BEGIN PART ONE TRANSCRIPT
VAN SUSTEREN: Tonight, Rush Limbaugh goes On the Record in a rare face-to-face interview in his radio studio in Florida.
VAN SUSTEREN: So did you see the press conference?
RUSH: Well, of course I watched. You know, the first thing, before we get into the health care aspect of this, I have to tell you: We learned last night that he did, President Obama did listen to Reverend Wright all those 20 years.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you say that?
RUSH: The last question on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates. I mean, he was more animated. He came more alive. He was more passionate on that last question from Lynn Sweet in Chicago about the arrest -- and calling the cop stupid? I'm telling you, there's an undercurrent here. I think Obama is largely misunderstood by a lot of people. I think his associations in his young life and early adult life matter. The people that mentored him matter. And we're finding out this guy has a chip on his shoulder. He's angry at this country. He's not proud of it. He talked about health care last night and never once talked about the greatness of our health care. Once again, when it comes to something American, he criticizes it.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me step back. Let's go back to Gates a second. Gates is in his house and shows identification, says, "This is my house; this is my name." You don't have a...? You don't think that that was an unusual arrest?
RUSH: I'm not talking about the incident. Obama didn't know what happened.
VAN SUSTEREN: Okay.
RUSH: We don't know what happened. The facts, as we tape this, are unknown. Obama admitted he didn't know what happened, and yet the cops "acted stupidly." For the President of the United States... Look at what's going on. We are in a major offensive in Afghanistan. We have an attack, led by Obama, on our private sector. This is a purposeful attempt to destroy the private sector as it exists. We have numerous problems. Job numbers are out this morning, and they're up, unexpectedly up, even though we've "rescued" the economy. The president of the United States does not comment on local arrests and things like that. That question, I think, if it wasn't a setup... It has to be. It has to have been a setup. That whole press conference is about health care last night and that's the last question. That's when he came alive. He admits he doesn't know what was going on in there, called the cops stupid. The cop that he called stupid gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Reggie Lewis of the Boston Celtics when he was dying.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did the cop...? I mean, the police officer has sort of an extraordinary history. The Boston Celtics when Reggie Lewis was dying, gave him mouth-to-mouth and --
RUSH: And racial profiling. You know, race... Let's face it. President Obama is black, and I think he's got a chip on his shoulder. I think there are elements of this country he doesn't like and he never has liked and he's using the power of the presidency to remake the country. Look, Greta, he goes around the country and apologizes for this country everywhere he goes. He never once refers to, thinks about, talks about American exceptionalism. We've got the greatest health care system in the world. Nobody leaves this country for health coverage. Everybody in the rest of the world comes here. He's lied through his teeth I don't know how many times during that press conference last night. He either is uninformed on the details and doesn't care about them and just has this ideological theory he believes in that he's going to try to get thing passed, because it really isn't about health care. But one thing, if I could tell people -- you're giving me an opportunity to tell them -- on your network: this is not about health care. It's not about health insurance. By the way, did you notice the change in terms last night to "health care insurance"?
VAN SUSTEREN: What does that mean?
RUSH: Well, everybody thinks that we need better health care. We've got the best health care in the world. His program is health insurance. But you realize, Greta... Now, you're a lawyer. You know there is no way we can "insure" our health. We can't insure our health. What health insurance is is you taking the risk and paying a premium of what you think it's worth to guard against something catastrophic.
VAN SUSTEREN: It's gambling!
RUSH: Well --
VAN SUSTEREN: A little bit. Insurance is gambling.
RUSH: In a way, but we've got great health care here. We don't need to redo this. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with this. He's running it down. We've got health care that is better than anywhere else in the world. My point is, he doesn't talk about this. When it comes to his jobs plan, the stimulus plan, he lied through his teeth. We're bringing the deficit down? We're creating jobs? We're saving the economy? This is very difficult for me to say because it's drastic, but he's doing the exact opposite. President Obama and the Democrats are destroying the US economy. They are purposely doing it, I believe. I think the real reason he wants health care is because, when he gets it, that is the single greatest power the government will have to regulate every aspect of our lives -- and that's what Obama is; and that's what the Democrats, the liberal wing of the Democrat Party today is: total control.
These people want as little liberty and freedom for the American people as possible, and health care ensures it. They can deny people coverage based on their lifestyles. They can dictate what you can eat, what you don't eat, if you're going to get this precious health insurance. This is a dastardly thing here that's being done. He says things during the course of interviews that should just scare people to death. During that ABC infomercial, "Ask the president a question on health care," Greta, I could not believe it. An American citizen stood up, a woman, and essentially asked Obama, "Look, my 100-year-old grandmother needed a pacemaker, and the first specialist said, 'No, she's a hundred years old. I can't do anything more for her.' We went to another specialist and he said, 'Yeah, this woman's got a lot of spunk. I'll put the pacemaker in.'" She's now 105, living fine.
This woman asked the president of the United States, "If, during your health care days, your health care plan, are you going to take into account somebody's spirit and love of life?" And Obama simply said well, you know, we're going to get to a point here where hundred years old, they'll be better off taking a pain bill. A citizen of the United States asking the president, "Are you going to not kill my mother?" I could understand Fidel Castro being asked that question, or Kim Il-sung or Kim Jong-il or some of the other dictators, but I can't believe that these kinds of questions are being asked of the President of the United States, because it's not his decision who lives and dies in this country. But he wants it to be. And he wants it to be the prerogative of his party to determine who gets born and who doesn't, and who has end-of-life problems that are dealt with and not.
This is hideous. This isn't about health care. It's about control; it's about remaking the country, the economy. Proof of my point here that the joblessness is on purpose: If your number-one signature issue is health care -- and his is -- and if, which is true, health insurance is not portable when you lose your job; what's the best thing you can do for yourself? Create unemployment. The more people unemployed, the more people losing their health insurance, the more people scared to death, the more people clamoring for it. "Please save my health insurance. Please give me health insurance. I -- I -- I -- I'm scared to death!" Because they've been drummed into the fact that there's something in this country killing them every day, from coffee to nicotine to whatever it is. So all of this destruction is taking place and the redistribution of wealth. He wants to return the nation's wealth to its "rightful owners."
He thinks health care, last night he said: Well, you are going to get gold-plated coverage; you're gonna have the best coverage in the world, and millionaires gonna pay for it. A couple millionaires gonna pay for it. It's totally untrue. It's going to cost everybody untold amounts of money. Everybody's not going to be covered for everything that happens to them. But that's what people think he's offering, and he's not. You know, again, you're a lawyer. We talk about rights, and they're saying, "Health care is a right." If government can take it away from you, Greta, it isn't a right -- and government can take away your health care if they decide you're too old and too sick; that investing whatever the expense would be to prolong your life is not worth it, you don't get the coverage. That's where we're headed. It's the only way he can make any pretense of saving money. So I think this is a bad guy. I think --
VAN SUSTEREN: A bad guy, or different ideology than you?
RUSH: Well, this is the most radical liberal that has ever assumed this degree of power in the country, in our history. I've never seen anything like this. I mean, we are destroying the economy. He's not fixing it. He's not rescuing it. The numbers tell the tale. The wealth that has been lost, when you look at the jobs that have been lost... Let's look at it another way to try to convince you. Jobs have been lost. That means what also has been lost? Revenue. Tax revenue to the Treasury. Now, we're running, with his own plans, $10 trillion of deficits over the next 10, maybe 12 years. There's no money coming in. Tax receipts are way down. The states are experiencing the same thing because people are out of work. If they're out of work, they're not paying taxes. They're not even concerned! The purpose of taxes is to raise revenue to run the government responsibly. That's not his purpose. His purpose with the tax code is to reorient society, punish achievers. We are printing money. We are printing money that people not even born yet haven't even earned. That's how in debt we are. This is not sustainable. We cannot go on this way. And I'll go even further. I'll give you your headline and your promo line for the show tonight.
VAN SUSTEREN: Okay.
RUSH: I maintain to you that nobody who is economically literate -- economically experienced and understanding -- would dare do what we are doing if their objective was growth and jobs. The world has proved it historically over and over. This country, we have tried this on a limited range before. It doesn't work. We know how to stimulate growth and jobs. You incentivize people in the private sector. How do you do that? You reduce the financial burdens. You cut their taxes. You get out of their way in forms of regulation. We need people going back to work. We need people working. We need the country humming. We need the economy coming back. That's not happening. And they're talking about a second stimulus? And now their excuse is, "Well, we didn't intend it to work this year. It was always gonna work next year." And there's nothing in the stimulus bill anyway that's about job creation. This is all about helping state governments with their budgets, transferring wealth. There's no job creation in it. It's six months in; it isn't working. Anybody can see it isn't working. There is an easy fix to this. It's the exact opposite of what Obama is doing, and that's why it's my contention that this has to be being done purposefully.
VAN SUSTEREN: If you and I were talking one year from now based on the direction of the programs that the president is creating --
VAN SUSTEREN: -- the stimulus, to health care -- what would we be talking about? What would be the state of the economy?
RUSH: Well, I can't predict this. You know, the American economy is a great thing. It's big. Nobody, nobody can wave a magic wand or turn a couple knobs and manipulate a bunch of levers and cause it to magically change direction. It's just too big and too complex. That's another reason why he can't really end up controlling health care; it's too complex. Everything about this economy in this country is complex, and it's big. And the American people are very resourceful. At some point people are going to say, "I'm not happy sitting here being unemployed, and I'm tired of waiting for whatever Obama said he was going to do for me." Entrepreneurs will get out there and they'll start getting work. The economy may come back, or it may start upticking. The Obama people, they're predicting the future, Greta, and they're saying it's going to be a "jobless recovery."
Now, how inspiring is that? "Yeah, the recovery is jobless." I think Obama even referenced it last night. "Yeah, the economy is going to come back, but the jobs will be a lagging factor." Well, that's all that matters! If the economy is coming back and there aren't any jobs with it, for whom is it coming back? So a year from now, with the resourcefulness of the American people, we could be ticking back up. The economic direction could be ticking back up -- and I guarantee you, when that happens, Obama and his guys are going to take credit for it. "The stimulus worked," blah, blah, blah, which will not be the case. That gets to the political question. The Republicans have got to contrast themselves. This is a perfect opportunity for them to contrast themselves against who this guy is and what his policies are, and lay the groundwork now for the elections in 2010 and what to run on.
It's not complicated. Just do the opposite of this. Talk about American exceptionalism, American greatness, the abilities of the American people to build the greatest country in the history of civilization. It's being torn down now by this guy who has a deep resentment for it. You can hear it when he talks about it overseas and in this country, and it angers me. I love this country. I am in awe. As human beings, we're no different than the human beings anywhere else in the world -- and there have been families, clubs, countries thousands of years on this planet longer than we have. We're barely 250 years old, and we have outdone everybody in almost everything that raises a standard of living in the history of the world. It's not because our DNA is different; it's not 'cause we're special human beings.
It's because of our freedom. It's because of the founding documents and rights that we have, where they come from. We are having that freedom interrupted. We are having attacks on it, and the greatness of this country and its people are under assault right now. It just angers me, 'cause this is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing to come out of this recession: Printing money, $12 trillion in debt. And then last night, he talks about how he's reducing deficits? It was a big disconnect. I watched this thing with my mouth open in awe. And the press! This is the sorriest time I think in my lifetime, in their career. You know, Jim DeMint said that health care is Obama's Waterloo. The press has met their Waterloo, and it's Obama. They have sacrificed whatever integrity, character, professionalism, ethics that they've had. It's all gone. Their total reason, most of them, for existence, is propping this guy up.
They're not reporting the details of his plans. They're not reporting his policies. They're looking at it as a horse race: "Does Obama win? Does Obama lose?" They're running countdown clocks on some of the networks for the press conference last night! "Countdown clock! Eight hours, 25 minutes, 13 seconds 'til Obama's press conference!" These people sit around with the tingles up their legs all day. They marvel at how Obama is so smooth and elegant. They are not informing anybody about the details of his policies. And yet 53%, over 50% in most polls now oppose this health care plan. So who's telling the people? Who's telling the people what's in it? Alternative media: Your network, talk radio, the conservative blog network. The mainstream media has cashed in its chips. They have become nothing more than stenographers for Rahm Emanuel, in large part, and it's just breathtaking to see. They willingly sacrifice every characteristic that makes quality journalism.
VAN SUSTEREN: What would you have asked the president last night if you were in the press corps?
RUSH: Well, about health care? That was a big thing. "Mr. President, the CBO says that a minimum $240 billion annual deficit with your health care plan. You're saying you're going to reduce deficits. What do you say about the CBO numbers?" I woulda then said, "The Heritage Foundation commissioned an independent body, Lewin Group, to run out and do an analysis of the House plan, and they have found that 83 million Americans would lose their private health insurance and be forced on to the public option. You say people will be able to keep their private insurance, yet the House plan says that..." He said last night... he unwittingly did this, or did it on purpose. He attacked the profit of insurance companies. "They're making too much. Look at the profits they're making. I'm going to go after those profits," blah, blah, blah, "and they're not going to give those profits up easily."
Just like Big Oil is not going to "give their profits up easily," he said during the campaign. If you take the profit out of any private sector business that has to compete with the government, guess what? Private sector doesn't exist. The government doesn't have to worry about a profit. So if he's going to attack profit in the insurance agencies and companies, they're gone. Businesses already want to off-load a lot of their health care plans to this public option. "So this group, Mr. President, 83 million will lose their private health insurance. You say nobody will. What's the disparity?" I would have also asked for a follow-up after he accused doctors of doing unnecessary surgeries and organ removal to line their pockets. I think that comment, unremarked on by most so far, is key. Now, it may have been during the day today, but he's asked a question, and he lays it at pediatricians.
"Well, we gotta do it smarter. We do it more efficient. You take your kid in for a sore throat, repeated sore throat, and the doctor says, 'Where's the reimbursement fee schedule? Oh, I get this for a tonsillectomy. So I take the tonsils out, even if they don't need to come out.'" Well, for one thing, a pediatrician doesn't take the tonsils out. A pediatrician recommends a surgeon. Pediatricians are not surgeons, for the most part. So he'd have to get a kickback from the surgeon. But just to accuse doctors of doing unnecessary things for profit, for fee reimbursement? Doctors do do a lot of unnecessary things, but it's because of malpractice suits. They do all these unnecessary tests because there are lawyers out there waiting to jump on any of them who misdiagnose or don't diagnose something. So that's why there are all these things. You really want to cut costs in health care? Tort reform. Put limits on damages in malpractice cases.
VAN SUSTEREN: There are limits.
RUSH: Well, there aren't enough.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right.
RUSH: You know what? I could throw a figure out. I could say, "We are wasting a trillion dollars a year in health care costs just on malpractice and not doing tort reform," and you might say, "Well, where did you get that number?" I don't know; I made it up, just like Obama made his up last night.
VAN SUSTEREN: I was going to ask you where you got that number.
RUSH: I made it up! A trillion seems to be the number that works these days. Back in the campaign it was 250,000. Anything above that, you're going to get soaked; and anything below it you're not going to get soaked. So I'll throw the numbers out like he does. "We spend $6,000 more per citizen in this country than other advanced countries, and we gotta reduce that." Does he not understand this is the best health care system in the world? The best cost things. The American people, because of our exceptionalism, expect the best. I'm not saying there aren't efficiencies and savings to be made here, but I'm getting sick and tired of being compared... Nobody leaves this country for health care. Nobody takes their kids anywhere. They don't take them to Cuba. They don't take them to Great Britain or Canada. Everybody in the world comes here for their health care. There's nothing wrong here, structurally, with the care that we get. This is an insurance problem, catastrophic problem, basically. This is not the way to fix health care. This is not the way to reform it.
VAN SUSTEREN: How would you fix it?
RUSH: Well, long-term? Easy. The answer is easy. Health care, other than catastrophic -- accident, severe illness -- has gotta be priced the same way a hotel room is or a car is. You want to stay at the Ritz, you pay for it. You want to stay at a Motel 6, you pay for it. We don't have insurance for hotels. We don't have insurance for airplane travel. We have it for health care because the government's been paying it, or insurance companies been paying it for 50 years. People have now assumed it's their right to have it because they're Americans. Now, that would take a while, though. Health savings accounts could get the ball rolling on that. But a first thing, catastrophic insurance is what the government ought to provide or what people should have. The ordinary, everyday doctor visits, checkups and so forth? Pay for it yourself or go buy your own policy that you can afford that covers what you want covered if you don't want to pay for it yourself, and then have the catastrophic stuff that everybody is worried about wiping them out, you would save so much money.
VAN SUSTEREN: Continuing with Rush Limbaugh, and one of the topics on everyone's mind? Health care. And believe it or not, Rush has a lot to say. Suppose the woman doesn't go for annual visits and has a lump in her breast.
VAN SUSTEREN: That's not... I mean, that would not be a catastrophic visit. It turns into a catastrophic problem when you don't do the annual visits. What about that situation?
RUSH: What are you...? What do you want to do with that situation? I don't understand.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm just -- I'm posing the problem. I don't know.
RUSH: I think that the premise of the question is where we're going wrong here.
VAN SUSTEREN: Okay.
RUSH: Because the premise of your question relies on this woman having been irresponsible. She had a lump. She didn't get it checked out. Or she didn't have a lump, she didn't get it checked out. She didn't do her regular checkups. And all of a sudden one day, they discover a lump, and the treatment is expensive. What do we do about this? Well, what Obama's going to do, say, "You didn't get checkups? You didn't do this? Well, we're going to have to limit our coverage. You didn't live right. You didn't do what you're supposed to do. What did you do that caused the lump? We have put out guidelines on what you can do to avoid breast cancer. Did you do those?" That's what it's going to come to.
VAN SUSTEREN: But there are two issues. There's the one woman who has the lump and is irresponsible, may even have health insurance.
RUSH: I'm not saying she's been irresponsible. We have freedom. If she doesn't want to go to the doctor, she doesn't have to go to the doctor. But why should everybody else have to pay for her?
VAN SUSTEREN: I understand that. But there are some people who will make an election not to go to a doctor.
VAN SUSTEREN: There are some people who simply cannot afford to go to the doctor, and it becomes catastrophic, and then it is enormously expensive for whoever.
RUSH: I think there is a myth in this country about all the people who don't get medical treatment. I think that's part of the sales pitch here. I've talked to a number of doctors, surgeons, ER, intensive care, patient comes in, they get treated, whether they can pay or not, and they're sent a bill if they don't have insurance. And they make arrangements with the hospital to pay it off over time, and if they don't, then the car repossessors head out to take the car, what have you. People get treated in this country. If you walk into the emergency room, by law you have to get treated. People get health care in this country whether they have insurance or not. We have the best health care system in the world. We don't need to start making giant fixes based on assumptions that there's a whole bunch of people getting sick and not being treated. It's not the case.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, in your view, we don't need to fix -- there's nothing to be fixed in the health care system from a government standpoint?
RUSH: Well, we don't need an overhaul, and we certainly don't need Obama's "reforms." We don't need the government running health care. We don't need the government telling doctors what specialty they're going to go into. We don't. How are you going to insure 47 million people and cover them with no new doctors? And he's putting squeezes on doctors. He's going to squeeze doctor fees and so forth. Obama's plan is not about health care. It is about control. Obama's plan is about reorienting the American society and the American private sector as the single one thing that government could then have control over every aspect of our lives and our behavior. So I gave you the answer. Deal with catastrophic. That's what scares everybody. Look, if getting health care coverage for people, Greta, was so important, I ran some numbers. Twelve million people this country -- that's the number that I found -- are literally too poor to have insurance at all. They're unemployed and so forth. For $29 billion, you could cover those 12 million people for a year. We just spent $700 or $800 billion dollars in a stimulus. Now, if health care is so important and these people without health insurance, without coverage are so important, why not $29 or $30 billion in the stimulus money to insure 'em? Why a trillion dollars to take everybody out of their current plans, enroll them in a public option that no government official will be part of --
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that may be more cost effective if you insure the 47 million, if we did that.
RUSH: But not all those 47 million are citizens. Some of them are illegal aliens.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, whatever. I picked the big number. I picked the umbrella number.
RUSH: Okay, fine, do that. But 12 million people who don't have insurance could today have it if just $30 billion in stimulus money had been spent on it. This is not about insuring people, Greta. I don't know this sounds radical itself. I'll tell you another truth Obama said last night, "I don't have to worry about health care. I have the best health care program. It's not about me. It's not about me." It's all about him. Every aspect of his administration is about him. The press covered it as though it's about him. He talks about all the great plans that the elected officials have -- members of Congress, the Senate, himself -- and it's true. They do. They have a smorgasbord of health care plans they can choose from, all paid for by the taxpayers. You know not one of them is government-run? Every health care plan a senator chooses or a congressman chooses is run by a private sector insurance company. Government does not run their health care. And they're not going to opt out of that and join us in the public option. It isn't going to be any good. Here's one for you. I read this on the Internet yesterday at the AmericanThinker.com. Under Obama's plan, would Ted Kennedy have gotten the treatment for his brain tumor that he was able to get because of his own private insurance and his private wealth?
VAN SUSTEREN: Meaning -- meaning he would not under a government plan?
RUSH: Obviously not. Obama has said as much in the ABC special. Well, if it cost too much, and they're end of life, give them a pill. Give them a pain pill. Loop 'em out so they don't know what's happening, they don't feel the pain of their disease. It makes perfect sense. If the government is going to decide who gets health care and who doesn't, there's going to be criteria. Why invest all the money to treat somebody, 76 to 80 or older, with a terminal disease? The government's going to say, it's not worth our investment to treat you. As a former Democrat governor of Colorado said, Richard Lamm, we've arrived here. You old people have a duty to die and get out of the way. And the vast majority of health care money expenses are spent by the elderly. Makes sense. End of life, or they get close to it, monitoring their health more closely. Young people think they're immortal.
They're not worried about dying; they're worried about a severe traffic accident or some other catastrophe befalling them. They're not worrying about terminal diseases. So they don't go to the doctor as much. They don't spend as much time in the doctor's office as elderly people do. So I said earlier, they say health care is a right. But anything the government can take away from you is not a right. And if they could deny you health coverage -- which they're going to do, you have to; everybody's not going to be covered -- then it can't possibly be a right. And what was wrong with this press conference last night was that it made it sound like everybody's going to get whatever health care they want, just maybe have to be done a little bit more efficiently with fewer tests, maybe fewer tonsils taken out so the surgeons don't get rich, but everybody's going to get covered, it's going to be gold-plated, and a couple millionaires are going to pay for it. And it's just the exact opposite, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of the big -- the big push to get it done now before the recess instead of, you know...?
RUSH: So people don't find out what's in it, and it's a little late for that now because the polls are already in a majority position showing opposition to this plan. These members of Congress and members of the administration are going out and doing town meetings. Their constituents, their voters know more about what's in the plan than they do.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well they don't read it.
RUSH: They're being laughed at. Russ Carnahan in St. Louis was laughed at by his audience. Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services secretary, went down to Reserve, Louisiana, and the first question she got, "You are not socializing my country." And she was taken aback. She had no clue. Obama's god. All of his cabinet and czar people are god junior. They live in the bubble of DC thinking everybody is just loving Obama and has this tremendous respect, and whatever he says -- the magic's not working anymore. He can't pull it off. The power of his personality cannot overcome the truth that he has not done one thing for anybody. You go out and ask the unemployed, what's Obama done for you? How's that hope and change working for you? What's he done for you? And then ask them, what's he done to you? He made it easier for you to get a job? Or has he made it harder for you to get a job? And obviously he's made it harder. And there's another reason why he doesn't want... I can't prove this, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if today, tomorrow, and through the August 7th break Rahm Emanuel and Obama bring up some of these Democrats, these Blue Dogs and say, "You have seen what's happened to some of these congressmen at town meetings. If you don't get this done, you go home in August and you do your town meetings and meet with constituents, they are going to rip you to shreds over this -- and there's going to be footage of it, and it's going to be on TV, it's going to be on radio, and you're going to be a laughingstock."
VAN SUSTEREN: We know you want more of Rush. Tomorrow night you're going to get it. In Part 2, Rush goes On the Record about soon-to-be ex-Governor Sarah Palin and her sudden resignation. That and more tomorrow night.
END PART ONE TRANSCRIPT