RUSH: This is Bill Clinton, who has gone rogue. He is on the warpath, undercutting Obama in two ways. He's taking the opposite position from Obama on the Bush tax cuts, and he's also saying that we have slipped back into a recession. We're not in a recovery. We're already in a double-dip recession.
CLINTON: What I think they should do is to find a way to keep the expansion going. They will probably have to put everything off until early next year. That's probably the best thing to do right now. I don't have any problem with extending all of it now, including the current spending levels. They're still pretty low, the government spending levels, but I think they look high because there's a recession.
RUSH: Bill Clinton. That's on CNBC with Maria Bartiromo, and the question he was asked was, "So what about this upcoming fiscal cliff? Because a lot of people are worried and the markets certainly have been reacting to the idea that these Bush tax cuts will expire at year end along with the spending programs that will expire. Should those programs and those tax cuts be extended?" Now, Obama wants the Bush tax cuts dead, wants 'em over, and is also touting his recovery. Clinton went out, cut him off at both knees on CNBC yesterday.
Last night on the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams talking to Clinton. He said, "Roger Simon, The Politico writer has a piece on the web today. The headline is, 'Bill Clinton Out of Control in 2012.' People are wanting to find room between you and the president on issues like Romney, Bain Capital, your quote that they had a sterling record in their line of work. Is there any difference between you and the tack the Obama campaign has taken?"
CLINTON: Mr. Simon may think I should be an employee of the campaign, but I'm not. You know, I've been aghast by all this flutter about it. I don't think I should have to criticize Romney personally to disagree with his politics.
RUSH: Roger Simon wrote that Clinton is an employee of the campaign. And Clinton, (Clinton impression) "I'm nobody's employee. I don't have a boss. Who do these people think they are? Mr. Simon may think I ought to be an employee, but I'm not. I don't work for anybody, except Hillary, I don't work for anybody." He's out there, I'll tell you, folks, this is insubordination. From Obama's standpoint it's insubordination. From Clinton's standpoint it's, (Clinton impression) "You know what? This little egomaniacal little emperor is going to have to be taught the ways of the world, and I am the guy to do it."
In the South Carolina primary in 2008 Clinton was talking to Ted Kennedy, and they were talking about Obama. He said, (Clinton impression) "You know, Ted, wasn't long ago this guy would be serving us drinks," and word of that got out, and that's when Clinton started hearing that he had thrown the race card. "Yeah, yeah, Ted, you know, wasn't long ago, this guy'd a-been serving us drinks. Who does he think he is, running around treating everybody the way he is?" I'm telling you, I think pent-up frustration, Clinton's been waiting for the moment for payback, and it is upon us.
RUSH: (Clinton impression) "Yeah, you know, it wasn't that long ago, Ted, that guy -- Obama -- woulda been serving us coffee. He'd be getting us adult beverages." And we're back. Rush Limbaugh, having more fun than a human being should be allowed to have. Here is Dana Bash, Dana Bash at CNN last night on Anderson Cooper 133. They had fill-in host John King doing double duty. And he was talking to Dana Bash, a CNN infobabe, about Clinton's remarks that the Bush tax cuts should be extended. And John King said to Dana Bash, "What's the conversation on the ground?" As opposed to: What's the conversation in the air?
"What's the conversation on the ground, Dana?"
BASH: Just from my regular perch on Capitol Hill, the fact that President Clinton said that he would potentially take, uh, tax cuts off the table is not gonna make Democrats on Capitol Hill happy. Because privately they have been saying that they have a big card, and that is: If they sit back and do nothing, taxes go up. And that is why they feel that they really have Republicans there. And President Clinton is saying: "Well, maybe we shouldn't use that card." Democrats on Capitol Hill, again, not happy.
RUSH: "Democrats on Capitol Hill ... not happy." Clinton is throwing away one of their cards to use as leverage: "The Republicans want the Bush tax cuts extended. What will they pay for that? What will they give up?" And now Clinton's out there basically agreeing with the Republicans. And I think the conventional wisdom is the Bush tax cuts are gonna be extended anyway. Even if Obama wins, they're gonna be extended. Yeah, that's the conventional wisdom.
There isn't gonna be any economic improvement; he's gonna have to extend them.
That's the conventional wisdom.
Now, conventional wisdom is often wrong. I'm just telling you what the conventional wisdom is, not that it's right. The conventional wisdom is that no matter who wins, the Bush tax cuts get extended. The Democrats don't want anybody thinking that that's automatic. They want to have the Republicans give up something for that, and Clinton is blowing that all to smithereens. But David "Rodham" Gergen, who is the walking embodiment of Washington conventional wisdom, was also on John King USA before King went to Anderson Cooper 133 as guest host.
And John King said to David "Rodham" Gergen, "What, David, should we take from all of this?"
GERGEN: This could give the President some cover. I have to say this: Bill Clinton tells the truth, but he's also the best spokesman for Obama on many issues. Last night he gave a very, very strong endorsement of the President. I've talked to people over there at that fundraiser. They said Bill Clinton did a better job of framing the choice for Obama in the fall than did Obama himself.
RUSH: Yeah. I mentioned this at the beginning of the program. Here's Clinton out there apparently undercutting Obama. But the "smart" thinking, the conventional wisdom is that Clinton is simply giving Obama cover to extend the Bush tax cuts. Obama would pay a price if he did it himself without any support. But if he's got Clinton paving the way and softening the blow... If Bill Clinton, who is still universally loved and adored and celebrated by the Democrat Party says (impression), "Hey, buddy. After you bring me that coffee, I think you better extend the Bush tax cuts," then when Obama does it, it's less of a problem for Obama since the way has been paved.
That's the theory from David "Rodham" Gergen.
And I think that's wishful thinking on their part.
I don't think anybody can say Clinton is out there trying to engineer Obama's reelection.
RUSH: First, I do not believe Obama will extend the Bush tax cuts. I'm just telling you the conventional wisdom. Well, you heard it from David "Rodham" Gergen. You heard it. "This could give the President some cover. I have to say this: Bill Clinton tells the truth, but he's also the best spokesman for Obama on many issues." Well, I thought Obama was the great communicator. Why does...? Why does Barack Obama need a spokesman? There's no way Obama is gonna extend the Bush tax cuts. And David "Rodham" Gergen does not know what he's talking about.
He's the Old Castrati. He's not the New Castrati.
These guys don't get that Obama's not conventional. They're still caught up in this notion Obama wants fiscal reform; he wants fiscal restraint. They still believe that Obama's got policies to lower the deficit. The Gergens of the world, all of the aged writers at TIME and Newsweek, still look at this in conventional political terms. Obama is not about continuing anything that's rooted in capitalism. If he wins reelection, the Bush tax cuts are not gonna be extended. I don't care what he can extract from the Republicans for it. It isn't gonna happen.
And that's why Clinton running around and saying he thinks they should be extended is such a big deal. He's undercutting Barry again.