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Why Obama Loves Bob Michel

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is great. If you want to know how Obama defines bipartisanship, here it is.

OBAMA: I want to thank, uh, Peoria's own Ray LaHood, who is doing outstanding work as my transportation secretary. You know, Ray comes from a long line of, uh, Republicans I love.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

OBAMA: Uh, starting with, uh, Bob Michel, and, uhh, y-y-y-you know, I -- I -- I -- I think there's a common sense, Midwestern, can-do, bipartisan attitude that Ray represents, and I am so pleased that he's in my cabinet.

RUSH: Okay. I think Obama, when he said he loved Bob Michel, that he got all confused and his speech started -- okay, I've lost my place, God, I shouldn't have said that, oh, God, so let's go back to LaHood. Bob Michel -- I gotta take a break, but Bob Michel --

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

This is hilarious. He's out in Peoria, Illinois, yesterday, appearance at Caterpillar. You know the story. The Caterpillar CEO contradicted everything Obama said about the CEO hiring people back if the stimulus bill passes. The Caterpillar headquarters is in Peoria, and quite a few memorable Republicans have come from Peoria. Ray LaHood who is a former member of Congress, now is in Obama's cabinet as the transportation secretary, and Bob Michel, the former Republican leader in the House back when they had 120 seats, 130 seats, something like that, out of 435. And, you know, I was watching yesterday in the Capitol rotunda the ceremony honoring Abraham Lincoln at which, by the way, his history was once again besmirched and lied about, but as the camera panned those in the audience, I saw Bob Michel sitting there. I said, "What is Bob Michel doing there?" Bob Michel hasn't been in Congress I don't know how many years, what the hell is Bob Michel doing there? Now, he may still live there doing lobby work, I don't know. But what's he doing there? What possible tie does Bob Michel have to Obama? And then it hit me. No wonder Bob Michel is there because I betcha he's going to be on Air Force One with Obama as he flew out to Peoria to do the dog and pony show at Caterpillar. This is what Obama said, and as soon as he says here he loves Bob Michel you can hear him sort of lose his place here, "Gee, why did I just say that?" And then he goes back to LaHood and tries to gracefully get out of this. Listen.

OBAMA: I want to thank Peoria's own Ray LaHood, who is doing outstanding work as my transportation secretary. Ray comes from a long line of Republicans I love, starting with Bob Michel, and -- and --

RUSH: Uh-oh.

OBAMA: -- you know, they're just -- I think there's a common sense --

RUSH: Uh-oh.

OBAMA: -- Midwestern can-do --

RUSH: Uh-oh.

OBAMA: -- bipartisan attitude that --

RUSH: Uh-oh.

OBAMA: -- Ray represents --

RUSH: What about Bob?

OBAMA: -- and I am so pleased that he's in my cabinet.

RUSH: What about Bob? What about Bob? Oh, come on, Bob, stand up, let 'em see you, Bob! (laughing) Some of you may be wondering why I'm laughing. I'm going to tell you why I'm laughing. Here's a little passage from TIME Magazine on June 24th of 2001, about eight years ago. "When Newt Gingrich arrived in the House in 1979, he could see that the Republicans were a sorry lot, sorely in need of inspiration if they were ever to find their way out of the wilderness. The old minority leader, the sweetly irrelevant Bob Michel of Illinois would greet all the freshly elected Republican members with the revelation, 'Every day I wake up, I look in the mirror, and I say to myself, "Today you're going to be a loser." And after you're here awhile [freshmen], you'll start to feel the same way. But don't let it bother you. You'll get used to it.'" No wonder Obama loves the guy! Gingrich, of course, "refused to get used to it, and instead spent ten years methodically recruiting and training his own private army," and eventually brought the House under Republican control for the first time in 40 years.

Now, for those of you new to the program and don't know Bob Michel, let me give you an idea how it worked when Bob Michel was the Republican leader in the House. One hundred twenty, 130 seats, sometimes get up as high as 150, out of 435. They had no prayer and the Democrats would say, "Hey, Bob, you know what, we're going to have some committee hearings today, we're not going to let you guys in, you don't need to be here." And Bob would say, "That's cool, that's cool, we'll just go out and play golf," and the Democrats would set up a golf game at congressional and Bob would take his Republican Republicans out there, maybe some lobbyists and go play golf. He was the most compliant loser on the face of the earth. He knew that there was no way he was ever gonna win anything, so he never even tried. He just accepted the role of minority, and they loved it, but Democrats loved this guy, he never opposed them, he never said a word. By the way, when we hear about civility in politics, that's what the Democrats mean. We've lost the civility, we've lost the days of good old Bob Michel who'd go to dinner with us, and he'd never demand to know what we were going to do in legislation. Maybe put up some token fights now and then just to make an appearance, but he knew he couldn't stop anything, and there weren't any arguments, and he didn't try to come up with any tricks in the Ways and Means Committee when tax law was being rewritten and hashed out, and those were the days of civility when the Republican leader -- (laughing) yes. Yes.

Quintessential civility and bipartisanship, where the Republican leader greets the arriving freshmen, "Look, I get up every day, and I look in the mirror and I say to myself, 'You're going to be a loser today,' and it's going to happen to you, but don't worry, you'll get used to it, it's not that bad." The real question is how many freshmen were there every year, because what was the point of running? What was the point of winning when you were going to be part of a constantly losing minority, yet there were Republicans that did run. So Obama puts Bob Michel on the plane from Washington to Peoria, singles him out here as a Republican he loves. That's right. Civility, bipartisanship, eager loser, willing, eager, happy loser. Now, nobody spoke of Bob Michel this way until we came along in 1988. Not in the media. I mean you had some Republicans back in 1988 in the House and on through '92, '93, starting to get frustrated. But I remember once the show started and I started poking fun here at Congressman Michel, I remember he was finally asked about it at a couple places in Peoria, and he got mad, he thought he was doing the best he could. He thought he was doing the best with what he had to work with. Telling the incoming recruits, "You're going to feel just like I do every day, you're gonna feel like you're going to be a loser every day, but you'll get used to it. It's not that bad." No wonder the Democrats have been PO'd ever since 1994, and they are never, ever going to let that happen again and that's what this stimulus, Porkulus package is all about.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to go back and play two sound bites. First, number 12, I want to play it over again, because there's another funny aspect to this.

OBAMA: I want to thank, uh, Peoria's own Ray LaHood, who is doing outstanding work as my transportation secretary. You know, Ray comes from a long line of, uh, Republicans I love.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

OBAMA: Uh, starting with, uh, Bob Michel, and, uhh, y-y-y-you know, I -- I -- I -- I think there's a common sense --

RUSH: All right, that's it.

OBAMA: -- Midwestern, can-do --

RUSH: That's it. That's it.

OBAMA: -- bipartisan attitude --

RUSH: That's it!

OBAMA: -- that Ray represents, and I am so pleased that he's in my cabinet.

RUSH: Ray LaHood is doing outstanding work. He comes from a long line of Republicans I love, starting with Bob Michel, and, you know... Well, I can't think of any other Republicans I love so let's go back to Ray LaHood. What a great job he's doing in my cabinet! (laughing) He couldn't think of any other Republicans he loves.

END TRANSCRIPT

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