With decades of broadcasting experience under his belt, Rush Limbaugh has had more than his fair share of callers over the years, but that didn’t stop him from being rendered nearly speechless after a former convict called in on Friday, May 18, to share how the conservative radio host “saved” his life.
A man identified only as Jerome from Traverse City, Michigan, was sentenced to 18 years in prison when he was just 18 years old after a series of robberies in Texas. He was later “segged up” (i.e. put in Administrative Segregation, a form of solitary confinement) for poor behavior, which also meant he lost his television privileges. He did, however, have access to a radio, and, after tiring of hearing the same songs over and over again on the FM stations, he switched over to AM talk radio and began to turn his life around.
“I started listening about 4-1/2 years ago, give or take, and it just completely changed my whole shape of view in life,” said the now 26-year-old. “And now I’m out. I’ve got me a good phone, I’ve got me a good job, I’ve got. I’m out of my parents’ house and stuff.”
Jerome explained that he would listen to Limbaugh’s weekly “Open Line Fridays” from his cell and dream of one day being able to speak to the host himself. That wish came through on Friday, and the young man triumphantly explained he has wasted no time trying to turn his life around:
“I was talking to my stepdad one day and, you know, I told him that I wanted to open up rehab and I also wanted to open up a string of businesses. And he told me, ‘Well, you know, you should just focus on your factory job.’ I’ve already signed up for college.
I know what I’m gonna do, and he’d say, ‘Because all those dreams just might not come true. They might just not come like that. There’s a lot more…’ And I told him, I said, ‘You know, that I say the difference between me and you. You’re an average citizen. Me, I’m an elitist. I know I can make it to the top. Nobody can tell me I can’t. You know, and that’s the thing, though. There’s so many success stories. Look at Dr. Ben Carson.’”
Admitting he had “goosebumps” listening to Jerome, Limbaugh praised the caller for recognizing that where he comes from does not have to define where he’ll end up.
“Let me tell you, what you just said there is so important,” the radio host responded. “And I have often thought that many people end up in life where they end up because family members or parents or other people who were influential with them basically said, ‘Don’t start dreaming. You’re just gonna get disappointed. Just stick with the way the family’s operating now. Just stick with it. Take the safe route’ … And you finally decided to stop listening to them.”
A former Obama supporter, Jerome also went into great detail about how the Democratic Party has failed young men like himself. He has subsequently become an outspoken ambassador for conservative principles and President Donald Trump.
“I have been lied to all my life as far as in schools, how I’ve been lied to all my life by the media,” he said. “When I went into seg, I thought Barack Obama was the best thing ever. And then once I started actually, like, learning and stuff like that and seeing how he’s actually screwed up our country, you’ll never catch me saying that ever.”
After a fellow inmate tried to convince him that Trump was “not for us” because he “thinks we’re scum,” Jerome explained to the man that the president may not actually have be wrong in his assessment.
“I told him … ‘You know what, you gotta take a look around. We kind of are scum until you get out and prove yourself that you’re not scum.’ I was like we wreck homes, we wreck families, all of us criminals,” he recalled. “I broke into somebody’s house and stole the stuff that they had hard-earned. I’d be mad if somebody went and broke in my house and stole stuff. I was like, we’re tearing apart communities, people in here selling drugs have killed so many people. I’m like, so you can’t blame them for looking at you like you’re scum, because you kind of are scum. And it was such a hard thing for that guy to face.”
Impressed with Jerome’s story of redemption and knowledge of current events, Limbaugh quipped that he just may have found himself a new sidekick.
“This is amazing! You may be guest host material here,” he joked. “That was nothing short of amazing. I’m still kind of speechless about it.”
Listen to the entire conversation below (relevant remarks being at the 59-minute mark):