RUSH: F. Chuck Todd, just to repeat this. I had this at the conclusion of the previous hour. F. Chuck Todd, NBC News, who just yesterday said, "Well, you know, the incumbent at 47% in the Gallup. Well, it's two weeks out. That's okay. If it's one week to go and the incumbent's at 47%, we got a problem." F. Chuck Todd, after last night's debate, said Obama has now lost the opportunity to attack Mitt Romney and to disqualify Romney. That's what last night was. F. Chuck has given it up. Last night, world media, hoping for blood from Romney in the water. Last night Romney was to be disqualified. That was the agenda; that was the objective.
The problem is Romney did not play. Romney didn't cooperate. And so F. Chuck Todd now says it's too late for Obama to disqualify Romney. He has to re-qualify himself. And our old buddy Jim Rutenberg at the New York Times basically says the same thing. Jim Rutenberg says that it's now unmistakable, Obama is protecting his safest turf and Romney is seeing new opportunities to take it. They are despondent all across the media. They had such high hopes for Obama based on 2008. Then, after the first debate debacle, they thought he really won the second one, and last night he's gonna disqualify Romney on foreign policy. Remember at the outset, before the debate started, the left and the media all said, foreign policy, last debate, that's Obama's strong suit.
F. Chuck has given it up here. They were gonna disqualify Romney last night, and Romney didn't disqualify himself. Interesting that to the people on our side, he did. Snerdley's got the look of a curious puppy on his face, but I don't even want to get into it.
Well, no. Didn't go after him on Benghazi, agreed with him on Afghanistan, didn't attack him on Pakistan, China. So they thought there were so many opportunities to go in here and just destroy Obama, and Romney didn't do it. Here's Tina Brown, The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Tina Brown, another social doyenne, she's the Sally, what's-her-face, Sally Quinn of New York, throws the best parties, goes to all the openings. I mean, she's the social doyenne, determines who's hip and who's not, ran Vanity Fair for the longest time, and she was on Charlie Rose last night, as they all are. They were talking about the debate, and here's what she said -- big lib here -- about Romney's performance.
BROWN: I'm sure that John Bolton was wanting to throw himself out of the window when he watched this debate, but I thought he just came off as wildly plausible. It's all he had to be, wildly plausible.
RUSH: Bolton, I'm sure, is one of these guys that was devastated last night watching Romney. You know, he wants Obama's ideology attacked. So she's right about that. Bolton probably was wanting to throw himself out the window, but Romney came across plausible, plausible. He did not disqualify himself. That was the objective that the Obamaites had. Here's Mike Allen, Politico. He's on C-SPAN 2 last night. And he's the chief political correspondent from Politico, which is the official media campaign arm for Obama.
ALLEN: The Wall Street Journal using the word "surge" as they reported their poll for the president today. And part of it is the tightening in these states, but also the fact that he's improving. As you dig into the polls, he's improving among women, he's improving among how he would handle the economy. Amazingly, Washington Post/ABC is out tonight with a poll showing the race tied 49-48, the president ahead. That's a wash. But also showing them almost tied in how they would handle terrorism. How they would handle foreign affairs. For the commander-in-chief, in the eyes of the voters, to be on the same rung as Mitt Romney is quite remarkable.
RUSH: They can't believe it. There was another poll last night, one of these flash polls, "Who appeared commander-in-chief-like?" And it was Obama 63, Romney 60. But wait. If you already are commander-in-chief and only 63% say you came off that way, that is not good for you. You already are commander-in-chief. You better get close to 95 or a hundred on that, dude. To show up at 63? Huge problem for "Barack Hussein Obama! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!"
RUSH: To Kansas City. This is Chris. It's great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Greetings, Mr. Limbaugh. Thank you for having me on the show today.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: I wanted to bring up talking about China and getting tough on China. Barack Obama said that his administration was going after China for trying to dump cheap Chinese tires on the US market. So he came right out to the American public and admitted that he's raising the cost of basic goods that we need like replacing our tires.
RUSH: You think a lot of people picked up on that?
CALLER: I almost jumped off my couch with that.
RUSH: He said his administration is going after the ChiComs for trying to dump cheap Chinese tires? The ChiComs are dumping cheap everything!
CALLER: That's right.
RUSH: Romney made a point that they're dumping cheap knock-offs.
CALLER: It's not necessarily even, you know, China, but South Korea can make some things cheaper than we can here. It all comes out to the unit cost. Is it cheaper to make it here and send it here we can buy it for a lower choice or is it cheaper for it to be made in America? And a lot of these products --
RUSH: Let me ask you: Overall, the exchange on China, did anything about it upset you either way, Obama or Romney? At some point Bob Schieffer said, "Governor Romney, it sounds like you're maybe on the verge of a trade war with China. Is that what you want?" Romney said, "No, no, no! We don't want a trade war. We already have a trade imbalance with China. We can't afford that," and then he launched into how we need leadership to deal with these people and live happily ever after. How did all that come off to you?
CALLER: I think Mitt Romney was absolutely right that China is basically already in a trade war with us.
RUSH: Yeah. You know what are really cheap that ChiComs make is binders. Have you ever had a ChiCom binder? Oh, the cheapest damn binders that I have ever seen. You don't want to buy one of those. I don't care whether the binders are filled with women or not. You don't want a ChiCom binder.
CALLER: No, I've probably had quite a few of those fall apart on me quickly.
RUSH: Yes, no matter what's in 'em. But anyway, I interrupted you. What was your overall take of the discussion on China?
CALLER: I thought Mitt Romney came off in a much better position. Because, as he pointed out, China needs our markets more than we need China's markets right now. They don't have a market. I mean, they've got many more people than we do, but they don't necessarily have more money to spend than most Americans would wind up with if our economy were running properly instead of being deranged as it is. So they would want us to stay on friendly terms with them and not force them to play fair.
RUSH: Well, it didn't come up, but one of the aspects of our relationship with China is their ownership of so much of our debt. You know, that was unmentioned last night, but it is also a factor. Chris, I appreciate the call. Patrick in Naples, Florida, you're next. It's great to have you with us. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, how are you doing, buddy?
RUSH: Pretty good, sir.
CALLER: Good to talk to you. First-time caller, longtime listener. I want to talk about the debates. I think Romney played it masterful. I think what he did was, after he really won that first one, the administration's policy or their attack plan was to try to make Romney look like a liar, with the comebacks, "That's just not true," "check the facts." You know, one thing Romney is -- and he may be a lot of things -- he's not a liar. I think most of America sees that, and this ticky-tacky policy of trying to make him a liar has just blown up in Barack Obama's face. I think that's kind of an underlying thing.
RUSH: Yeah, it's an interesting thing that you bring up. I got an e-mail today from the guy who runs the blog The Right Scoop. Seton Motley. And he'd gone back to the archives of this program. May 22nd, Charlie Rose, PBS was talking with TIME Magazine Mark Halperin. Remember back then they were trying to link Romney to Bain Capital and to Wall Street, and they wanted Romney.
If you forget, I maintained from the beginning that the Obama campaign wanted Romney. Occupy Wall Street was created to oppose Romney. Romney was Wall Street. Romney was Bain Capital. They were gonna try to disqualify Romney on the basis of "the 1%" and so forth. It's fascinating to go back here to May of this year and hear Mark Halperin discussing the strategy of going after Romney with Charlie Rose.
HALPERIN 05.22.12: The economic fundamentals are really against the president. The Washington Post poll that was mentioned shows something like, I think it’s 14 percent of the people, think they are better off than they were before the president took office. That is a startling number. I think that Governor Romney is surviving this Bain attack. He may not in the long run, but I think the facts of it and the way they are burning it out, it was an issue earlier, I think that a lot of the attacks they’re going to make on Governor Romney may burn themselves out before the general election and I think the Obama people may be overestimating the extent to which people are paying attention now. So for the press and some people, I think they are burning him out too quickly, and I think again when the time comes, when people start to pay attention if Governor Romney rises to the occasion, I think he has a chance to win much better than I thought before.
RUSH: That's TIME Magazine Mark Halperin back in May with Charlie Rose. "[W]hen the time comes when people start to pay attention if Governor Romney rises to the occasion, I think he has a chance to win much better than I thought before." And that's because the regime's attempt to link him to Bain wasn't working then. So Charlie Rose said to Mark Halperin, "Well, he has essentially survived all that in the bitter primary process, Mark."
HALPERIN 05.22.12: If they don't disqualify him the way President Bush disqualified John Kerry, I think he'll be able to win. If Governor Romney looks strong month to month, a lot of conservative millionaires and billionaires are gonna give to these super PACs in a way that may give Governor Romney a huge advantage. A huge advantage in money in the 9 to 12 states that will decide this. And again, that can help him survive. As long as the Democrats don't knock him out, I think he'll win.
RUSH: That's back in May. So Halperin was being up-front honest with his... I'll call them "fears," 'cause I don't think Halperin really wants Romney to win this, and I don't think he wanted Romney to win it back in May. But even back in May, he had misgivings about the regime's campaign. And if they didn't take Romney out on all this stuff, Halperin was saying: He's gonna win because Obama's got nothing here. Only 14% of the people think they're better off now than when Obama took office!
That's not a reelect number, only 14%.
So they've given it their best shot, and now they're going back to recycling earlier campaign strategies.
They haven't disqualified Romney.
That's what that debate on foreign policy last night was supposed to do, and it didn't happen.