RUSH: Let's go to the media sound bites. This is fun to listen to them wring their hands and alternately be angry because you see what's happened, folks, for four years the media's covered for this guy. For four years they have protected him. For four years they haven't asked probing questions. For four years they haven't done any investigative journalism. They haven't done any journalism, period. For four years. And then he shows up last night, phones it in as far as they're concerned, and it's, "You know what, after all we've done for you, after all we've done for you and you don't even have enough respect for us to act like you care and you make us look like a bunch of body orifices. How dare you? We've given you everything we've got. We love you. We've tried to shield you and protect you and then you don't even care enough to show up. Make us look like a bunch of chumps." That's the media today. That was the media last night. Let's go listen to some of it.
MARK "MAXI" SHIELDS: The president didn't seem nearly as happy to be there as did Mitt Romney.
CANDY CROWLEY: The president seemed listless. He seemed angry at times, seemed like he didn't want to be there.
KIRSTEN POWERS: He looked like he didn't want to be there.
DONNA BRAZILE: He seemed a little bit detached at times. He didn't want to be there.
DOUG BRINKLEY: He seemed to kind of want to get this over with.
JOHN HEILEMANN: It seemed to me that he was enduring the debate rather than engaging the debate.
CHRIS WALLACE: Obama seemed nervous, ill at ease, and very much off his game.
CRAIG GORDON: Obama seemed a little bit sleepy.
JOHN KING: The president just didn't seem like he wanted to debate Romney.
JAMES CARVILLE: President Obama didn't want to be there.
RUSH: (Carville impression) "Didn't wanna be dah! Didn't wanna be dah, chump! We been workin' our asses off! We done everything! We been lyin', we been cheatin', we been stealin', we been eatin' gumbo that's spoiled! We've been doin' everything and he don't even show up. It tick me off!" Here's the 47%. It's in a montage the Drive-Bys angry that he didn't mention the 47%.
TERRY MORAN: Mitt Romney's controversial 47% comments? Conspicuously absent tonight!
MARK "MAXI" SHIELDS: I was amazed that the 47% never came up.
WOLF BLITZER: Never heard him mention anything about the 47%.
AL HUNT: Never mentioned 47%!
CARL QUINTANILLA: The president never invoked the 47% video!
JOHN KING: Never mentioned 47%, meaning Mitt Romney's critical, awful remarks about Obama supporters.
GINGER GIBSON: I never heard 47%.
KIRSTEN POWERS: He should have done the 47%.
NORAH O'DONNELL: There was no mention of the 47%.
DAVID GREGORY: He didn't bring up the 47%!
RUSH: (Carville impression) "That's right! After I e't my spoiled gumbo because I didn't have time to eat, you come out and you don't even mention the 47%! Damn!" Now, see this is fascinating to me. I could spend all day analyzing this for you and I would be 150% right. This 47%, why wasn't it used? I'll tell you again. There are two reasons. A, the campaign knows that it is suitable only for ads.
You don't dare say this to Romney in a place where he can respond to it, because it's a lie. It is a taken-out-of-context lie. The media either doesn't care about that, or they don't think it's a lie. They might really think that Romney doesn't care about 47% of the people. If they had the slightest bit of curiosity, they would have understood that what Romney was telling his donors is, "You remember that woman who said, 'Obama phoooone'? She never gonna vote for me."
That's all he was saying.
And maybe "Forty-seven percent of people aren't gonna vote for me." Who knows? A donor might have said, "Why aren't you trying to reach out to Democrats? Why aren't you trying to reach out to Obama voters?" And Romney might have said, "Look, there's 47% of people who just aren't gonna vote for me no matter what. So in the campaign, I can't worry about chasing them." It's a perfectly sensible, intelligent way to go about it.
"Obama phooooone! Romney, he sucks!"
Well, why waste a penny trying to get that woman to vote for you? But these people, the media actually think that Romney doesn't care about 47% of the people? It's the liberals, if you really get down and deep. There are 23 million people out of work. Does Obama act like he gives a (pause) care in the world? The country's going to hell. The economy's being blown up and his policies are doing it! Where is all this so-called liberal compassion?
They want to try to make people believe Romney doesn't care. Somebody in the campaign knows that that 47% is only effective as an unanswered allegation. But you put it out there in debate where Romney can explain it just as I did, and then say, "By the way, Mr. President, you want to talk about old tapes? I just saw one of you the other day talking about how Reverend Jeremiah Wright is totally responsible for who you are. That's what you said."
Are you people in the media really this closed off from the truth and reality? They are. When they set this 47% up, they thought they were giving Obama the thing that would wipe Romney out in this debate. Do you understand that today it was supposed to be over? Today there were gonna do swing state polls which showed Obama up ten or 15 or whatever. It was gonna be over, and that 47%? That was gonna be the one that did it.
And Obama didn't use it, and they're running around pulling their hair out! Because Axelrod set it up and Obama didn't use it. This is really fun to watch. When you understand what's really going on, as I do, this is really fun to watch, 'cause they feel really insulted. I'm telling you: They think they set Obama up to wipe Romney out for good last night, and Obama didn't use it.
So they're thinking he doesn't respect them -- or even worse. They're starting to ask, "Is he really that smart?" I think some of the media think, "Maybe he's not that smart." (interruption) You don't think that's it? Don't kid yourself. Don't kid yourself. I'm telling you, there are some of them out there in the media and the left-wing think tanks who are starting to ask, "Maybe this guy isn't smart."
Just remember, again: Obama is not who he really is.
Obama is what they have manufactured him to be based on what they have always wanted him to be: "Smartest, first black president. This is getting even with all those racist good ol' boys for a hundred years to have Barack Obama be president. And not only is he the first black president, he's the smartest president we ever had! He's the most brilliant president we've ever had and he's the best president we ever had -- and take that, you conservatives!"
And it's all falling apart.
And the reason it's falling apart is it was never real.
Obama isn't the best president we've ever had. He's not that smart. He is a total creature of media manufacture. He's not real. Except last night he was, and there was no teleprompter to protect him. There was no prop. There was no speech written by somebody else. There was no guardrail. There was no cadre of moderators to protect him. Not even Michelle could come in out of the audience save him.
He was winging it all alone. This kind of stuff is not gonna happen in a debate, say, with Hillary, 'cause the party is not going to eat itself alive. That's not gonna happen. This is the first time he's really faced anything like this. Direct challenges to who he is? Direct challenges to his thinking? Direct challenges to his policies? Direct challenges to his brilliant accomplishments? Direct challenges to him, "Barack Hussein Obama! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!"
How dare they!
RUSH: Snerdley just asked me if I wished the audience could show response at these things. I don't know. I didn't miss it last night now that I think about it. I think it might have interrupted. See, but I'm different. If there's applause, I stop hearing what anybody's saying. I need one voice at a time. If I'm in a room with two people and they're both talking, I will not understand.
If Kathryn wants to say something to me while we're watching television, I have to hit the mute. I will not understand what's her or the TV. So applause, for me, I didn't miss at all. But look, folks, at all the cliches went kaboom last night. No longer can they say Mitt Romney's stupid. They can't say he's a felon. They can't say he's a murderer. They can't say he's a hater. They can't say he's a bigot. They can't say he's a racist.
I mean, they can, but it wouldn't be believable. All of these cliches that they've built and attached? None of 'em stick. Racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe? None of it! Uncaring? Only cares about the rich, doesn't care about the poor? There's one guy on stage last night that came across as caring about jobs for people. Only one. It was Mitt Romney. I know a lot of you are cynical. "They're gonna call him racist anyway."
Folks, I'm telling you: It's the way to get the audience in. This is one of the record-high audiences for first-night debates. I don't have the exact number but it's gonna be over 50 million. That's like two and a half times the Republican convention. It was big. It was big. I don't have the whole thing in yet, but it was huge. It was par excellence. Here, where are we going next to the phones? Give me the green light or tell me where we're going. San Antonio, Texas. John, it's great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I just wanted to make a point that all this talk by the media about Obama being "rusty" because he hasn't had a debate in four years, isn't that just a blatant admission that they haven't been doing their job for four years? I mean, they're supposed to be asking the tough questions.
RUSH: Not only that. Not only that. This whole business that he wasn't prepared... Remember, the story was that he really didn't want to do it. He said debate prep was "a drag." Excuse me? He is president of the United States. Just what the hell does he have to prep? What the hell is going on that he doesn't know about that he has to quickly cram and learn? He's been president now for 3-3/4 years.
Just exactly what's in a debate briefing book? Romney tendencies? The things Romney says, the way he might say things, the way to go after Romney? (Okay, maybe I'll acknowledge that.) But, for crying out loud, what kind of prep does the president of the United States need? He wasn't prepared? See, this is my point from the get-go: He's not prepared to be president.
He was never qualified to be president, and had there been an adequate vetting of this man as there is for everybody else who seeks this office, he would never have had a chance to get elected. It would not have happened. So all of these excuses that they want to put out there, "Weeeell, the 47% wasn't used. Weeeell, he wasn't prepared. Weeeell, he was a little rusty. Weeeell, you know, he didn't take Romney seriously enough."
They are just excuses. Because what we need to do is measure all of this against the way he was presented to us in 2008. He wasn't unlike any human being ever in American politics! He was the smartest in history! You remember all of those superlatives used to describe him? And now he's just a base human being who can suffer if he doesn't prepare or study?
Folks, it's all been so phony, it's unreal.
RUSH: Back to the media. There was another theme that ran through the postdebate coverage last night that the liberals try to tell themselves to make themselves feel better about what had happened.
BILL PLANTE: Other presidents have gone on to win after less than stellar first debate performances. George W. Bush in 2004.
MARK MCKINNON: It also reminded me of 2004 when President Bush was the incumbent president and had a terrible performance.
MAJOR GARRETT: Incumbents often have problems in their very first debate. It is not unusual.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: George W. Bush, back in 2004. John Kerry came in to the debates behind, took it to the president.
JOSH TYRANGIEL: I was immediately taken back to first Kerry/Bush debate.
AL HUNT: Striking analogy. But guess what, John Kerry lost by the same amount he was trailing before that debate. So that gets to the question whether debates really matter that much?
RUSH: Yeah, well, let me tell you something. If you guys had used the 47%, and if you guys had cleaned Romney's clock, guess what? The first debate woulda been all you needed. And you would be proclaiming today that it is over.
RUSH: Here is James Carville, not happy last night on CNN.
CARVILLE: I don't think that President Obama did what this sorta campaign wanted him to do. President Obama came there, he wanted to have a conversation. Mitt Romney came in with a chainsaw. He was trying to talk to a chainsaw.
RUSH: Obama didn't want to have a conversation. He didn't want to have a debate, A. He has to do 'em because of tradition. He didn't want to have a debate. He didn't want to have a conversation. He didn't want to be there. I sent Cookie a note, either last night or this morning, I said, "We're gonna have a one-day exemption of our ban on MSNBC." There was too much. It was too rich. It was a smorgasbord for us to choose from.
RUSH: Folks, I got the numbers in here, and this is unbelievably huge, the TV numbers. It's a minimum of 65 million, before we count the Telemundos and Univisions. Here are the numbers. The Fox News Channel, by the way, had the highest audience of any network, cable or broadcast, for the hour and a half from 9 to 10:30 last night. Fox had 10.4 million. They had nearly three million in the demo, 25-54.
Let's just stick with the total viewers. CNN six million; MSNBC 4.7 million. Broadcast networks: CBS ten million, ABC ten million. Both at 10.1. Fox was at 10.4. NBC 9.9 and Fox broadcast 6.9. So basically over 65 million people watched this thing. Fox News Channel with 10.4 million viewers, CBS and ABC at 10.1 million each. But if you add all that up, it's a little bit north of 65 million -- and, as I say, before you count the Spanish-language networks and what they throw in.
Now, what does it tell you when Fox News Channel has the highest audience of any network? What does that tell you about Republican voter enthusiasm, hmm? I think it tells us quite a bit. Okay, our ban on MSNBC was lifted temporarily, just for a day, so that we could let you hear Chris Matthews -- who, when we last heard from him, was talking about the "tingle up his leg" that he got every time he listened to Barack Obama speak or saw him speak.
Well, it didn't go that well last night. Two bites from Matthews. Here's the first...
MATTHEWS: (shouting) Tonight wasn't an MSNBC debate, was it? It just wasn't! It didn't mention all the key fighting points of this campaign. I don't know what he was doing out there. He had his head down. He was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. Here's my question for Obama. I know he likes to say he doesn't watch cable television, but maybe he should start. Maybe he should start. I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap --
MAN: Oh, not great.
MATTHEWS: -- he threw out tonight about ... about Social Security.
RUSH: (summarized) "How did he let Romney got away with that crap? Maybe he needs to start watching us. That's the ticket! That's the ticket! That's what he needs to do. He needs to be watching more MSNBC. That wasn't an MSNBC debate. He didn't look like he cared out there. Head down? He was enduring the debate rather than fighting it!"
Chris, there was nothing he could do.
There wasn't any "crap" in the debate last night other than on your network.
There was nothing he could do.
His ideas don't cut it.
Romney handed Obama's head to him on a silver platter. (summarized) "You lost 23 million jobs. You ran up $5 trillion of debt. You did this; you did that. You did it. You're incompetent. You're killing this economy," in so many words. There's no answer to that, Chris. It's the truth. You can't slough it off on somebody else. You can't say it's Bush. I wonder why he didn't say it was Bush. See, they can't do things in a debate they can do in a campaign ad.
Matthews, in the next bite, says (summarized), "We got our knives out on MSNBC, but Obama went in there unarmed." See, this is my point. They're out there thinking they set him up. They set him up for the 47%. They've been covering for him! They've been protecting him, working hard. They've been building this guy up. They've been carrying the water. "We've been making sure people don't know who he really is! We are busting our rear ends to help you, and you show up and you don't even care? You make us look like a bunch of buffoons, a bunch of bozos?"
That's what this bite means.
MATTHEWS: (shouting) Where was Obama tonight? He should watch... Well, not just Hardball.
MATTHEWS: Rachel, he should watch you! He should watch the Reverend Al! He should watch Lawrence. There's a hot debate going on in this country. You know where it's being held? Here! On this network is where we're having the debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people on the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed. Obama should watch MSNBC! He will learn something every night. This stuff we're watching, this is like first grade to most of us. We know all this stuff!
RUSH: They can't believe it. They can't believe it. Chris, I'm serious. Have you ever asked yourself why you think Obama's the great man that he is? Has he ever done anything to warrant greatness? He got a Nobel Peace Prize on the come, for crying out loud! He didn't do anything. He's only "great" because you've convinced yourself he's "great" and you've told everybody else he's "great."
What's he ever done? You guys have manufactured a cartoon character here. These are the same people, by the way, that thought the West Wing (the TV show on NBC) was the real presidency during Bush. That was the real Oval Office. That was the real White House: The West Wing, the TV show. Now they think the real debate in American politics is on their dumb network that nobody watches most of the time?
There's no debate on their network! There's no debate on there. There's no conservatism on their network. It's laughable. Here's Algore. Algore was on his network, Current TV. I didn't know it was possible have a smaller audience than MSNBC, but Algore has pulled it off. He has his own network. And he anchored the debate coverage, the post-debate coverage. Here was his excuse...
ALGORE: I'm gonna say something controversial here. Obama arrived in Denver at two p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate. Romney (sigh) did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet and you only have a few hours to adjust...
RUSH: Yeah, what happens? What do you need? When do you have to be there? Honestly, he said it. He didn't get to Denver early enough. He wasn't there. Romney was ready for the altitude, 5,000 feet. Here's Savannah Guthrie. We move on now to the Today Show, Savannah Guthrie talking to David Axelrod and the 47%.
GUTHRIE: Was he satisfied with that performance? It sounds like you're acknowledging that the president was outdebated and less prepared than Mitt Romney. Why is that?
AXELROD: I didn't say he was, uh, outdebated. I think he treated the American people like adults and he told them the truth, which was a fundamental distinction between him and Governor Romney.
GUTHRIE: You know, David, a lot of your supporters were dismayed and, frankly, mystified to not hear the president go after Romney on things like his remarks about the 47% of America. He didn't repeat Bain Capital attacks, attacks about the tax return. These are staples of your campaign. Has he abandoned those attacks or did he make a strategic decision to not be aggressive in this debate?
AXELROD: No, he made a decision to discuss the fundamental issues facing this country.
RUSH: You know, Axelrod is sitting there saying, "Do I have to explain everything to you people?" When Savannah Guthrie says, "You know, a lot of your supporters were dismayed," what she means is (translated): "We in the media can't believe it! A lot of your supporters were dismayed you didn't go after him. David, we are carrying this guy's water and we set him up on the 47%. We have lied about it. We have set the table. We've told everybody about it."
I'm blue in the face.
I ought to stop explaining it. I really should.
I want 'em to try it. I want 'em to use it.
I want that to splatter back in their faces.
RUSH: Savannah, you want to know why Obama didn't go after Bain Capital? You ever heard of Cory Booker and Bill Clinton and Bob Kerrey and I could name a handful of other Democrats who criticized Obama for going after Bain Capital and private equity? You really want Obama to bring up these things that are gonna end up coming back and biting him in the butt?
See, they live in this world. They think they've got Romney nailed to the cross on all these lies, and they can't work.
RUSH: So let's see, Libya, ambassador's death and three other deaths? Whose fault was that? Oh, yeah, that was the video's fault. That was the filmmaker's fault, and then it was the CIA's fault because they didn't realize how serious it was. They didn't tell our precious president in time. The economy, that was Bush's fault. That's right. Of course, last night? That was the moderator's fault. It was Romney's fault, 'cause Romney was too aggressive! Romney didn't behave with the due amount of respect that a challenger should show an incumbent.
It's always somebody else's fault.
By the way, there could be, ladies and gentlemen, another reason Obama didn't bring up Romney's 47% quote. It could be that they might think -- somebody in the Obama camp might think -- that that 47% figure might actually hurt Obama more than Romney when more and more people learn how many people don't pay income tax. I mean, what is that 47%? When you get right down to it, that 47% is the number of people who aren't paying any income tax.
My point is that there's any number of reasons why Obama didn't use it, but believe me, folks, the primary reason is that somebody there knows that it's a lie, that the whole thing is manufactured for a campaign and for a campaign ad. But these doofuses like on CNN or MSNBC... Do you remember when the whole Fluke business came and the War on Women? Remember how that all started?
George Stephanopoulos in January of this year, in a Republican debate, out of the blue, asked Romney if he believed in being able to ban contraception. And Romney said (paraphrased), "What? Where the hell is this going? Why, George, nobody's proposing that." "But do you think states should have the right?" "Well, uh..." Out of nowhere came this question on whether or not Romney... He didn't ask anybody else. He asked Romney about banning contraceptives.
So it allowed them to say, "Romney said X about banning conception for women," and then all of a sudden out of nowhere came this manufactured issue, War on Women. What did it mean? The War on Women means that Republicans do not respect women -- in some cases don't like them -- and do not want to provide birth control pills to 'em. They say, "If woman misbehaves and gets pregnant, then, by God, she should suffer the consequences, and we don't want people paying for other women's birth control!"
Now, here's the point, though. The point is that Democrat activists -- I mean real activist liberal leftist Democrat activists, media people -- believe it's true. You may think that's not possible. You think that they're smart and wise and crafty and shifty and they come up with all these things that they think they can make other people believe. But they don't. They believe it. Folks, this is the key to understanding them. They manufacture these alternative realities that they believe are true about us.
We are a bunch of cliches and lies that they make up. That's why when Romney shows up last night, they're shocked. If they'd heard Romney behave that way for years, that's not who Romney is. Romney is what they've said about him. Romney is... You heard Savannah Guthrie's question: "Why didn't use the 47%? Why didn't you use Bain Capital? Why didn't you use outsourcing? Why didn't you use Cayman Islands?"
They've constructed this reality that either they believe or they're convinced they've made others believe. I maintain to you that they believe this stuff to a certain degree, a large number of them do. And that then becomes their problem. They themselves believe their own lies. They believe their own creations of caricature and characterization. They never deal in reality. They can't afford to, given what they believe.
I mean, they can't be honest, for example, about what they believe. So Romney shows up and it turns into a debate on substance and ideas, and they've got nowhere to go. They don't debate in the arena of ideas. They don't dare. What they do is try to discredit or impugn or simply destroy the reputation, life, career, of their opponents. They're not in this to win a debate of ideas. They don't even want to get anywhere near that.
And yet that's what happened last night, and as such they're ill-equipped and totally unprepared because they have concocted/manufactured lies, caricatures, distortions, that become their reality. So when Savannah Guthrie says, "Why didn't you use the 47%?" she really believes that Romney can be taken out with that. She really believes one of two things: Either Romney really doesn't care about 47%, or that she and her buddies have succeeded in making other people think that Romney doesn't care about the 47%.
But either way, they believe that they can make other people think it's true or they themselves do or a combination of the two. They're not hard to understand at all. It's very easy to understand 'em. They do not understand us. They have never, ever taken the effort, and they never will. Conservatism, to them, is kooks. That's why they don't think they're biased. How can you be biased to what's normal, which is them?
Liberalism. Big government.
"What do you mean? These kook conservatives are a ragtag bunch of loons. There's some pro-lifers and nuts and kooks and wackos over there." We're just insects. And as such, all this means they're just ill-equipped and unprepared to deal with the substance of ideas.