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Flashback: Rush on NBC News Election Night Coverage in 2002

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to take you back to the archives. We talked about the last time I participated in election night analysis on television. It was on NBC in 2002, that's eight years ago. Many of you in this audience may not have been listening then. Many of you may not have watched NBC's election night coverage. It was the midterms. We have a couple of sound bites. This is with Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert. The first sound bite, Tom Brokaw says, "We're joined now by a powerful voice in American politics, the conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh. Earlier, John McCain called this a Republican breeze, as we're seeing it so far. Do you think that's a fair characterization, Mr. Limbaugh?"

RUSH ARCHIVE: Well, I'll tell you what's amazing about this. I was looking at the numbers. You have 34 seats up. The Republicans had to maintain 20, win 20 just to maintain where they are. That's 60% that they had to win tonight. Even if they lose a couple, they still have won a majority. I think that this is probably not a dramatically historical night, but it is historical as you've been talking about all night from the standpoint of how many times something like this has happened since the Civil War. But the amazing thing to me about this is the two campaigns that were run. I mean we had throughout the nineties the Democrats saying that they needed to separate themselves from the old Democrats such as McGovern and Mondale. When they ran into trouble they went back to those people, the Democratic Leadership Council was set up to establish this new Democrat situation, they talked about building a bridge to the twenty-first century, and when they got in trouble, where did they go? They had to go way, way back to people who had retired. Their better days were behind them. If you look at the campaign, who did they send out to help Democrats in trouble? Bill Clinton. You didn't see future presidential candidates on the Democratic side out there trying to rouse the base.

RUSH: And Brokaw said, "We were saying earlier tonight it looked like a Republican breeze. It's now become a warm gale pushing the Republicans into office and Democrats out."

RUSH ARCHIVE: (laughing) You know, I heard something earlier tonight, I've been watching you guys backstage, and I saw Carville, too, hiding behind the trash can, and he was upset because the Democrats ran a "me, too" campaign. I would like to respectfully disagree with that. I think this "me, too" campaign was a piggyback effort at the last minute. But all year, the last two years, actually, since George Bush was elected, they said he was an illegitimate president, they said Florida is payback time, there's a lot of anger down there, and Terry McAuliffe staked his personal reputation on it. I think they've been opposing George W. Bush ever since he was inaugurated. They've tried it on every issue. They even tried separation on the war on terrorism for a while and it backfired on them. Their me-too-ism is a result of not standing for anything, or at least not being honest about what they stand for, not willing to people what they want, and they ran a negative campaign trying to get people upset to vote against Republicans, and when they say, "Well, we didn't stand for anything," I think they did. I think the face of the Democratic Party has been Tom Daschle and McAuliffe, and it's been entirely negative against a very popular president. And I think the tactics of the last two weeks, well, as I said earlier in New Jersey and what happened in Minneapolis I think both of them are little microcosms of the entire two years of the Bush administration up 'til now the way the Democrats have played it and they're going to have to get their act together. Republicans just have to keep doing what they're doing. They're going to formalize tax cuts, maybe accelerate them, make them permanent; try to fix the public education system. They ran on issues, and it works every time it's tried.

RUSH: Now, it's those tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year.

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