

“You could have read this in an Occupy Wall Street flyer,” he he said of the Gingrich campaign’s rhetoric. ”

“The Newt PAC, I got an idea for you guys,” Limbaugh continued. “Re-cut your ads on Romney and your tagline is, ‘I am Barack Obama, and I approve of this message.’ Put that at the end of your ad. I’m considering what to do about this, folks. I know it’s serious.”

Limbaugh didn’t immediately respond to an email asking about his ties to Bain.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this item said Limbaugh hadn’t mentioned the tie; listeners tell me he mentioned it on yesterday’s show.

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