RUSH: Let's go to this ad, ladies and gentlemen, the North Carolina Republican Party TV ad. An unidentified female TV announcer you'll hear and then the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and the North Carolina Republican Party chairman Linda Daves.
FEMALE ANNOUNCER: For 20 years, Barack Obama sat in his pew listening to his pastor.
WRIGHT: And then wants us to sing God Bless America? No, no, no! Not God Bless America. God (bleep) America.
FEMALE ANNOUNCER: Now, Bev Perdue and Richard Moore endorse Barack Obama. They should know better. He's just too extreme for North Carolina.
DAVES: The North Carolina Republican Party sponsored this ad opposing Bev Perdue and Richard Moore for North Carolina governor.
RUSH: That's Linda Daves. Now, is there any doubt what this is about? This ad is about many things, but one of the things that this is about, this ad is intended to help Hillary Clinton in the May 6th primary. This is a derivative of Operation Chaos. There's no question about it. But the news here that Senator McCain, from his high horse in Washington, called the North Carolna... Well, he didn't even see the ad. He issued a denouncement and asked them to stop airing the ad. He said, "The television advertisement you're planning to air degrades our civics and distracts..." It does no such thing! Everything in the ad is factual. McCain says, "It degrades our civics, detracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats. In the strongest terms, I implore you to not run this ad." The RNC got in on the gig, too, said, "Senator McCain's been very clear that he expects to run a respectful campaign based on the critical issues confronting the nation. The RNC's been in contact with the NC," the North Carolina, "GOP, communicated that we do not believe the ad's appropriate or helpful and we've asked that they refrain from using it. The state Republican Party, however, will not relent. They are going to run the ad."
My question, multiple questions: How in the world do you build support for your campaign within your party acting like this? Is this how you help rebuild the Republican Party in these states? Is this how you treat fellow Republicans, by trashing them to highlight the ad and then come off like you're above the fight? There's a theory going around here that McCain is doing this in a brilliant stroke of genius, that he gets to stand above this; condemning the ad and gets the ad played all over the place at no charge to the North Carolina GOP. But I don't see it that way. I think this is an absolute disaster, and it means exactly what I said was the founding reason for Operation Chaos. The Republican Party is gutless. They're not going to attack Obama, on anything. They want to have a civics debate, Civics 101 -- and because they're afraid of being called racists and so forth -- which they will be, but so what? If you're not, don't worry about it. Broom it! The idea that you can't criticize a black candidate, you can't criticize a potential black president? People have said to me, "You know, Rush, if we elect a black guy, though, that's the end of racism in America." Hardly! It's only going to get worse. Every time the black president's criticized on anything -- policy, you name it -- the Jesse Jacksons of the world, all the liberals are going to come out -- racist, racist, racist -- and try to shut it down. And MSNBC last night aired this ad, and they're trying to proclaim the ad's totally racist. They're trying to get the North Carolina GOP to be tagged as racist and intimidated into stopping running the ad. Norah O'Donnell talked to the North Carolina Republican Party chairman Linda Daves and said, "McCain wants you to pull the ad. Are you going to heed his call?"
<*IMAGE>DAVES: We plan to run the ad because I think that we're thinking about the people of North Carolina. This is not about the president's race. This is about the people of North Carolina, and they have a right to know.
O'DONNELL (interrupting): Aren't you a loyal Republican?
DAVES: Well, of course I am, but I'm also the chairman of the state Republican Party, and it is also my responsibility to point out the weaknesses of the Democrat candidates in North Carolina.
RUSH: Absolutely! Who is McCain? When he's traveling all over the country, what Republican candidates is he trying to help? I haven't seen any. He might be. I'm not saying he's not. I just haven't seen him stumping for anybody running for the House or Senate or as governor in the state, and this woman's job is to make sure Republicans get elected in the state, and she's doing the exact right thing: drawing a contrast. "Okay, our two gubernatorial candidates on the Democrat side have endorsed Obama, and look who he's tied to: Reverend Wright!" It's a great ad. And then Norah O'Donnell asks, "Are you a loyal Republican?" She needs to ask that of Republicans in Washington, not of Linda Daves -- and then the piece de resistance question from Norah O'Donnell, PMSNBC, to Linda Daves, "Are you playing the race card?"
DAVES: No, none whatsoever. If this had been Hillary Clinton I'd do the same thing, and I really would encourage people to get past that race card thing. That is an accusation that is frequently made by people when they want to divert the discussion from the real issue at hand, and the issue at hand is good judgment and patriotism.
RUSH: Yeah, this is not about diverting discussion; it's about silencing people. It's about stopping discussion. The media, we can't call Obama by his middle name. We can't use that, can't call him a liberal -- he doesn't like that -- and now you can't associate him with Reverend Wright. And it's only going to get worse. Reverend Wright will not go away. Reverend Wright is going to be speaking to the National Press Club soon, on what -- yes! -- on what goes on in black churches. Now, what brainiac is running the Obama campaign? They're going to bring him up to the National Press Club? I can tell you what this is all about. Reverend Wright is going to speak in ways that we haven't heard him speak. He's going to come across great. He's going to talk about these great charitable works, trying to cure AIDS in Africa and all that stuff, and the Drive-Bys are going to say, "See? What was all the hubbub about? This was a great, humanitarian preacher," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's what the purpose of that speech in the National Press Club is. Does anyone want to bet that Obama's preacher does not go to the National Press Club and start sounding like he does in those sermons? Do you want to make a bet that he will not make a statement blaming America for the creation of AIDS -- the CIA, whatever? If he does that, then there's something seriously wrong with Wright and the Obama campaign, but it's gotta be, obviously, just the opposite of that. So the full-court press is on, trying to get the magic of the messiah back, this aura of hope and change and larger-than-life personality of Obama, and that's what this is all about. So the North Carolina Republicans run a great, great ad here -- and it is being broadcast all over the place, and it's not costing them nickel -- and the criticism of the ad started from the Republican presidential nominee.
RUSH: This is Tina, New Lenox, Illinois. Hi, Tina.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thank you for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, ma'am.
CALLER: I wanted to say, a few days ago I actually heard the producer of this commercial on the local radio station here, and he had a really interesting story about how this commercial ended up getting made. And I heard it, and afterwards, when criticisms of this commercial started coming out, I was really personally offended by McCain and the Democrats in the liberal media, that this commercial was about race. To me, when I heard this commercial, I thought it had more to do with the content of Mr. Obama's character rather than the color of his skin. To me, the liberal media and McCain and the Democrats, they're the ones that are making this commercial all about race.
RUSH: Well, I don't think McCain's making it about race, and I don't think the RNC's making it about race. They just don't want Obama attacked.
CALLER: I agree.
RUSH: And they don't want Reverend Wright used because that will detract from the lofty nature of the campaign that McCain says he wants to run. He wants to have a civic-minded, serious debate on issues with Obama, and he's afraid all this is going to detract from the lofty perch he hopes to occupy during the campaign. I don't think they're concerned about race. The Democrats obviously are, and they're going to label any criticism of Obama racist.
CALLER: I have to give -- I'm not a member of the Hillary fan club but, you know, I have to give it to her; at least she's treating Mr. Obama like a contender and not, you know, a black man or a black person.
RUSH: Amen. You know, it wasn't that long ago... This is an important point to make. It wasn't that long ago in my lifetime when you'd run into black people in the middle of the civil rights movement, post-civil liberties movement, they really wanted equal treatment.
RUSH: That's all they wanted. They didn't want to be discriminated against, they just wanted equal treatment. We've come to the point now, that's not what Obama wants. He wants special treatment. The Democrats want special treatment, because of the racist past of this nation and the original sin of slavery. We are being told now that the first legitimate contender for the presidency who is a black man is above criticism because criticism is racist -- and you're exactly right. Hillary is treating him as a competitor, and she's not being called a racist, by the way. The only people get called racists are Republicans when they criticize Obama or use Reverend Wright.
CALLER: Yes. I already know that as I think Mr. McCain's a little harder against Mitt than he is against the Democrats now. He doesn't seem to have the fight in him against the Democrats the way he had the fight in him with the opponents in his own party.
RUSH: What do you mean, right now?
CALLER: He doesn't seem to have that fight or that fire in him to fight with the Democrats. He is always feuding with his own Republicans.
RUSH: Yeah, but that's not new.
CALLER: I know it's not new, but it's troublesome.
RUSH: Well, yes, it's troublesome, but if you understand that he is seeking a lot of votes from Democrats.
CALLER: And it turns out --
RUSH: He wants to build this civic-minded coalition.
CALLER: I agree. It seems like our choices in November are going to be a Democrat or a Democrat, and it's looking more and more like that.
RUSH: Well, I know it looks that way, Tina, but don't go pessimistic on me yet. Remember, the presidential campaign will be fought on this program.
CALLER: I agree. The other thing, too, is I thought that during the primaries, the only person that I thought was actually positive about this country was Mitt Romney while he was running. I listened and I'm like, "Wow, he's actually saying what I wanted to hear."
CALLER: I was disappointed in the way things turned out.
RUSH: And a lot of people are.
RUSH: But, it is what it is. A point like this is when you gotta buck up even more and not slink away, okay?
CALLER: I agree.
RUSH: Okay. Thanks, Tina. Very much. I appreciate it. Speaking of being optimistic and positive, there's a fascinating story today in the New York Times by Monica Davey. "'For Indiana Voters, Talk of Change May Fall Flat' -- With all the talk among the Democratic presidential hopefuls about change, they may wish to consider this as they wander Indiana: People here practically revolted a few years ago when their governor, Mitch Daniels, pushed to change to daylight saving time like most of the country. ... 'What are we going to change to?' asked Ron O'Bryan, 58, a retired auto worker who said he was still trying to decide which Democrat to vote for in the May 6 primary. 'You mean change to some other country's system? What do you think they mean?' ... 'We are manufacturing workers, farmers, beer drinkers, gun owners, pickup drivers,' said Karen Lasley, 64, who was volunteering on Wednesday morning in Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's field office in Kokomo... 'We are full of pride for this country.'" We are full of pride! (interruption) No, they're not bitter. Obama thinks they're bitter. They're not bitter. "We're manufacturing workers..." They're bitter about change. They ought to be bitter about it. What in the world...? They're exactly right. What in the world about the greatest country on earth needs drastic, dramatic change?