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From the Grooveyard: Rush Endorses Clinton in 1992 -- and Then Denies It

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let's go back to the Grooveyard of Forgotten Favorites.  Let's go back to October 22, 1992, maybe two or three weeks before the 1992 election.  I was at my wits' end, and so I decided to try something...

RUSH ARCHIVE:  My friends, it's just this simple: I have changed my mind on the presidential race.  I have no choice.  I mean, I have a choice, but I've made up my mind.  I've been hoping. I've been holding out hope that there would be a massive rebound.  I've been holding out hope that the president could pull this thing out, but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen, and I have my career to think about. 

And if the mood of this country is not where I am right now, then I'm the one that's gonna have to change.  I have been challenged to have the courage to change, and so I have.  I am here to tell you that I, today, understand the mood of the majority of the people in this country.  I, ladies and gentlemen, um, here at 12 minutes after the hour on the 22nd of October, am here to tell you that I have decided to endorse the candidacy of Bill Clinton for president.

(interruption)

No, I'm not crying. (clearing throat) I'm just... Talk about having no choice.  Talk about... (sigh) It's the only way I think the country can really, truly be saved.  Not with Clinton.  I don't think that Clinton himself is going to be the instrument of revitalization, by virtue of what he will do.  It will be what he will cause to occur elsewhere, and... (sigh) I don't know.  I wish I wouldn't have to do this.

You know, I would love to sit here and continue the charade of being for President Bush, but I can't.  So there.  You know, I'm sure that you understand this has not been easy.  I've had to weigh my thoughts very carefully.  I've had to weigh this decision.  I've thought about it a lot.  I've talked to a lot of people.  I have not made this decision lightly. 

END ARCHIVE CLIP

RUSH:  So I had the courage to change, and I announced my endorsement of Bill Clinton October 22, 1992.  Then I went to commercial break, and then came back from the commercial break and went straight to the phones.

BEGIN ARCHIVE CLIP

RUSH:  Phyllis in the Bronx, in New York.  Hello.

CALLER:  I am a conservative, and I back my president 100%.  I work for the Board of Ed.  I am home sick today, but now I'm really sick.  Rush, what are you doing to us?  I'm sick and tired of the liberals in this country bashing our country!

RUSH:  What -- what -- what -- what are you talking about?

CALLER:  I mean, you're backing Mr... You're backing Bill Clinton!

RUSH:  I am not!  I am not!

CALLER:  You just said you're backing him.

RUSH:  I never said that!

CALLER:  You said you were going to change your vote.  You're not voting for the president; you're gonna have to vote for Bill Clinton.

RUSH:  I did not say that!  I did not say that I was going to vote for Clinton!

CALLER:  What did you say?  What did you say?

RUSH:  I did not say that I was going to vote for Bill Clinton.

CALLER:  But I heard you say those words.

RUSH:  No, no, no.  You're just trying to twist my words and turn them around.  I never said it.

CALLER: (sigh) What did you say?  Could you just tell me? You said you could... You know, I can't even talk, I'm so upset.  I'm practically ready for tears.

RUSH:  Look, I don't know. You keep wanting to... Look, look, look.  All I can tell you is, I'm tired of this. Everybody wants to look into my past.

CALLER:  No, no, no, no. I'm not bringing up the past.

RUSH:  It was 23 minutes ago.  You keep talking about something that happened 23 minutes ago.  It's irrelevant.  Can't we move on with things that matter?

CALLER:  It's irrelevant what you said about changing your entire conservative view?

RUSH:  Can't we talk about the things that matter? You keep wanting to say about what I said 23 minutes ago.  It doesn't matter.

CALLER:  It does.

RUSH:  It does not.

CALLER:  You said it all over the country.

RUSH:  I didn't say it. I didn't say it.

CALLER:  You told everybody all over the country.

RUSH:  I was younger 23 minutes ago.  Cut me some slack.

CALLER:  No!

RUSH:  You know, this is the thing that happens. This is the kind of thing... We're trying to move forward. We've got some things that are important that we've gotta do on this radio show, and you want to talk about something that happened 23 minutes ago.

CALLER:  That's right.

RUSH:  Well --

CALLER:  Because it's very relevant.

RUSH:  It is not.

CALLER:  We are two weeks away from the election.  You are talking to the entire country, and the entire country is listening to you who has been our leader, the one we looked up to for everything.  Now you're telling us, "I can't go with Mr. Bush."

RUSH:  I never said that!  I did not say that you can't go with Mr. Bush.  You can go with Mr. Bush.  I hope you do.

CALLER:  Oh, I am going with Mr. Bush!

RUSH:  I think everybody should.

CALLER:  And just at this moment, when the industrial production in the country's on the upswing, labor figures are up. I mean, people are really starting to get it back together again.  We need to vote for Mr. Bush! He needs us now.  He needs our support, more than ever.

RUSH:  Let me tell you something: I couldn't agree with you more.  Where have you been?  You're going to have to listen a little bit more closely, Phyllis, and you're gonna have to think about the future.  What happens in the past is irrelevant.  It doesn't matter.  I mean, you're talking about my character.  When you are challenging something I've said 23, 25 minutes ago, you're talking about my character.  My character doesn't matter to anything.  What matters is this country and how we've got to get it fixed and do it right. I appreciate your concern, but you gotta get focused on the things that are important. 

END ARCHIVE CLIP

RUSH:  That went on for an entire hour, caller after caller demanding to know why I endorsed Clinton, and I continued to deny it or admitting that it was in my past and irrelevant and I shouldn't be judged by things I said in the past, that none of that mattered, we have to move forward.  I just kept denying it.  I had a Rush to Excellence stop coming up that next weekend, and a guy called and said he wasn't going, was gonna trash his tickets, he wasn't gonna give them to anybody.  And then finally after an hour, I said, "Folks, understand, I've just been pretending to be for Clinton for you." 

This is illustrating absurdity by being absurd.  I was just doing what Clinton was doing.  Clinton was lying through his teeth.  He was denying the Gennifer Flowers thing. He was denying that he had said certain things.  He was not telling people the truth.  I was at my wits' end.  The guy's leading in the polls.  I was simply trying to illustrate for people who Clinton was.  And I pulled it off for an hour.  I loved it, denying something I had said 23 minutes ago, making it their fault for misunderstanding me.  One of the highlights. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  By the way, one thing I should tell you that during that hour, after I endorsed Clinton, the media fell for it, they called Clinton, and they were asking him what he thought about it. The Clinton campaign, they were happy. They were ecstatic that I had come around, and they thought that it was cool and that the future president and I would have things to talk about down the road. They bought it, the Clinton campaign -- I'll never forget -- bought it hook, line, and sinker, until they found out it was a ruse, and then they went, of course, postal again. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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