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Obama's "Personal Popularity" is a Media-Created Myth Designed to Scare Republicans into Submission

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We've had a number of people say, "You know, Rush, we gotta be very careful. We gotta stick to opposing Obama on the grounds of policy. He's a popular guy. I mean, everybody likes him. He's a warm guy."

He is not! Everybody doesn't like him. We're tying our hands behind our backs, all kinds of self-imposed limitations when we tell ourselves this. Byron York has a great piece today in the DC Examiner. It's about the Republican presidential field and how "weak" it is, and not only how weak the Republican presidential field is but how timid those in the field are, as though they just don't really think it's even right to campaign against Obama. We gotta tiptoe here, for whatever various reasons. He's really unbeatable, he's really great. At this stage Obama's really unbeatable. The economy is gonna come back.

Byron York says, well, let's go back to 1991, shall we? In 1991, George H. W. Bush had a 90% approval number coming out of the Gulf War -- and what happened? It's almost identical. Back in 1991, leading into the '92 presidential year, I could go back and I could probably get sound bites of me from my own program back then saying, looking at the Democrat field, "Man, the lightweights here. None of the Democrat heavyweights want to even take a run at this. The Democrat heavyweights want no part of this. I mean, it's a guaranteed losing proposition." We all thought that. Ninety percent approval coming out of the Gulf War?

It was almost identical to what's happening today. The Democrat field back then was looked at as a bunch of pansies. But there was one guy in that field that was the Energizer Bunny who didn't get the memo. He kept plugging away and plugging away and plugging away, and even after he got shellacked in debates and he got shellacked here and there, and losing here and there -- he's getting all kinds of embarrassing stories about Whitewater in the New York Times -- they just kept plugging away, Bill Clinton and Hillary out there. Then Perot surfaces and all bets are off and we all know what happened.

So the analogy is: We got a guy with a 48% approval rating who is not all that likable. He's not all that warm and cuddly. He's not coming off of any singular policy success anywhere, and our side says he's unbeatable? "And furthermore, he's so unbeatable that we don't dare talk about him. He's so loved and popular, we don't dare talk about him. No, no! We gotta stay focused on policy. That's right! We gotta make sure that we don't offend anybody, being too critical of the beloved Obama! The independents will run away from us." So we're tying our hands behind our backs. We got ourselves tagged as losers before the thing even starts, ignoring histoire as it's plainly viewable. So we'll get into that in detail.

Yes, I've got the sound bites. (Thanks, Joe babe.) I've got the sound bites of the meeting with NPR. Judging by my e-mail, everybody has heard those. We'll get to it in due course. Your phone calls as well. Snerdley, you didn't hear me because you were busy screening. There's another reason I knew they wouldn't close Gitmo. They need some sizable prison to put all of us in someday, and what better place than out of the country? Do you remember...? Speaking of Obama's belovedness, (gushing) "The be-lov-eeeeeed! Oh, he's so warm and cuddly and so unique, so special!" Do you remember, for example, all of these things happening?

(playing of spoof)

RUSH: All right, that's enough. That's enough. That was one of many examples that we were treated to almost regularly the first year of the regime. In high schools, junior high schools all in the country, kids were singing to Obama, wearing uniforms for Obama. "Barack Hussein Obama! Mmmm! Mmmm! Mmmm!" Well, guess what, folks? "An internal White House memo that the White House is facing a shortage of applications less than a week before the deadline." "Applications for what?" you might be asking. Applications that equal requests for commencement speech by the president. There is a shortage of requests from high schools all over the country asking Obama to be the commencement speaker.

There is a shortage! "The internal White House memo indicates the White House is facing this shortage of applications less than a week before the deadline that the schools face. The competition was extended from the February 25th deadline until March 11th, after few schools met the original application deadline. CBS News has learned that a White House communications office internal memo dated February 22 noted a major issue with the commencement challenge," which is a problem. They let people enter a contest. (interruption) Rio Linda has a chance to get Obama to be their commencement speaker. Absolutely right.

"A follow-up memo on February 28th reported the receipt of 68 applications, noting the competition among more than 1,000 schools last year," down to 68 this year. "The memo said, 'Something isn't working,' and called on staffers to ask friendly congressional gubernatorial or mayoral offices to encourage the schools to apply. 'We should also make sure the cabinet is pushing the competition out to their lists,' the memo said." So last year more than a thousand schools requested Obama to come in and speak; 68 this year. But, "Folks, he's unbeatable! He's lovable. He's well liked, a smooth guy. You know, it's a mistake here to get personal with Obama. We gotta keep it focused on policy."

Yeah, Barack Obama, folks, "winning the future" with higher gas prices. Winning the future! That's been the slogan: Winning the future with what? Higher gas prices! Winning the future with higher health insurance premiums. Winning the future with higher budget deficits. Winning the future with more public sector unions. Winning the future with fewer private sector jobs. Winning the future by ignoring federal court rulings. And, of course, nonstop smears against anybody who objects to this agenda! So here we have the "audacity" of Barack Obama saying he's "winning the future." Is mind-boggling. I'll tell you, Barack Obama and Charlie Sheen are giving "winning" a bad name. Well, Sheen's out there saying he's winning, too. Sheen says he's winning the future. So does Obama.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The last caller that we had yesterday, nice guy, as all of our callers are. "What would you expect from paid actors?" You know, I gotta be careful with this or they're gonna purposely take me outta context. But, anyway, it does no good, folks. It does no good to tell us to be nice about Obama personally 'cause that's how Reagan did it. You know, people are confusing the way Reagan is remembered now with the way Reagan was treated at the time. Folks, Ronald Reagan was despised. He was hated every bit as much as George W. Bush, every bit as much as me, anybody today that's vilified by the left. They accused Reagan of actually creating AIDS 'cause he didn't talk about it. They caused Reagan of creating homelessness. They said Reagan's elections were a triumph of selfishness and greed. They accused Reagan of sneaking out of the White House at night, going across the street to Lafayette Park and stealing the pork and beans cans from homeless people, going back to the White House, eating 'em up and being happy about it. They portrayed Reagan as a venomous hatemonger.

So now that Reagan is dead and can't undermine 'em anymore they think it's to their advantage to paint him as some nice guy so they can use the comparison to make Bush and Palin and me and so forth look bad. Reagan was the model conservative they're saying now. Some of them will say it about Mr. Buckley. Some of them say it about Reagan. "Reagan's a nice guy. We need to go back and look at Reagan." I'm sure you've heard 'em say this, "Reagan, at the end of the day went over and had a beer with Tip O'Neill, they put it all aside, not like Palin today and not like Limbaugh and not like Bush and Rove." It's all fake. It's all historical. If Reagan were around today, Reagan would be harsh about Obama. Reagan wouldn't put up for a moment with what Obama's doing. You go back and look at Reagan's words, look at Reagan's speeches, the '64 Barry Goldwater speech, he would not put up with this. Ronald Reagan wouldn't be passing jelly beans around here to Obama like they would have you believe. He'd be a gentleman about it, don't misunderstand, he was a decent guy, but he would not mince words.

What I'm saying is we can't be afraid of who they say Obama is. You know, even the geniuses on our side, they want to keep this as a policy-only disagreement because they think that Obama's personally popular in the sense that he polls higher than his policies do. But even so, he's at 48% approval, but he is personally popular. You know, it's like what came first, the chicken or the egg? Obama is personally popular precisely because he's personally off-limits. There's not a person in the world that's got the guts to tell the truth about Obama, from the media to our side, for whatever reason, either the first black president or we think we're gonna get creamed by being critical. So there isn't any real examination of who Obama is as a guy. Well, there is for me.

You know, this notion he's some warm, nice guy we just happen to disagree with. Wrong. This is a cold man. This is not even cool. This guy is cold. He's arrogant. He's uber-calculating. He's the kind of person most people don't like when they meet him. Rove described him. He's the guy at the country club at the cocktail party standing in the corner with the good-looking girl, the drink, and the cigarette, passing judgment on everybody going by, not deigning to talk to 'em. Good family man, they say. Why would his personal approval ratings go down much when there's nobody going after him like they did Bush, like they did Reagan? Nobody's driving down his negatives like they did Bush. Nobody's driving down his negatives like they do me, like they do Palin. So we sit here, "Oh, he's immensely popular." We don't know that. You all believed him when he said he was gonna close Gitmo. No way. Sometimes I grow weary of saying don't doubt me. If I had a weaker backbone I'd be so depressed, I don't know what I would do. Nobody believes me. It's right out there in the open for one and all to see. If I had a weaker constitution, I'd say, "What is it about me that people --" and then I remember it's nothing about me. It's all about what some people want or don't want to see, no matter what kind of truth they are told.

Barack Obama went a couple of years without having a single meeting with Republican leadership. His only early meeting with the Republican caucus, right after he was immaculated, he said, "Don't listen to Limbaugh. That's not how things get done here." And then when one of them said, "Why don't you think about tax cuts?" "Well, fine, but I won, you lost, deal with it." This is not a nice guy. Reagan, O'Neill, after work go have a beer? Does anybody want to go have a beer with Obama after work? They had to drag that cop from Cambridge down to the beer summit with good old Skipper Gates. But Obama's not a nice guy. The media painted Reagan as this nut job while he was president. Obama's portrayed as personally popular. It's remarkable. And it's worked. It's worked. Our guys, "Rush, we gotta keep it on policy. Obama's a likable guy, very much loved." I said no. No, no, no.

They attacked Gingrich's past. They attacked Palin. They attacked her kids. That's why it's so grates on me when I hear Republicans echo what these people say about Palin. I can't tell you how angry that makes me. People on my team echo this nonsense that they say about Sarah Palin. She's got more courage and more bravery in her little finger than our presidential field has. And yet they talk about her as an idiot. The same thing with poor Michele Bachmann. The gonads on our team happen to be wearing skirts. Anyway, Obama's immune from all this. Don't ask about his past; don't ask about his grades; don't ask about his medical history; don't ask about his drug use. Don't ask about anything. All of that's irrelevant. Gingrich, the others, Palin, I don't care, dig, dig, dig, dig. The sad thing is the geniuses on our side fall right in line with all that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Look what they did to Clarence Thomas. Look what they're doing even now to Clarence Thomas. Look, it never ends. Whoever the left perceives to be at the top rank on our side it's full speed ahead in the politics of personal destruction. Fine and dandy, we know they do that. It just infuriates me when people on our side sign onto it when it suits 'em.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So Obama's personal life is none of our business. Obama's past is none of our business. Obama's promises don't matter; Obama's policies don't matter (unless they could be spun in his favor). All the focus, all the attacks must be on whomever his opponent is. It's not just the terms of the debate and the premise that the left and a lot of the fools on our side accept -- Obama personally off-limits, Republicans personally fair game -- but it's the same thing when it comes to the issues. Liberal media do the same thing.

We got a rotten economy? Blame it on Bush!

Rising gas prices? Blame it on Khadafy!

Poor old Obama can't close Gitmo? Blame it on the Republican Congress!

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I've been sick of it for I don't know how long. How do I know he's lying when he say he's gonna includes Club Gimo? It's 'cause he's a liberal, socialist, Marxist, whatever the hell. They all lie. Their foundation is a series of lies. I mean we all know these are the people who can't dare be honest about their true intentions. They wouldn't win one election in this country, outside of San Francisco, maybe Boston and New York.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Yes, siree Bob, Obama's so popular we have this story from Roll Call: "'Fears Grow as Obama Hits Trail' -- On the same day that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was taking steps to jump-start bipartisan talks to avert a government shutdown, President Barack Obama was in Florida trying to jump-start something else: his 2012 re-election campaign. While there may be 609 days to go until the presidential election, Obama has already begun reverting to campaign mode -- and some Democrats are starting to worry that their most important ally won't be there when they need him the most on Capitol Hill." Hey, he's never been there. It's always been about him.

"The president has made noticeable overtures in the past week to remind people that he is as much the commander in chief as he is a candidate up for re-election: Tonight, Obama is heading a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in Boston; on Friday, he headlined separate fundraisers in Miami for Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. During those events, he ticked off his accomplishments from the past two years and said his supporters were the reason he has seen success." Some people, though, people on our side think he might be unbeatable, personally popular.

And yet: "West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is planning to rip President Barack Obama on his budget proposals in a Senate floor speech Tuesday, a rare rebuke from a freshman Democrat who clearly is worried about the politics of deficit spending ... Manchin says the president has failed to lead the way in reducing spending, but he's also criticizing Republicans for 'partisan' and 'unrealistic' budget proposals as well," yada yada yada. But still ripping into Obama. So loved and so popular, so unbeatable. Forty-eight percent approval rating. If he's so popular, how come five Democrats are quitting? Might be more, five Democrat senators are splitting the scene, flying the coop. And they got a lot of seats they have to defend in 2012 to boot. So again, it's just more conventional wisdom that isn't true. Universally popular, universally loved, unbeatable. Our side seems to be believing this. Their side doesn't.

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