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McCain Speech Fails to Inspire, 'Cause He's Running as a Democrat

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I am still struck by the -- because she started crying, she was on the verge of tears -- the woman, Lee, from Haslett, Michigan. She just got a Constitution out, started reading it recently, and she was just devastated over what's happened to the country. She's a former liberal. She became a Reagan Democrat. This is what's happening, and it's tragic. What's happening is that all of these Democrats who were converted to conservatism in the 1980s are now wondering what to do. They are questioning themselves, and they don't see any option for a president that excites them. In fact, it's just the opposite. This is why so many of us in conservatism are frustrated. It's out there for the taking. And yet our party seems intent on banishing conservatism from the Republican Party. And make no mistake, I think that's what's happening and the liberals, of course, are doing this and have tried to do this forever. I think the sad thing now is that certain elements of the Republican Party are trying to do the same.

So let's move on to Senator McCain's speech today, highly anticipated, highly touted, speech. It was at the Columbus Metropolitan Club, Columbus, Ohio, ten o'clock this morning. The speech was embargoed. Details not permissible to be broadcast until the speech was given, but certain McCain favored reporters got the contents, and so we were told, boy, this is revolutionary speech, why, this is groundbreaking, and there was (panting) anticipation galore out there, and you'll hear portions of it here in just a second, and you can decide for yourself. Just to tell you about the Columbus Metropolitan Club, because this is crucial for you to understand here as we get started with audio sound bites. By the way, for those of you in Columbus, this is not a criticism. I'm just informing people what this place is because that's where McCain chose to go. "The Columbus Metropolitan Club is like NPR Live, like the office water cooler, the neighborhood coffee shop, the sports bar during a big game, the kitchen table at suppertime. It's where we look forward to seeing our family and friends to share important news, discuss it, debate it, and mull over its ramifications for ourselves, our neighbors, our community, and our world. The Columbus Metropolitan Club stakes its 32-year reputation on being balanced, nonpartisan, diverse and open to all perspectives throughout our programming year."

The reason that's important is because this would appear, then, to be the ideal John McCain audience. Nonpartisan, balanced, diverse, no ideological taint here to the Columbus Metropolitan Club. Here's an overview of McCain's remarks. He transported himself to 2013 for this speech, gave the speech in past tense, looking back to the first four years of his presidency, sort of like looking through a crystal ball. He sees a world in which the Iraq war has been won; the Taliban threat in Afghanistan's been reduced; the increase in actionable intelligence that the counterinsurgency produced led to the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden. He foresees a league of democracies which has supplanted a failed United Nations.

He said: "The United States has had 'several years of robust growth,' appropriations bills free of lawmakers' pet projects known as 'earmarks,' public education improved by charter schools, health care improved by expansion of the private market and an energy crisis stemmed through the start of construction on 20 new nuclear reactors. Democrats are asked to serve in his administration, he holds weekly news conferences and, like the British prime minister, answers questions publicly from lawmakers. McCain also pledges to halt a Bush administration practice of enacting laws with accompanying signing statements that exempt the president from having to enforce parts he finds objectionable. 'I will respect the responsibilities the Constitution and the American people have granted Congress,' the senator said, 'and will, as I often have in the past, work with anyone of either party to get things done for our country,'" except, you know, I'm going to respect the Constitution except for when I have McCain-Feingold-type stuff I want to do, and then I'll forget the Constitution, and will, as I often have in the past, work with anyone of either party to get things done for our country.

Well, can I give you some headlines here, folks, from the news today? I'm going to go back and remind you of a point I made previously. "'Shaken Republicans Look to McCain as Savior' -- Soul searching Republicans are turning to an unlikely savior, one-time party heretic and now presumptive White House nominee John McCain, as they try to stave off an electoral disaster. Stung by the Democratic seizure of three staunch conservative seats in Congress, Republican lawmakers fear a shellacking in November's general election, after losing control of both chambers of Congress in 2006. The rise of McCain as their champion is not without irony, since the 71-year-old Arizona senator has quarreled with his own party for years on issues as diverse as immigration, campaign finance reform and global warming. But it is precisely that independent streak that is drawing Republicans to his coattails, hoping he can cleanse them of the stain of gridlocked Washington. Eric Cantor, Republican chief deputy whip in the House of Representatives, told reporters that the McCain brand was healthier than that of his party. ... House Republican minority leader John Boehner told Fox News that with McCain at the top of the ticket, his demoralized party might spring a surprise in November. 'I think that we're going to do a lot better than people think,' Boehner said."

Then the next story in my Stack of Stuff: "Republican Election Losses Stir Fall Fears." This is Adam Nagourney and Carl Hulse in the New York Times. "Advisers to Mr. McCain said they thought the problems Congressional Republicans were having would not translate into significant problems for Mr. McCain. But they said it steeled their resolve to run a campaign that distinguished Mr. McCain from both Mr. Bush and a Congress. ... They said Mr. McCain would seek ... to distance himself by speaking critically of what he has described as excessive spending in Washington, as well on issues like the environment." So, Republican leaders in the House are looking at John McCain as their savior, and John McCain said, (doing McCain impression) "Screw them, screw them, and screw Bush. I'm on my own here. I don't need -- I don't need -- Limbaugh, need none of them. Got that?" He's gonna run against both the Congress and the president.

From Politico.com: "'GOP Cancer: Party Could Lose 20 More Seats' -- For the past 18 months, ever since the 2006 elections, congressional Republicans have been like a hospital patient trying to convince visitors that he is not really all that sick. ... but suddenly all that pretense is gone. The Republican defeat in Tuesday's special election in Mississippi, in a deeply conservative district," blah, blah, blah. "Many House GOP operatives are privately predicting that the party could easily lose up to 20 seats this fall. Combined with the 30 seats that the GOP lost in 2006, that would leave the party facing a 70-vote deficit against Democrats in the House," 70-vote deficit. Meanwhile, back to Senator McCain, who says in his speech that he'll work with anybody, any party, to get things done, proving, illustrating my point when I was warning peopling in the primaries, who do presidents consider their legacies to be? Getting things done. My exact words.

If you're running, if you happen to be elected president while the Democrats have a 70-seat margin in the House and a seven- to eight-seat margin in the Senate, guess who you're going to have to be working with to get things done? And guess who it is that's very comfortable working with those very people to get things done? Our nominee. You might have heard people say that they have a suspicion that Senator McCain has actually embarked on a course here to attack conservatives, to just rid the Republican Party of them, and you may be right. You may have a point, if that is your opinion. All right, I've built you up enough. I've led you up. I have told you how great everybody said McCain's speech was, how breathlessly they awaited it. After we get back from this Obscene Profit Center time-out, you shall hear excerpts and our special treatment.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I just got an e-mail from somebody who was in attendance today at the Greater Columbus Metropolitan Club. They actually had the speech at the Columbus Convention Center. It was supposed to be held at the Veterans Memorial, but they moved it to the convention center, and this reporter -- if you will, a member at RushLimbaugh.com -- said that there were actually more Republicans in attendance than there were members of the Columbus Metropolitan Club. He says, "We were seated in seats reserved for Metropolitan Club members because there were many empty seats on that side." The only reason this is important is because we're going to focus on the applause here. I think this is a good indication of things, because it struck me as I was watching this speech, that the applause was tepid. I said, "Okay, Rush, be fair about this. Maybe the audience is far away. Maybe the microphones are not aimed at the audience," and then I said, "No, that can't be because at the beginning of this during the introductions and so forth, the applause was pretty loud." So I had Cookie put together a sample montage followed by applause, and I want to compare that with the applause during the introduction. So here is McCain being introduced to what appeared to me to be raucous applause.

MCCAIN: Thank you. (raucous applause) Thank you. Thank you very much, and thank you for that very warm welcome. (raucous applause)

RUSH: Okay, you hear at the beginning how loud that was. That was pretty loud. Sounded like a big crowd and they were going nuts and they were revved up, which is what I expected because I had heard this thing be revved up by info babes and Ken-doll anchors on some of the cable networks. But once he started speaking though, the applause was tepid, and that's why I became curious. "Okay, who is this bunch in there?" Columbus Metropolitan Club. If they're a bunch of moderates and independents and don't have any point of view, they should have been going bonkers in there. If they were Republicans, they should have been going bonkers in there. So here's a little montage of the opening remarks.

MCCAIN: Our southern border is now secure. (polite applause) Putting the choice of health care into the hands of American families, rather than exclusively with the government or employers. (polite applause) I often have in the past, work with anyone of either party to get things down for our country. (polite applause)

RUSH: Now, let's listen to cut one again, the introduction.

MCCAIN: Thank you. (raucous applause) Thank you. Thank you very much, and thank you for that very warm welcome. (raucous applause)

RUSH: Okay. Is there a difference? Now, one thing I have to point out to those of you listening on radio as opposed to the website. Your super heterodyne receivers are receiving a compressed signal. It's something AM does. On FM, you're not going to hear this as much, but AM just by nature of the beast, compresses the signal so that low volume sounds as loud as high volume. This was done back in the sixties during the days of AM radio when people drove convertibles around and had their Motown tunes playing and they wanted them to be able to be heard over the wind. Those songs back in the sixties when they were compressed and they were pumped, you could hear 'em suck that low volume up. I still listen to that music today because that's the way I got conditioned to it. We have our flamethrower in there, our little compressor that does this magically. So you might not be able to tell the difference is the point. Your radio station may be compressing this to the point that the low volume doesn't sound any different than the high volume or the loud volume. Believe me, we're not compressed here in the studio, so it's demonstrably that way. Let's listen again, start at cut one and then we'll play cut two and we'll do this, bam, bam, smack-dab in a row.

MCCAIN: Thank you. (raucous applause) Thank you. Thank you very much, and thank you for that very warm welcome. (raucous applause)

MCCAIN: Our southern border is now secure. (polite applause) Putting the choice of health care into the hands of American families, rather than exclusively with the government or employers. (polite applause) I often have in the past, worked with anyone of either party to get things down for our country. (polite applause)

RUSH: Okay, when I'm listening to this speech, I feel like I'm watching a golf tournament, and I'm watching the polite applause of the gallery when some goofball golfer taps in for bogey. So we went out and she got some applause from a golf tournament on TV of a goofball duffer tapping in for bogey.

GOLF CROWD: (polite applause)

RUSH: Okay, so let's listen to that again, and then go back to sound bite two, the montage, and see if I'm right, that the applause that McCain got today in Columbus was akin to that that a golfer could get at a golf tournament tapping in for bogey.

GOLF CROWD: (polite applause)

MCCAIN: Our southern border is now secure. (polite applause) Putting the choice of health care into the hands of American families, rather than exclusively with the government or employers. (polite applause) I often have in the past, work with anyone of either party to get things down for our country. (polite applause)

RUSH: And once again, the golfer tapping in for bogey.

GOLF CROWD: (polite applause)

RUSH: That's why I wanted to know who was in the audience here at the Columbus Metropolitan Club. Now, this is Senator McCain from the speech saying that he will end the "uncivil brawl" in Washington.

MCCAIN: For too long, now, Washington has been consumed by a hyper-partisanship that treats every serious challenge facing us as an opportunity to trade insults; disparage each other's motives; and fight about the next election. [snip] Americans are sick of it, and they have every right to be. They are sick of the politics of selfishness, stalemate and delay.

RUSH: Oh, give me a break.

MCCAIN: Their patience is at an end for politicians who value ambition over principle, and for partisanship that is less a contest of ideals as than an uncivil brawl over the spoils of power.

RUSH: Well, then why you running? Why do we even have elections? Let's just have the League of Women Voters decide. Why do we even have elections then? Why are we gonna contest anything? If the differences between the parties and the candidates and principles are mindless and worthless, let's just have some independent group run things. Let's have the ACLU name the president. What is this, people are sick of the politics of selfishness? I asked you people in this audience yesterday: The next time you hear a politician describe himself or the Drive-Bys describe a politician as a "maverick," independent, I want you to think selfish. (sigh) Elections are about big things. It doesn't mean other things won't come up; they have since the beginning our republic. The reason is because elections matter.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to go back to McCain's speech. I want to remind all of you: When you listen to some of this, like the sound bites earlier, we're looking at McCain speaking in 2013, and he's looking back and he's recounting the successes of his administration. He did everything in the past tense. Then at other points in the speech, he was explaining to people. Now, he knows that this is not just going to happen because he says so. But the Congress, the Democrats are going to have to roll over and play dead for any of this to happen. Here's one more sound bite. We have two more sound bites from the speech this morning in Columbus from Senator McCain.

MCCAIN: I will ask Democrats to serve in my administration. My administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability. I will hold weekly press conferences. I will regularly brief the American people on the progress our policies have made and the setbacks we have encountered. When we make errors, I will confess them readily, and explain what we intend to do to correct them. I will ask Congress to grant me the privilege of coming before both houses to take questions, and address criticism, much the same as the Prime Minister of Great Britain appears regularly before the House of Commons.

RUSH: For crying out loud, we don't have a parliamentary system here! There's something called separation of powers! As I said before, why even have an election if you're not going to contest them, if you're not going to get partisan, if you're not going to make them about big ideas? Elections are about big things. If we all agreed on how we wanted our government to operate, then we'd be living somewhere that doesn't exist, Senator! And if we didn't have partisanship but instead some kind of Third Way, then we wouldn't have democracy either because we wouldn't need democracy if we didn't have partisanship. There would be no reason. We'd all agree on everything. There would be no need for elections. This is utopian. This whole thing came off as simply utopian. Now, I'll tell you, he's going to be lauded for speaking this way. Some of the Drive-Bys are going to eat this up because he's campaigning as a Democrat. He's going to be lauded for speaking in this way, speaking in this tone, because our country's "moving in the wrong direction," to the left.

The threat here is massive, it's growing every day. Liberty is threatened, and more so every day. So the leftists want nothing more than a quiet discussion of matters of agreement which accept their premises about government, and it seems like the primary purpose of the Republican Party these days (sigh) is to accept the premise that the left puts forth and then sit down and have a reasonable discussion about it, and we try to tweak it a little bit and say, "We stopped it," or, "We put our conservative imprimatur on it." This is the campaign Senator McCain apparently wants to give the leftists. But some of us -- and I count myself proudly among you -- are not willing to go along so willingly. We aren't willing to self-censor the substance or the tone of our remarks, because we are not wrong; or to shut up just in order to get along so that we have partisanship. And for partisanship to, by the way, be misrepresented this way and for campaigns to be misrepresented the way they have been presented here is misleading and it's a disservice.

I'm sure many of you agree with me that there's a cause for alarm over the future of the country. You don't rouse your fellow citizens by whispering sweet nothings in their ears. We have a party, ladies and gentlemen... We have a political party that is trying to deny you of as much of your hard-earned income as they can, and you fight back. When one party fights to deny you your way of life, you fight back. When one party fights to weaken the military and lose a war, you fight back! Now, Senator McCain likes to compare himself to Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan. What makes them unique, even if you don't agree with everything they did or they said, is that they were virulent partisans. Roosevelt, Lincoln, Reagan were partisans. They understood the threats and who was threatening, and they confronted them, and they fought them. Lincoln didn't look for common ground with the slave owners, did he? Does somebody want to tell me where the common ground was with slave owners?

Where's the common ground with evil? Tell me where the common ground with evil is that Abraham is that he sought. Teddy Roosevelt didn't look for common ground with the Barbary pirates. Ronald Reagan didn't look for common ground with Gorbachev and the communists -- and they sure as hell didn't accept the premises and the conditions of debate or action demanded by the Democrat Party! They never did. Especially Reagan and Lincoln. The country, folks, is not strengthened when both parties share the belief that the federal government should hold dominion over individuals. How does that strengthen the country? Is that what we're supposed to agree to now in order to have "bipartisanship"? Furthermore, now that Senator McCain has secured the Republican nomination with the help of Democrats and independents, he is in effect running for the Democrat Party nomination.

He's running for Democrat votes. He is trying to out-Democrat Barack Obama. Isn't it interesting that Barack Obama claims to be the uniter, yet he doesn't give an inch on his ideological views? He doesn't give one inch. He hasn't practiced the art of compromise as a senator in Washington. He's not practicing the so-called great art of compromise. The politics of compromise is a crock anyway, as it's currently constituted because it's always our side ends up compromising and giving things up. But isn't it interesting? Obama is the uniter, Obama is the messiah, and he is as partisan as any Democrat in Washington -- and our nominee is running around saying it's time to end partisanship 'cause it's just about selfishness and pointless bickering and that we're all friends and that we all want to do what's right for our country. No, we don't! I think Senator McCain's going to have trouble defining who he is because he's trying to become all things to most people. He doesn't really have a consistent worldview.

He doesn't have a reasoned approach to governance, which is why he can reject national health care but embrace global warming -- and while embracing global warming, talk about ending earmarks and having tax cuts and getting rid of Big Government. "Yep, we gotta get rid of Big Government," then we're going to do the global warming plan, which is one of the fastest, surest ways to government growth to come down the pike in a while. I don't think he expects to have any coattails, either. He's not seeking to have any coattails. He's out there running on his own. The New York Times today says that McCain's guy is going to run against Bush, is going to run against Congress. Running as a maverick, running as an independent, not running as the head of a team. His entire strategy is make sure the quarterback gets protected. The rest of you guys can blow out your ACLs, but you gotta protect the quarterback. One more sound bite from Senator McCain's speech, and, let's see... Well, this is how he plans to end partisanship. Listen.

MCCAIN: I'm not interested in partisanship that serves no other purpose than to gain a temporary advantage over our opponents. This mindless, paralyzing rancor must...come...to...an...end. We belong to different parties, not different countries. We are rivals for the same power. But we are also compatriots. We are fellow Americans, and that shared distinction means more to me than any other association. I intend to prove myself worthy of the office; of our country; and of your respect. I won't judge myself by how many elections I've won. I won't spend one hour of my presidency worrying more about my re-election than keeping my promises to the American people. There is a time to campaign, and a time to govern. If I'm elected President, the era of the permanent campaign will end. The era of problem solving will begin.

RUSH: And there's an ad. The McCain campaign has... Look, folks, I'm tapped out here. This is tough enough as it is. If you want to add your own commentary to this, you can do that when we go to the phones. They put together an ad here. The geniuses here that do not want to attack Obama, this is what they have come up with. They accept the liberal premise, the country's going to hell in a handbasket and then tell the American people to wait for a number of years for McCain to fix it.

ANNOUNCER: The year 2013! The Middle East: stabilized. Nuclear terror threat: reduced. Border security: strengthened. Energy independence: advanced. Wasteful spending: reformed. Health care choice: delivered. Economic confidence: restored. The year? 2013. The president: John McCain.

MCCAIN: I'm John McCain, and I approved this message.

RUSH: So that's the ad that encompasses and is supposed to go forward today from McCain's speech. It's got everything. McCain's going to fix everything. This is the kind of speech that liberals give you. This is the kind of speech that totalitarian dictators tell you: "Everything is going to be fine with me. I'm going to fix it all." This is not how you get elected. You have an agenda, two or three things, maybe four, and you keep pounding those things. And then, when you get into office, you branch out if you have to, after you get some of these some of those things done. The only thing not in that commercial -- I think it's just an accident that they left it out, Mr. Snerdley. "Conservative movement: dead. Except Limbaugh's hanging on, and we're dealing with that. Just be patient."

END TRANSCRIPT

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