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Rush Limbaugh on Jay Leno: 'I like the electric car!'

By Andrew Heining / September 25, 2009

'Is this thing on?' Jay Leno explains the course to Rush Limbaugh before the conservative talk radio host take the "Green Car Challenge."

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It was billed as an environmental grudge match – Rush Limbaugh, the king of conservative talk radio and avowed global warming skeptic, was taking a lap in a fully electric car on Jay Leno's new show.

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Would he refuse to participate? Crash intentionally? Last on anyone's list of outcomes was "Love it," but that's what happened.

After a heated discussion (by Jay's standards) of Limbaugh's weight loss, capitalism, healthcare, the government's stimulus plan, social security, and sky-high Wall Street bonuses, Limbaugh and Leno stepped outside to the show's racetrack for two laps in the custom Ford Focus built for the show's celebrity "green car challenge."

After refusing to put on the helmet donned by other guests ("Jay, this helmet will not fit my brain!") Limbaugh asks mockingly "Is the car running" and takes off.

After gingerly navigating the first lap of the course, Limbaugh turned up the juice, powering through the second lap's onslaught of ping-pong balls and streamers. He didn't, however, steer safely around the pop-up cutouts of environmental activists Al Gore and Ed Begley Jr., in fact stopping – in both cases – to give each a double running-over.

The radio host's verdict, when exiting the car, though, was full of joy – "Mama!" he exclaimed to himself, "nobody would believe this car is electric!"

The late-night TV shows have played host to a back-and-forth over electric cars recently, first with Tesla Motors CEO debuting his company's Model S electric passenger car (and dissing GM's Volt), and then with GM product manager Bob Lutz coming on to refute those claims.

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