RUSH: The President's press conference today, a couple of pretty good answers here. First one, a reporter asked the president why he isn't telling individuals how to conserve energy. This is audio sound bite 15. The question came from Mark Smith at AP Radio. He said, "Why have you not, sir, called on Americans to drive less and turn down the thermostat?"
THE PRESIDENT: They're smart enough to figure out whether they're going to drive less or not. The consumer is plenty bright, Mark. The marketplace works. People can figure out whether they need to drive more or less. They can balance their own checkbooks. I think people ought to conserve and be wise about how they use gasoline and energy, absolutely. But my point to you, Mark, is that, you know, it's a little presumptuous on my part to dictate to consumers how they live their lives. The American people are plenty capable and plenty smart people and they'll make adjustments to their own pocketbooks. That's why I was so much in favor of letting them keep more of their own money, you know? It's a philosophical difference: Should the government spend their money or should they spend their own money? And I've got faith in the American people.
RUSH: What a great, great answer. So here you have this typical AP reporter straight out of AP storyline narrative school (snarky reporter impression), "How come you're not telling people to conserve? Those people are stupid, Mr. President. How come you're not telling them to turn down the thermostats and use less gasoline?" This is an attitude that every liberal has, that you need to be saved from yourself because you can't do it. You're incompetent. You can't overcome the obstacles life places in your way. You can't even live responsibly. You gotta have somebody from the benevolent government walking all over your life, telling you where to put your thermostat, how much to drive, where you can drive, how fast you can drive, where you can go or you can't go, that you ought to be in mass transit, or some sort of thing like that. You just don't have the intelligence. The president comes out with this answer: They're plenty smart on their own.
That answer, by the way, a classic difference, ladies and gentlemen, in how liberals and conservatives look at people: central planning versus individuals making choices in free markets. He later explained why he thinks oil companies are investing capital to find new oil. (laughs) He had to explain the question! The question is stupid. Somebody asked him why he thinks oil companies are investing capital to find new oil. Of course the underlying tone is, "Why aren't they investing in alternative energies like the magic elixir that will get a hundred thousand miles to the gallon that we know they've got in the drawer somewhere and just won't make? Why, Mr. President, aren't you telling Big Oil to get honest?" But it's unbelievable that either of these questions were asked, but there's the president calmly explaining every step of the process: How to find and bring oil to the market. A lot of money, a lot of capital is tied up in the process. There's no other choice but to get the oil. It was really simple stuff.
It was a great opportunity, and the president himself capitalized on this. The media in this press conference today looked like a bunch of second graders. In fact, he made the media in this press conference look like Obama. And he won the exchange. They were that uninformed, that arrogant at the same time, and he gave straightforward, smart answers, like every leader should. You know, I've been on this kick for the past week or so that the Republican Party is sitting on a gold mine here with the gasoline price where it is, oil price where it is, and Democrats being the party that is standing in the way of doing anything about it. Nancy Pelosi yesterday was calling the president's oil drilling design "a hoax." I mean, the Democrats are sitting ducks if the Republican Party would just get up to speed on this. The people don't care about the war in Iraq; it's gasoline prices right now and everything flows from that: food, travel, leisure time dollars, to and from work, all of that. So the president's answers today just illustrate a tremendous opportunity the Republicans have to crush liberalism if they really chose to. This is not the Democrats' year unless the Republicans hand it to them.
RUSH: I have two sound bites from President Bush and his press conference today that I want to play for you, giving a lesson to the Drive-By Media and the press corps acting today like a bunch of second graders. An unidentified reporter said, "Mr. President, do you think the oil companies are investing capital to find more reserves with the price at $140 a barrel?" Do you think that they're investing capital to find more reserves? That's their business! What a question. At 140 bucks, you bet they are. Here's the president's answer.
THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely. Take an offshore exploration company. First of all costs a lot of money to buy the lease. They tie up capital. Secondly, it takes a lot of money to, you know, do the geophysics to determine what the structure may or may not look like. That ties up capital. Then they put the rig out there. Now, first of all, in a federal offshore lease if you're not exploring during a set period of time you lose your bonus. You lose the amount of money that you paid to get the lease in the first place. And once you explore, do your first exploratory, if you happen to find oil or gas you'll find yourself in a position where a lot of capital is tied up, and it becomes -- and your interests, your economic interests will continue to explore so as to reduce the capital costs of the project on a per barrel basis. So I think they're exploring.
RUSH: He couldn't believe the question. Are they exploring? That would be like a reporter saying, "Mr. President, Mr. President, with the price of gasoline what it is, is General Motors still making automobiles?" Next question... There wasn't another question. The president just added this to it.
THE PRESIDENT: The people say, "What about the speculators?" Now, I think you can't help but notice there's some volatility in price in the marketplace, which obviously there's some people buying and selling on a daily basis. On the other hand, the fundamentals are what's really driving the long-term price of oil, and that is: demand for oil has increased, and supply has not kept up with it. And so part of our strategy in our country has gotta be to say, "Okay, here's some suspected reserved," and that we ought to go after them, in a environmentally friendly way.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, of course go after them in an environmentally friendly way. I liked what the Air Force does, what the Navy does. Just dump the gas! (laughing) By the way, Colonel Hasara sent me another note last night about one of the funniest events that happened during the Balkans. Kosovo or Balkans war or whatever. I've gotta find that. I'm not even going to try to paraphrase this, but the bottom line is that I think it was some country we had sold a bunch of F/A-18 Hornets to, and one of these flight crews on a bomb run, the bomb wouldn't drop off. It got hung. This happens now and then, and when the bomb hangs, you can't land with the bomb on the plane so you gotta drop it somewhere. So they try to find a target or they try to find somewhere where there's nobody around.
This crew decided they were going to fly out to the Adriatic Sea and drop it there. Well, everybody was listening. There were 17 coalition Navy ships out there in the Adriatic Sea. There were 17 navies out there, ships from 17 different countries that were out there listening to the frequency, and they all said, "No, you're not drooping that bomb in the water. We're down here!" So they directed the crew to a Navy frigate that was removed. They said, "Look it, don't make the frigate your target, but drop it around there somewhere." So they did and they jiggled it off and the bomb went down -- and it blew up, and the frigate guys got on the horn and they started thanking the Hornet crew because gobs and gobs of dead fish had floated up to the surface and they had dinner for a week because of that bomb.