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Rush and President Bush Discuss Welcoming Ceremony for the Pope

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

THE PRESIDENT: Hey, Rush!

RUSH: Mr. President, I can't thank you enough for calling. I'm gratified you took the time, sir. How are you?

THE PRESIDENT: Any time. Thanks. I'm doing great.

RUSH: I have to tell you, something stirred in my soul, Mr. President, during the welcoming ceremony earlier this week at the White House for Pope Benedict, and I've been moved by it ever since. The US Army Chorus and Band--

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

RUSH: The Battle Hymn of the Republic, I've been playing it over and over again. That ceremony, sir, was -- we're in a presidential campaign, and by definition, a presidential campaign, candidates are telling us what's wrong with the country, and that day, you and the pope brought God to Washington on public property. It was just amazing. I just wanted to thank you for it, because it was so uplifting, it was so timely. The facial expressions on both you and the pope during The Battle Hymn of the Republic were just priceless. I just wanted to take a little time to thank you for it because it didn't get much media coverage, the hymns and the song by Kathleen Battle. But it was just tremendous.

THE PRESIDENT: I wish you were there, because the spirit on the South Lawn was alive, and it was a fantastic moment. You know, it was great. I think there were about 13,500 people.

RUSH: It was the largest welcoming ceremony in the history of the White House.

THE PRESIDENT: Ever. And it was really interesting to watch people's expression during the ceremony, and particularly when His Holy Father got up to speak. There was this unbelievable respect, and everybody hung on his every word, and it was beautiful, and you're right, the Army Choir was just fantastic. I wish all Americans could have seen it. You're kind to say thanks. It was a great honor for me, and it's what you expect for the president to do, and that is to welcome a world figure, such as the Holy Father, in such grand fashion.

RUSH: Well, your remarks were excellent as well.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you.

RUSH: Your humanity, of course, makes you leave yourself out of this, but your remarks were superb. The whole day, that whole ceremony, what was it, 45 minutes? You know, it was bang, bang, bang, but it was just powerful as it could be. And I played that song all afternoon on the program, got more phone calls from people who were inspired by that.

THE PRESIDENT: That's great.

RUSH: So it was a great day, and I personally wanted to publicly thank you for doing it, because it stirred my soul this week, it really has.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you're a good man, and I can't thank you enough for your kind words, and look forward to seeing you up here in Washington again. I'll buy you another meal when you're up here.

RUSH: All right, I'll take you up on that.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Rush.

RUSH: Have a good weekend. President Bush.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, please indulge me here one more time, ladies and gentlemen. I got so much response from this on Wednesday afternoon, I want to play one more time here -- especially in our first hour, because the first hour of the program is broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio network to

men and women in uniform around the world -- the Army Chorus and Band on Wednesday at the arrival ceremony for the pope, The Battle Hymn of the Republic. It is just stirring. You have to imagine a crystal-blue sky, crystal-clear day, 13,000 people clapping, cheering, smiling, God brought to the White House, public property, at just the right time. So many people in this country are hearing about how rotten we are and how dangerous we've become to the world and how we have no future and that the future we have is not going to be as good as our past -- part and parcel of a presidential campaign. I've listened to a lot of versions here since I heard this. I went out and I found the Mormon Tabernacle Choir version, which is stunning as well. I found a recorded version on a CD of the US Army Chorus and Band. But for some reason, and I think it's the visuals that I have, this version that we have for you from the actual welcoming ceremony for the pope, even though all three arrangements that I listened to are the same arrangement, this one to me is still the most stirring of the three.

And as I've been listening to it, I pick up nuances. People still say to me, "I don't understand, Rush, you say you can't hear music because of your hearing loss." Well, I can hear music I knew before I lost my hearing, but also, folks, I can always hear God's music. And this is God's music, written in 1861 in the middle of the Civil War. The story of this song is, to me, evidence of define intervention in and of itself. But I want you to listen especially around three minutes and 30 seconds in when the chorus begins in a cappella with the most famous line in the song, when they get to the final chorus of "glory, glory hallelujah," I'm entranced -- the Army Chorus in that final riff from 3:50 on to 4:49, if you don't get chills up and down your back, then you're not human. If you're driving around somewhere and you're at a stoplight, roll the windows down and turn this up so passersby can hear it, because it is a great tribute to God, and a great tribute to the United States of America. US Army Chorus and Band.

(playing of The Battle Hymn of the Republic)

RUSH: Okay, folks, now this, turn it up even a little louder from this point forward.

(continued playing of song)

RUSH: Get ready...

(continued playing of song)

RUSH: Yes!

(continued playing of song)

RUSH: US Army Chorus and Band on Wednesday at the White House, the welcoming ceremony for Pope Benedict XVI. I'm obsessing on this. Not just for the music of it, but for the emotions that it's creating in me each and every time I hear it.

END TRANSCRIPT

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