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Carole Simpson on Debate Discrimination and Obama the "People Person"

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This morning, CNN Starting Point, Soledad O'Brien speaking with former ABC News anchor, Carole Simpson, about tonight's second presidential debate.  Soledad O'Brien said, "You've been critical. You say that women are having the opportunity to only do the debate where they really don't get to ask any of the questions. Why is that do you think?"

Candy Crowley tonight is doing the moderator bit, the town hall where voters -- by the way, these are undecided voters, ostensibly found by Gallup, which is being pressured by Axelrod.  But that's supposedly how we're gonna get the audience tonight, undecided voters that Gallup finds via their polling.  And Carole Simpson said, "A moderator cannot rephrase a question, cannot expand on it." Candy Crowley says she's going to, she's not some potted plant or fly on the wall. 

So both teams yesterday, both campaigns said, "Wait a second, she's openly stating here she's gonna break the rules?"  She's a news babe.  Why be afraid of that?  I mean, whoever gets elected here is gonna have to deal with people like Ahmadinejad and Vladimir Putin, and you're gonna be afraid of Candy Crowley?  Give me the violins.  Anyway, Candy Crowley wants to be able to expand, and Carole Simpson's point is it's a put-down to women to give them this moderator role when basically all they do is call somebody's name and shove a microphone in their face.  Here's what she said.

SIMPSON:  I don't want to think it's sexism, but it sure does seem like it, that women are only given the vice presidential debate and given the town hall meeting where basically we hold the microphone for other people to ask questions.  Yet Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer got to go one on one with the candidates and ask their own questions.  So it looks like women have been pigeonholed into the women slot, which is not the big slot, which I think is one on one with the candidates.

RUSH:  I have to be honest here.  I don't even think this way.  So this is foreign to me.  See, I don't look for discrimination.  I look for news media bias, of course, but my world is not made up of, "Oooh, there's a person with black skin, must be X."  So she's running around, "This is a big affront to all women.  I don't want to say it's sexism, but it is.  'Cause they're making us do the dumb stuff.  We can't even participate. We just shove a microphone into somebody's mouth." 

(interruption)

Can I admit that she has a point?  Do I admit that she has a point?  Meaning that there is discrimination at the Commission on Presidential Debates that there is an active bias that says women are only capable of shoving microphones in people's mouths, other than Clinton and then it changes, and they're not capable of anything else. They're not capable of any more than that.  We're gonna save the real substantive debates where candidates talk to the moderator, for men.  Do I think she's got a point?  Hell, I don't know.  It's a bunch of libs.  It's supposedly a bipartisan commission.  Hell, I don't know.  See, I don't even think this way.  Maybe she's got a point.  Hell, I don't know.  Here, move on.  Soledad O'Brien said, "Well, who do you think gets the advantage, Carole Simpson, in a town hall debate?  Do you think Romney gets the advantage or do you think Obama gets the advantage?"

SIMPSON:  I think it's a people person, and I think that's President Obama.  He was a community organizer.  He's used to dealing with people.  He's comfortable with them.  He's a touchy-feely person.  He's not afraid to touch people, and it looks genuine.

RUSH:  What?

SIMPSON:  And I watched Romney campaign in Iowa, and he tries to do it, but that's been a criticism of his, that he doesn't relate to ordinary people.  So I think tonight Obama has the advantage in that I think he'll be warmer and, you know, closer to the people.

RUSH:  Okay.  You just heard it.  Carole Simpson, ex-ABC News, Obama, hands down, he's a people person, he's touchy-feely, not afraid to touch people, community organizer, used to dealing with people, loves people, looks genuine. Romney hates ordinary people, everybody knows it. I'm holding here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a story from the Weekly Standard today by Neera Tanden.  Let me just read this to you. 

"Neera Tanden, a former aide to both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, had this to say about the relationship of the two presidents:  Clinton, being Clinton, had plenty of advice in mind and was desperate to impart it. But for the first two years of Obama’s term, the phone calls Clinton kept expecting rarely came. 'People say the reason Obama wouldn’t call Clinton is because he doesn’t like him,' observes Tanden. 'The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.'"

Now, this statement made by Neera Tanden, she served as a senior adviser for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services.  She advised Kathleen Sebelius, and she's working on Obama's health reform team in the White House.  She knows him.  So you just heard Carole Simpson, (imitating Simpson) "A community organizer, used to dealing with people, he's comfortable with them." This woman who knows him said he hates people.  He doesn't like people.  He doesn't call anybody. 

I've heard three or four people say that in the past week, that Obama doesn't like people, people are stunned. It's all part of the story that the job's beneath him, he's just too big for this job.  He needs to run the world. He doesn't like politics. He has to talk to people and make nice and negotiate with them.  He's an autocrat.  But Carole Simpson thinks he's a hands-down winner.  I don't know what she's smoking, but that's not the Obama I see. He's not a warm, cuddly guy.  The first observation about Obama early on, 2008, cool, calm, and collected.  This is a cold guy, when you get right down to brass tacks, he's a cold guy.  Oh, guess where Obama is going to campaign after the debate?  He's going to New Hampshire.  You know how many electoral votes are in New Hampshire?  Four. 

Do you think Axelrod and "Fluff" and the boys ever envisioned going to New Hampshire in mid-October to campaign for four electoral votes?  I don't think so.  Cookie, archives, grab me Evan Thomas and whoever else it was reviewing Obama, Grant Park, election night 2008.  (paraphrasing) "He's creepy.  We've never seen a guy go out without his wife or kids or send them packing.  It's like he's observing us observe him.  He's above everything."  Find that bite for me, Cookie.  It's in the archives and we've aired it a number of times.  And then we'll go back and we'll play Carole Simpson, ABC News, with her interpretation of Obama.  And we'll just see what you think. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: By the way, the Neera Tanden babe quoted in the Weekly Standard as saying, "It's stunning he's in politics. He doesn't really like people," has been taken to woodshed. She has apologized and said that she took herself out of context. She said what she meant to say was he's a deeply private person. She deeply regrets how she said what she said. She didn't really mean what she said when she said, "He doesn't really like people."

It's just that he's really private.

So they took her to the woodshed, and they gave her the Cory Booker spanking, and now she's back.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We've got these two sound bites.  This is sound bite 28, 29.  This is November 15th, Charlie Rose talking to Evan Thomas and Jon Meacham of Newsweek.  Obama is already elected.  Before the election they think Obama is the next greatest thing since sliced bread.  They can't wait to get on the bandwagon.  Then after he's elected, they conceded there's something creepy and deeply manipulative about Obama.

MEACHAM: He's very elusive, Obama, which is fascinating for a man who's written two memoirs. At Grant Park he walks out with the family, and then they go away.

ROSE: Mmm. Mmm-hmm.

MEACHAM: Biden's back, you know, locked in the bar or something.

ROSE: (haughty chuckle)

MEACHAM: You know, they don't let him out. And have you ever seen a victory speech where there was no one else on stage?

ROSE: Mmm.

MEACHAM: No adoring wife, no cute kid. He is the messenger.

THOMAS: There is a slightly creepy cult of personality about all this. I mean, he's such an admirable --

ROSE: Slightly. Creepy. Cult of personality.

THOMAS: Yes.

ROSE: What's "slightly creepy" about it?

THOMAS: It -- it -- it just makes me a little uneasy that he's so singular. He's clearly managing his own spectacle. He's a deeply manipulative guy.

RUSH:  Now, I'm playing these sound bites for you because Carole Simpson has just said on CNN that Obama's gonna win this thing hands down tonight 'cause he's the people guy; he does well one on one; he's a great guy, meet-and-greet; he empathizes with people; he's a community organizer.  Romney, he doesn't even like ordinary people, according to Carole Simpson.  But we've got this babe, Neena Tanden, who said Obama really doesn't even like people; it's really hard to believe he's in politics. She's now been taken to woodshed, took that back, and now these guys.  Here's the next bite from the same appearance, Charlie Rose, this is November 5th of 2008, by the way.

ROSE: Watching him last night in that speech, he finishes --

MEACHAM: Yeah.

ROSE: -- and he sort of -- it's almost like he then ascends to look at the circumstance.

MEACHAM: He watches us watching him.

THOMAS: Watching him!

ROSE: Exactly!

THOMAS: He does --

MEACHAM: It's amazing.

ROSE: It is amazing.

THOMAS: He writes about this metaphor being a screen upon which Americans will project. He said they want Barack Obama; I'm not sure I am Barack Obama.

ROSE: Mmm.

THOMAS: He has the self-awareness to know that this "creature" he's designed isn't necessarily a real person, and he's self-aware enough --

ROSE: Ahhhhhh.

RUSH:  I mean, this is all stunning.  Before the election we had Brokaw and Charlie Rose talking about how, (imitating Brokaw and Rose) "We don't know this guy. We don't know who his mentors have been.  We don't know what books he's read. We don't know anything about this guy.  We don't know about his foreign policy, Charlie.  I don't know, Charlie, I don't know what he's stands for, I really don't know."  These guys were telling everybody in the world we had to elect this guy. 

Then after the election we got this on the same show.  "He's creepy. He has the self-awareness to know that this creature he's designed isn't necessarily a real person. He's above all of us. He's amused watching us watch him.  Grant Park, he's creepy.  So who are we to believe here?"  Are we to believe these guys and Neera Tanden or Carole Simpson?  I just let you hear this about all of these various people here that supposedly know everything there is to know about Obama, such a wonderful guy. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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