RUSH: Huckabee forces are attacking me, ladies and gentlemen. Yes siree, Bob, the Hucksters are on the warpath! From the Atlantic magazine, this is from their blog. The author is Marc Ambinder. "What's the Huckabee universe's take on why Rush Limbaugh does not like the man from Arkansas? I asked a prominent DC-based Huckabee ally," and here's what the "prominent" Washington-based "Huckabee ally" said: "'Honestly, because Rush doesn't think for himself. That's not necessarily a slap because he's not paid to be a thinker -- he's an entertainer. I can't remember the last time that he has veered from the talking points from the DC/Manhattan chattering class. If they were praising Huckabee, he would be, too. Also, I have to think that he's dying to have Hillary in the White House. Bill Clinton made Rush a megastar. Having another Clinton back in power would make him the Leading Voice of the Opposition once again.'" Now, this is so off the mark, I can't believe that Huckabee would have somebody this ignorant on his staff -- somebody on the campaign staff or supporter or what have you, that's so ignorant about this program and what happens on this program. Part of the DC-Manhattan chattering class? When was the last time I was for illegal immigration, for example?
This is absurd, but look, I think it's funny. Huck forces are attacking El Rushbo.
RUSH: Mark in Davenport, Iowa, it's good to have you on the program, sir. Welcome.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Great to talk to you. Absolute honor. Quick question. I wanted you to go back to an article you had on earlier at the beginning of your program where the writer said that you wanted Hillary in the White House because they felt that you'd like to have somebody to pick on, and I just think you're way too principled than that and you're a person that would never want something of that nature. Why don't you respond to that?
RUSH: Well, I responded to it not specifically. I appreciate you're saying that, and I'm glad you called because I thought I responded just in a generic way to discount the whole thing.
RUSH: What this supposed Huck supporter... I'm not even sure it's a Huck supporter. This sounds like something a Clinton person would say. You know, this is what the Clinton people believe, that Bill Clinton made my career, that all I want is somebody in office that can make me even bigger, and that I don't think for myself. You people are just mind-numbed robots. I can't believe there's anybody on Huckabee's staff that ignorant about what happens on this program. If this is indeed Huckster forces attacking Rush, then he's got some people on his staff that are going to cause him problems because that's just simply idiotic. This notion... I have to explain this too often, as far as I'm concerned. This notion that I was nothing, that I was just wandering aimlessly in the radio muck field until Bill Clinton came along, and voila! I blossomed into what I am today is frankly absurd. This broadcast commenced with 56 little radio stations and WABC New York on August 1st, 1988. By 1993, when Wilhelm Von Der Schlick Meister was inaugurated as president, number 42, we had 500 radio stations and our audience was at about 17-1/2 maybe 18 million people.
By the time Clinton was halfway through we had our 600, and the audience had peaked somewhat over 20. It goes back and forth to 20 to 22 depending on the vagaries of the rating period. Clinton had nothing to do with building this radio show; he had nothing to do with sustaining this radio show, and I was miserable during those eight years! It was not fun, and I'll tell you why I was miserable. I mean, I had fun, I enjoyed the career. What bugged me was that everything the guy did -- and we're going to have to relive it again if she gets reelected -- 65% approval ratings, 55%, even during the impeachment thing. I was fearing for my country, if they could be this easily fooled -- and it looks like they might be able to be fooled again because it looks like it may repeat itself. But the last thing in the world I want... I care about the country first. This election is going to be about the future of the country. The election is not about the career of Rush Limbaugh or anybody else in Drive-By Media or talk radio or what have you. It's about the future of the country, which I care deeply about.
I care more about that than anything else because I have this awe, and this respect, and this utter appreciation for what this country is and what it affords the people, not only of this country, but of the world -- and it can be destroyed. It can be damaged greatly. And there are people running on the Democrat side they don't want to do that. I'm not sure they think they're damaging it. They think they're improving it, they think socialism is better than anything else. They're wrong, but it's not something I want to see, and I don't want to spend eight years or four years having to talk about the president every day! You know, the Clintons, they are the issue! What their issues are is immaterial. They are the issue. They're omnipresent and so forth. Now, would it cause an uptick in the audience? I don't know. I don't think about that. I wrote a book. The first chapter: "My Success Does Not Depend on Who Wins Elections."
My responsibility is to attract the largest audience I can, and hold it for as long as I can, every day; charge confiscatory advertising rates to my sponsors so that they get better results here than they get anywhere else. It's my job to do that regardless what the news of the day is -- and I do. That's why I'm a highly trained broadcast specialist and unparalleled. So it doesn't matter to me who wins in terms of the radio show. It matters to me who wins in terms of the country. If this is really a Huck force member... If you missed it, somebody went out there and asked a Huckabee supporter in a Huckabee Universe, actually, why I don't like him. Frankly, I haven't attacked Huckabee. You know, I've raised some questions, but they're pretty sensitive out there about this. So the Huckabee Universe Guy said, "Honestly, Rush doesn't think for himself. I mean, that's not necessarily a slap because he's not paid to be a thinker, he's an entertainer. I can't remember the last time he's veered from the talking points from the DC-Manhattan chattering class. If they were praising Huckabee, he would be, too."
That's just... I can't believe that there is a Republican alive today who thinks this, whether supporting the Huckster, Giuliani, whoever. Then this also, said the Huck forcer, "I have to think that he's dying to have Hillary in the White House. Bill Clinton made Rush a megastar. Having another Clinton back in power would make him the Leading Voice of the Opposition, once again." What do you mean, "once again"? You know, these reports of my demise have never been correct. This program, after 20 years, 19-1/2 years, it's still a fad to some people. But whoever made these comments, I'm sure has been made aware now that I am making them public or amplifying their already having been in public. If you really are a Huckabee supporter, whoever said this, your campaign is in trouble, because if that's what people on Huckabee's team thinks, your ignorance is going to get your candidate in big, big trouble.
RUSH: I remember 1988. Bush 41 wins the election, and the media says, "Well, that's it for Limbaugh! There's nothing more to talk about. His guy won. There's going to be nothing for him to talk about here." I'd only been on the air for three months. In '92, Clinton wins election. The Drive-By Media says, "Well, that's it for Limbaugh! Clinton won the White House. A Democrat is in the White House. Limbaugh's been discredited. Who's going to want to listen to him? He lost." Now they say Democrats in the White House "made" me? Idiots.
RUSH: Josh in Celina, Ohio, it's nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Mega dittos from the Buckeye State.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Thank you. It's a pleasure to talk to you. I just was curious to what your thought is on the issue of the budget and that there has not been this outrage from the mainstream media. If it was a Republican Congress doing this, it would be the top story on all these networks, and I've hardly seen anything about it.
RUSH: Well, that's your answer. It's a Democrat Congress. The Drive-Bys are all for these kind of big budgets when Democrats are behind them. They're all for all these earmarks; they're all for all these things. You know, liberals believe in the growth of government. So this is actually standard operating procedure. The Democrats really, I think, as far as the press is concerned, are actually trying to protect them. The Democrats haven't gotten anything done. The Democrats have been demonstrable failures. They have not succeeded at any of their primary promises or initiatives legislatively in either the House or the Senate, and this budget, with 11,000 earmarks -- and most of them are Democrat earmarks -- I think they're just giving the Democrats cover. Because, remember, in the 2006 election one of the things that was credited to the Democrats winning, is the Republicans have become corrupt. Well, there's been no change, it's just that the Democrats are running the place now. The corruption is the same as it was, and the earmarks are larger than ever and more numerous than ever. So I think this is just cover. Besides, the presidential campaign provides the narrative and the template these days. It all makes sense when you understand who the Drive-Bys are and what their agenda is.
RUSH: I'm glad you called, Josh. Thanks much.
RUSH: York, Pennsylvania, this is Mark. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Merry Christmas, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Same to you.
CALLER: Rush, my question is, you stated originally that you don't support people in a primary, and you also stated that you're going to vote Republican no matter who the candidate -- and you also said that after the CNN/YouTube debate, Fred Thompson was the only conservative candidate. I'm kind of curious as why you wouldn't endorse Fred Thompson being he's the only conservative candidate so far that showed any hope.
RUSH: Well, you answered it yourself, and that is that I do not get involved in primaries -- either presidential or congressional -- unless it's a two-man race and the choice for me is obvious.
CALLER: Okay. Because I mean --
RUSH: I did say that about Thompson. I did say that about Thompson. What I actually said was, after the YouTube debate, I said: It hit me when I'm watching all this that Fred Thompson was the one guy on the stage whose past service, governance as a senator does not feature a bunch of liberalism or moderate moves or policies, legislation, or beliefs. It was clearly striking to me. But I also praised Romney after his religion speech, and the founding of the country and the relationship between those two things.
CALLER: Yeah, Romney after that debate, the last debate, said he was in favor of expanding entitlements, which is anything but conservative.
RUSH: Yeah, that's why I haven't endorsed anybody. I'm waiting. I don't know how else I can do it. I realize that there are a lot of you out there: You got a candidate, and you think that if I got behind your candidate it would put 'em over the top, and you might be right. But, at this point, it's just an age-old belief that I have, and I remain true to my beliefs and principles. Now, some people have written me, "I hear you say this, but you're full of it. What about 2000 with Bush and McCain in South Carolina?" Special circumstance. You had a two-man race, and what was happening in South Carolina, McCain was going so far off the conservative reservation, so far off of it, that it was necessary to step in. Huckabee is getting close, I'm going to have to tell you. Huckabee's getting close to the same stuff. Huckabee is using his devout Christianity to mask some other things that are distinctively not conservative. He is against free trade. He's really doesn't believe in free market. Well, let me read what George Will wrote today. This is when I go along with "the DC-New York axis." But I just want to read from George Will's column, a paragraph today. "Huckabee's campaign actually is what Rudy Giuliani's candidacy is misdescribed as being -- a comprehensive apostasy against core Republican beliefs. Giuliani departs from recent Republican stances regarding two issues -- abortion and the recognition by the law of same-sex couples. Huckabee's radical candidacy broadly repudiates core Republican policies such as free trade, low taxes, the essential legitimacy of America's corporate entities and the market system allocating wealth and opportunity. [C]onsider New Hampshire's chapter of the National Education Association, the teachers union that is a crucial component of the Democratic Party's base. In 2004, New Hampshire's chapter endorsed Howard Dean in the Democratic primary and no one in the Republican primary. Last week it endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary -- and Huckabee in the Republican primary." It likes Huckabee on education.