RUSH: Mary, Pacifica, California, it's nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Oh, hi, Rush. I'm calling... First of all, I hope you don't take offense when I say this. But I listened to your program yesterday for the very first time in my life. I have been outside of the world of talk radio virtually all my life, but I called in because I want to just testify on your behalf, and the behalf of talk radio.
RUSH: Now, why would I be offended?
CALLER: I understand it's under attack.
RUSH: Wait, wait. Whoa, whoa. Why would I be offended by this?
CALLER: Well...whatever. If you're not, great. I understand that --
RUSH: I'm not so far, but you know something? That's another thing. I hate to get all philosophical here, Mary, but I don't allow people to offend me anyway.
RUSH: So don't worry about it. I don't get offended. I don't.
CALLER: Okay. Good. Good. You know, talk radio and your show in particular I know, has been under attack. I want to just testify that I am a conservative. I am basically agreeing with most of what you're saying, not everything you say.
RUSH: Right on, right on.
CALLER: But I am agreeing, without having heard you before. So what I'm saying is that there's a whole section of people out there whose voice needs to be heard, and it's heard through people like you, that you -- I heard Mary Matalin say over the weekend that you don't speak for people. You let people speak. You represent. Your show represents --
CALLER: -- a section of people who otherwise are not getting heard. My concern today, with this election and with the political climate in this country, is that we are heading towards a one-party system. We've got people who are Republican in name only. We've got two candidates now, Huckabee and McCain, who have the same mind-set as the Democrats, but they're on the Republican ticket -- and they're taking this down to a one-party system. I think that's the most dangerous in the world. That is more dangerous than just the Democratic Party, if you only have one party.
RUSH: Is that what you thought would offend me?
CALLER: What's that?
RUSH: Is what you just said what you thought would offend me?
CALLER: No, I thought you might be offended that I never heard before you.
RUSH: Oh, no.
RUSH: No, no, no! I don't have hope that everybody in the world listens to me. I have faith that it will happen someday, but I don't sit around hoping that. No. What you just said is right. You've said this so well. We're headed to a one-party system.
CALLER: That's it, and it's scary.
RUSH: This is exactly what bothers all of us. We've got a liberal Republican in McCain; we've got a liberal Republican in Huckabee, and we of course got liberal Democrats over there on the Democrat side -- and our liberal Republicans want to reach out more to the liberal Democrats than they do the conservatives in their own party!
CALLER: They're using this whole idea that to be all inclusive and to bring people together and across the aisle and all of this which sounds so, you know, warming and --
RUSH: Yeah, they couldn't look --
CALLER: -- but it's dangerous.
RUSH: Except when you look who's crossing the aisle. It's our side crossing the aisle. The other side is not just moving.
CALLER: And they on don't just reach across the aisle. They go over there and sit there.
RUSH: That's right.
CALLER: I do want to take issue with something you said yesterday.
RUSH: I knew it was too good to be true.
CALLER: Well... (laughs) You said basically there was no difference between Hillary and Obama, and I have to take issue with that. Hillary Clinton, I don't agree with her agenda. I don't agree with her views or her policies, but I do believe that they are what she says they are. You don't believe that she's got a hidden agenda. With Barack Obama, he's a real wild card, and that really scares me. We don't know what this man is going to do, and I'm very, very suspicious with this big swoon and all of this clamoring over somebody who basically has nothing there.
CALLER: That scares me more than Hillary Clinton. With Hillary, you get what you got. I mean, what she is, is what she is, but Barack Obama is a wild card. There's something really wrong there. But I have just been out campaigning --
RUSH: Well, let me just tell you this.
CALLER: -- for Mitt Romney, because I really believe he's --
RUSH: Let me just tell you this because I'm running up against it on time.
RUSH: Mark McKinnon who ran all the media, was in charge of all the media for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 has joined the McCain campaign, and Mark McKinnon has vowed they will never run a critical or attack ad on Obama, the McCain camp won't.
RUSH: That's what it says in the piece. I saw this somewhere; somebody analyzed it. Oh, it's as NewsBusters. Let me find that during the break, but I think McKinnon has said that if McCain is the nominee of the liberal wing of the Republican Party, that they will not run ads critical of Obama. It's too risky.
CALLER: Right. Because he's running on the basis that you shouldn't fight.
RUSH: Oh, they'll slam Romney!
CALLER: You know, he scares me when he talks about, you know, bringing all these countries at the table, or going off too Iran to have tea. I mean, that's nuts. It's absolutely nuts.
RUSH: I know, because it's all predicated on the fact that we are the problem in the world, and if we just go out and assure these people we're not mean... Look, this is not the time to spend with Democrats. We have plenty of time to deal with them. We'll get to them down the road. If I can find this thing on McKinnon -- I know I saw it at NewsBusters today. If true, it means that the McCain camp is totally willing to slander and slime Romney, but they will not touch Obama. What they're saying is, they will not do any critical ads of Obama. Anyway, I know, they're consistent. That's exactly right. I mean they're reaching out to the left all these years, and criticizing and trashing Republicans. They're very consistent. Vince in Atlanta, we'll grab you here before we have to go to break. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you today?
RUSH: Hey, fine, thank you.
CALLER: I just wanted to say, unfortunately I sort of feel like we're in the position, uh...well...because of you. I know that sounds a little funny, but given the fact that you reach 20 million people on a regular basis, your sitting on the fence for at least the last month and a half has given us Huckabee, people voting for Giuliani down in Florida, and because.... Well, let me put it this way: If you'd have taken up the vanguard and been for Mitt for the last month, we might not have been in this quagmire that I think that we find ourselves.
RUSH: Perhaps. But, you know, I have this no-endorsement policy. It's based on a respect for the intelligence of the audience. But I also need to point this out. This is something that we forget even though it's not that long ago. One of the problems, folks, that we have all had here -- and let's admit it -- is that from the get-go, the entire roster of Republican candidates was flawed in one way or the other; and it was difficult for conservatives of any kind to get full bore behind anybody. I understand you think we created a vacuum, and this is one of the criticisms that the pseudo-conservatives on our side and the pseudo-conservative punditry are suggesting to those of us who have problems with McCain: "Well, it's your fault. If you'd have unified here behind Romney sooner, why, why..." Once again, it relies on the fact that the audience is a bunch of mind-numbed robots sitting out there taking marching orders, and I reject that because nobody is leading anybody here. You simply have your views validated by somebody who is like you, which is me. So I guess, don't lose hope out there, Vince. (laughing) I'm just kidding. I appreciate your comment. Sadly, there's a grain of substance to it.
Anyway, I've gotta take a break because of time constraints.