RUSH: CNN last night, Wolf Blitzer, you might have heard that Todd Akin "defied" me. Well, let's go to the audio sound bites. Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room. This is a montage of Wolf speaking about the deadline for Todd Akin to drop out of the Senate race...
BLITZER: With a critical deadline only two hours away, can the party convince Todd Akin to drop out?
BLITZER: Rush Limbaugh and others saying it's over. Why is he resisting?
BLITZER: Rush Limbaugh has said he should. For the good of the party, get out.
BLITZER: My sense is the next two hours will be critical.
BLITZER: Ninety minutes or so 'til that six p.m. Eastern, five p.m. Central deadline.
BLITZER: Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
BLITZER: Everyone seems to be on board.
BLITZER: Minutes away right now from a deadline, the embattled US congressman Todd Akin.
BLITZER: The deadline for an easy withdrawal just passed right at the top of the hour, and now it will take a court order for him to withdraw.
BLITZER: The deadline has come and gone for the Missouri Republican congressman Todd Akin to easily pull out of his Senate race.
RUSH: Well, that's the montage and we've heard that before, haven't we? We've heard the same format, the same thing. Let's go to back now to March 13th, 2006...
BLITZER 2006: It's 4 p.m. here in Washington. So you're getting the first look right now at our brand-new poll. The president's job approval rating has taken a downward turn again, falling to only 36%.
BLITZER 2006: This represents his lowest rating ever in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.
BLITZER 2006: The president's poll numbers are pretty bad, pretty awful right now, rock bottom as far as the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.
BLITZER 2006: The president's Iraq problem and his new low point in the polls.
BLITZER 2006: His approval and policies now are at new lows.
RUSH: Okay. That's enough. We've made the point. That went on for hours, for four hours, Wolf Blitzer highlighting George Bush's poll plunge. And just as yesterday, hours and hours of Todd Akin defying Rush Limbaugh. Now let's move over to Good Morning America today. On Good Morning America on ABC, George Stephanopoulos was interviewing Todd Akin. He said, "The calls for you to go home from Mitt Romney, Republican senators, Rush Limbaugh. That's not the liberal media, Mr. Akin."
AKIN: You're right on that. Essentially with the way I see things have shaped up, we've given this a lot of thought. And that is the fact that over a -- more than a year period of time, a number of us ran in this, uh, Republican primary. Each of us had our messages. I was, uh, outspent by a large amount in terms of media. And yet, uh, by standing on principle and putting politics aside and talking about the foundations of this country, the people in Missouri chose me to be their candidate. And I don't believe it's right for party bosses to decide to override those voters.
AKIN: So I think it's the... I think that really we should allow things to stand --
STEPHANOPOULOS: So are you saying that --
AKIN: -- as the election process as unfolded.
RUSH: Yeah. He defied Rush Limbaugh. How dare he! He defied Romney, defied Republican senators, defied Rush Limbaugh. Todd Akin. (interruption) I didn't. That's the thing. I never did order him to step down. In fact, Snerdley (you people don't know this) all day yesterday was imploring me to tell the guy to go. You remember how I started the program. I mentioned to you that I'm uncomfortable telling the guy to go.
I was very open saying I hope he does pull out, and I tried to make the case where it was the right thing to do, to pull out. But I made the point: I don't want people telling me when to quit this radio show. The heck with that! That's never gonna happen. So I understand that. But something happened. He's totally misreading what this is all about now. He's made himself bigger than the cause, and it's unfortunate. It's just unfortunate. I don't know. I'm being very guarded here, trying to be nice and polite.
Do you want to hear something really hilarious? Some writer at The Daily Beast... Now, that's Tina Brown's publication. She's a big lib, social doyenne. She's known for the perfect watercress salad at lunch, the right guest list. That's Tina Brown. Some writer at The Daily Beast said that Mitt Romney waited to hear from me before telling Akin to pull out. I kid you not. Now, I haven't spoken to Romney about this or anything in weeks.
But some reporter at The Daily Beast said that Romney waited to hear from me before telling Akin to pull out. The reporter's name is Michael Tomasky. "Rush Limbaugh finally called on Akin to get out of the race around 3 yesterday afternoon. And sometime after that, the Romney campaign released a statement saying the same." (laughing) "Who's the leader of that party? And what kind of president of the United States will such a man be, who waits for green lights from Rush Limbaugh before taking 'bold stands'?"
This is an out-and-out lie. It's typical from the media today. That's Tomasky. This man's a joke. "Who is the leader of that party? And what kind of president of the United States will such a man be, who waits for green lights from Rush Limbaugh before taking 'bold stands'?" He wasn't waiting for me? And I never told Akin to go, as most everybody else did. Anyway, that's The Daily Beast.
RUSH: To the audio sound bites. I'm gonna pick up number 11 and 12 here. This is last night on the Fox Business Network Willis report, Gerri Willis. Her guest is Bill Kristol, and they're talking about the calls for Todd Akin to quit his campaign for the Senate. And they had this little exchange.
WILLIS: Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. They think that Akin's comments are gonna dog Mitt Romney. Do you agree?
KRISTOL: No. No. Are you kidding? All the idiotic comments of various Democratic congressmen and senators dogging Barack Obama. Some Republicans try to get them to dog him. But voters aren't idiots. Voters know that Todd Akin isn't Mitt Romney. Voters know that Mitt Romney has never said anything like that. Voters know that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have distanced themselves from it and denounced what Todd Akin said. So I think there's no chance that it will have any effect on the presidential race. It may cost Republicans a Senate seat in Missouri, and that would be unfortunate if you're a Republican.
RUSH: I'm on the air three hours a day, 15 hours a week. We are not on a super-secret frequency. You don't need a secret decoder ring to listen to this program to hear what I say. It is amazing to me the number of people in the media who comment on what I say who have never heard me. They get it from somewhere else. I never said that Akin would dog Romney. I never said that. I don't know where Gerri Willis got it. Just like this guy at The Daily Beast is writing that Romney waited to hear from me before telling Akin to drop out. No, no. He doesn't mean waiting for me to call Romney. He means Romney waited to hear what I said. I didn't issue a demand that Akin drop out. I set up some circumstances. I let him know what I thought the right thing to do, but I started the program out yesterday by saying it's not my job to come here and tell people what to do with their careers, and I don't join the crowd on these things. The conventional wisdom forms, and I run the other way.
It is amazing the things that I say on this show that you in the audience never hear. I didn't issue a formal fatwa. Folks, if I had demanded Akin drop out, he'd be gone. If I had demanded that Akin quit the campaign, he'd be gone. I didn't do it and I didn't say that whatever Akin says is gonna dog Romney. Now, Kristol doesn't know it. He's just gotta respond to the question. Sarah Palin, by the way, is out positing the idea of a third party. She was on with Greta last night on the Fox News Channel, and Greta said, "I think it's only fair to take a few seconds and to gloat a little bit. You chose the candidate that the Republican Party did not choose in Missouri, Sarah Steelman. Now all the leaders in the country, Republican leaders, are trying to get Akin to go, so I think they probably love who you endorsed."
PALIN: I won't gloat about it, but I was right. Sarah Steelman was the right person. I supported her then, and I'm gonna continue to support her. We've gotta take back the Senate and Missouri is a must-win state. The way we do that is to have someone like Sarah Steelman be able to run even if it's as a third-party candidate to be able to run and help us take this back.
RUSH: That's quite interesting. Throw out a possible third-party candidacy for Sarah Steelman or anybody else in Missouri. We are now at August 22nd. I don't know what filing dates are or any of that, but I do know there isn't a whole lot of time here. I'll tell you what I'm sensing, and this is not the first time, and I'm looking at the call board up here, and, folks, there are lot of people who think that Todd Akin's being done dirty. A lot of people think Todd Akin is being mistreated, and a lot of people have decided they want to stand by him and that everybody else should, too. So a third party candidate. That would split the -- I think that would handle it, or hand it to McCaskill. I think she can still lose, big.
McCaskill is unpopular on her own in Missouri. She's unpopular even if she were to be unopposed. I won't go so far as to say that unopposed would beat McCaskill, but it'd be close. (laughing) She's not popular. I don't know.