RUSH: Let's go back and review. Here's Obama Friday morning on CNN, the interview with Chris Cuomo.
OBAMA: Republicans, after having taken 40 votes to try to get rid of Obamacare, uh, see this as their last gasp. Nobody thinks that's good for the middle class! And I've made this argument to my Republican friends privately. And, by the way, sometimes they say to me privately, "I agree with you, but I'm worried about a primary from, y'know, somebody in the Tea Party back in my district." Or "I'm worried about what Rush Limbaugh's gonna say about me on the radio -- and so you gotta understand, I'm... It's really difficult." I can't force these folks to do what's right for the American people. But what I sure as heck can do is stay focused on what I know will be good for the American people.
RUSH: This is so tiresome, and it's such a crock that Republicans tell him that. Anyway, Friday night on The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel Scott Brown was the fill-in host. He talked to the Washington Post Magazine Contributing Editor Cathy Areu and he said, "After five years, don't you think the blame game is getting a little old here," meaning blaming Limbaugh over and over? I mean, look, nobody's listening to the guy anymore. He's going to the well one too many times -- and, yet, get this answer.
AREU: Well, actually it's not a blame game. It's a branding game, and he's branding the Republican Party. What they really are right now is almost the Tea Party, the Rush Limbaugh party, the fringe party, the -- the "no" party. So it's not really a blame game. It's really a branding game, and it's true.
RUSH: Wow. Not only that, he's right to do it.
Because I'm the Tea Party. I'm running the show now. Just a month ago I only had three years left. Joe Trippi on the record with Greta on Friday night talked about this very thing.
VAN SUSTEREN: Shouldn't a president be sort of above the fray, above the food fight? I mean, instead what he does is like he gets right involved in it. You know, he tries to poke Rush Limbaugh in the eye and Rush Limbaugh comes back and pokes him in both eyes. And, I mean, the president embroils him. This president should be worried about jobs (crosstalk) and sounds like he's picking fights. I mean, it's just bizarre.
TRIPPI: No, absolutely. The president should be letting guys like me do that and not do it himself.
RUSH: Maybe he's tired, Joe, that you guys aren't doing it enough? (chuckling) So, anyway, there are two different schools of thought. The Washington Post Magazine editor says, "Right on, Barack! You keep talking to Limbaugh, 'cause he is the Tea Party, and he is the power, and he is an extremist and he is a kook and you can brand 'em all that way by linking Limbaugh to 'em!" And Joe Trippi says, "No, no, no, no, no. Don't go there, all you're doing is elevating these guys. Let me handle it, Mr. President."
RUSH: If you're just joining us, on the audio sound bite roster today, 17 of the 24 sound bites that we have are about me. I had mixed emotions about playing 'em all. My staff is urging me to do it. What they want me to do is just play 'em -- bam, bam, bam, thank you, ma'am -- without my comments between 'em. Just play it for the fun of it. I can't. I tried, and I can't stop myself from commenting on these things as they go by.
Here's the next one. If I don't play one now and then we're never gonna get through 'em all. This is a continuation of Greta Van Susteren and Joe Trippi on Greta's show on Friday night. Trippi has just said that he doesn't like Obama going after me. That's not good. Obama ought not be focusing on me. He needs to be focusing on elected Republicans. Trippi says (summarized), "Let people like me focus on Limbaugh. Don't elevate Limbaugh."
They're just upset that Obama focusing on me elevates me, and they don't like that because they're in the media now like I am, and so there is a professional competitiveness, in addition to political disagreement. (interruption) What? What are you not understanding about...? (interruption) They are. Trippi's in the media right now. (interruption) He's in the media. That's where he's earning his paycheck now, until the next election, when he'll go back and he'll be a political consultant.
Or maybe not. He wasn't a consultant in 2012. He stayed on Fox. But as I was telling Levin... I sent Levin a note. Mark Levin's book, The Liberty Amendments, is a great book. It has actual prescriptions that do nothing but take the directions offered in the Constitution on what to do constitutionally to repair damage such as that the country has faced and is facing now. A lot of the criticism of Levin's book is purposely wrong.
He's not calling for an overall, brand-new constitutional convention where anybody can go in there and rewrite the convention. He's talking about a series of state conventions that we control. It's all in the Fifth Amendment. The book explains all this. But it's being purposely misrepresented by conservatives. I told him, I said -- and, folks, it's sad to say, but there two things. One of the truths is that in the conservative media, there are some who look at Levin or me as competitors.
They're not gonna talk about his book, and they're certainly not gonna sign onto it, and they're not gonna promote it, and they're not gonna support the premise. Because that, in their view, diminishes them. So that he will ignore it or criticize it. There's no unity in this conservative media business, folks, because everybody in it wants to be considered the smartest guy in the room. In fact, there's a lot of competition in the conservative media, which, by the way, is normal and healthy, but it's also a factor.
And then there's a second thing that is happening here, and that is when you get to, as we just mentioned, Congress -- House and Senate -- you can count on two hands the number of Republicans who actually want to do anything about this right now. The others want their own version of Obamacare, their own version of amnesty, their own version of the continuing resolution. There isn't any opposition.
You can count on two hands -- 10 people probably -- those who are daily not afraid to speak up about their opposition to what is happening, and, by that, I mean, Obama and Democrat policies. So that's all I'm saying. When Trippi says, "Obama, don't mention Limbaugh. Let me do that," in addition to politics, there's a little media competitiveness. It's not so much 'cause he's liberal, but he's in the media now.
You know, I'm sure that these guys would love to have Obama mentioning their name. That's all I'm saying. It's no more complicated than that -- and I don't mean to be calling anybody out, and it doesn't matter to me anyway 'cause things are what they are. But this is the continuation of that conversation that Trippi was having with Greta about Obama mentioning me and whether or not that's good, bad, indifferent, makes sense or not.
VAN SUSTEREN: When he singles, out in this instance, Rush Limbaugh --
VAN SUSTEREN: -- it makes him look like Rush is really under his skin and, as I think Rush says, he "lives rent free in his head." I mean, it really does. There's something very different about it than saying, "Well, you know, there's a fight in the two parties." There's something different about it.
TRIPPI: No. No, you're right about that and it -- and it does... It puts a light on Rush. It actually makes Rush... Empowers him, makes him even bigger than -- than -- than he might be. I mean, if the president of the United States [is] calling you out, that -- that's good for you. So, I don't -- Again, I would have left that up to Democratic strategists and folks like me that are out there and -- and that got, you know, in -- and I don't really understand. I agree with you; I think it doesn't make any sense.
RUSH: See? (laughing) "It doesn't make any sense." Let me explain it to you. Joe, let me explain it to you. Back in December of 2008 or January of 2009 the Democrats did a poll, and that poll showed that I am the most hated Republican in a poll of Republican names, elected and unelected. For the Democrats (you know this as well as I do, Joe), everything is done by polling. So my name shows up, they'll use it. You should go back and look this up, Joe.
In the first two weeks of Obama's administration, he has over the leaders of all the congressional people -- Senate, House, Republican, Democrat -- and he tells Boehner and these guys to stop listening to me, that that's "not how things get done in Washington." That's because of the polls, or maybe he really believes it. Ever since, whenever they do a poll, my name must show up. That's why my name is mentioned. That's why these guys do it. There's no other reason.
This goes back to an Open Line Friday question. We had this guy ask me, "How come with all of these assaults on you, all these attacks over 25 years ago, you're still number one? How have you withstood it?" Well, in their minds, they think that they have so successfully demonized me that calling me the leader of the Republican Party is a way to make sure that the low-information voter never, ever, looks at the Republican Party in a positive light.
This is what the Washington Post babe said was the reason Obama mentions my name. I think it's much more involved and detailed than that, and there is some branding in it, but the real reason is that they haven't been able to take me out and they keep trying. That is what's propelling it all. They haven't been able to destroy the relationship that I have with you, the audience of this program -- and that befuddles them, and they keep trying. So all of these reasons are applicable, and this goes back a long time.
Let's go back 2004, the Democrat primaries.
We have a montage of Howard Dean on the stump 2004. Here's Howard Dean attempting to get the Democrat presidential nomination...
DEAN: We are taking our country back piece by piece from the Rush Limbaughs. You have the power to take back our country so that the flag no longer represents solely Rush Limbaugh. You have the power to take back our country so that the flag never again is the sole property of Rush Limbaugh. We have the power to take back our country so that the flag of the United States is no longer the sole property of Rush Limbaugh. This country does not belong to Rush Limbaugh. Move over. I want my country back again because the flag of this country does not belong to Rush Limbaugh. You have the power to take back the flag so it does no longer belong solely with Rush Limbaugh. Aaagggghhhh!
RUSH: It must have been somebody in his audiences with the American flag, the Stars and Stripes, except the stars must have been a picture of me. Everywhere he looked and saw the American flag, Howard Dean saw me. Candy Crowley on CNN. This is Friday night in the Situation Room. The fill-in host is Jessica Yellin, and it's time to promote Candy Crowley and her Sunday show, State of the Union. They're talking about Obama saying the Republicans are afraid of me.
That happened on Friday morning. They were still talking about it Friday night. Jessica Yellin said to Candy Crowley, "Does the president have a point in what he said to Chris Cuomo, which is Republicans are scared of some of their constituents?"
CROWLEY: Absolutely, they are! Well, they're scared of a challenge from the right. I'm not sure about the Rush Limbaugh part, as much as we absolutely know that there are Tea Party challengers out there on the Senate side and the House side willing to go after these guys.
RUSH: So, Jessica Yellin then continued with her interview...
YELLIN: We've heard the president talk about what he doesn't like, from, as you say, Rush Limbaugh, Republicans in Congress. What is his play? What can he do to get something done in the budget fights in the fall?
MICHAEL SCHERER: It's always better if they can get 'im out of Washington in August, and he looks better on the road talking from the perspective of the American people about what they need than he does in Washington talking about how he can't do anything. So I think this is gonna be a campaign moment for the White House.
RUSH: Right. So I'm on their brain, in their brain no matter where they go.
Here's Don Lemon, CNN again. By the way, this does not include all the mentions at MSNBC, who are still under a ban on this program. I've got a ban on anything said on MSNBC ever appearing here. Why give those people added audience? Why amplify the literal insanity that happens on that network? So they're banned. Which, of course, forces us over to CNN, if we're gonna have sound bites of Democrats. Here's Don Lemon, the anchor, speaking to NY1 Inside City Hall host Errol Louis about Obama saying that Republicans agree with him but are afraid of me.
This is how that went...
LOUIS: Do these people exist, these Republicans who secretly agree with the president but fear Rush Limbaugh? Have you ever met any of them?
LEMON: Oh, I'm sure they do. Yeah, no. Absolutely they do. I mean, look, people go into the legislature because they like deal-making and compromise, and they've probably done it all their life at the city council level or as county commissioners or in their state legislature. They get to Congress, into this incredibly polarized situation, and they can't make a move. And party leadership is demanding that they take 40 worthless, waste-of-time votes just to make a point. And it's not really what a lot of people went into politics for.
RUSH: "Oh, absolutely the president's right about that. Absolutely these Republicans fear Rush Limbaugh, because Rush Limbaugh doesn't tolerate deal-making and compromise -- and that's all these people want to do. From the first day of dogcatcher, all up to town council and city hall, that's all they do in politics. They make deals, and they get to Washington, and that's why they want to go there. They want to make deals, and they get there and they can't because of Rush Limbaugh!"
So that's what these people really think.
RUSH: Here's Don in Miami. Don, I'm glad you called. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, good afternoon, Rush. I was told to get right to the point, so I will. You know, if President Obama is gonna make statements and be critical of you, the least he could do is agree to schedule a debate directly with you rather than having a debate with you surrogately (sic) through the media. So, President Obama, pick up the phone, call Rush, schedule a debate. He could be on Jay Leno's show. He must have time for that, Rush.
RUSH: Why do it on the Leno Show? Why not do it here?
CALLER: No, I'm saying he had time to go there; he should have time to do it with you.
RUSH: Oh, I see. He's got time --
CALLER: He's got time to do all these other things.
RUSH: Yeah, that's true.
CALLER: You know what? You could agree that you just ask questions and he could just give the answers.
CALLER: You know, how much can you pick on a person?
RUSH: You know, that actually is not a bad suggestion. You could go far in a debate with any liberal just asking the right questions. That is absolutely right. There's no way Obama would do that because he's got no reason to. There's nothing to gain for him by doing that. But I appreciate the thought, Don. Thanks much.
RUSH: Have you noticed something listening to these clips? There is something that every one of them has in common. Every clip that we've played so far has been the media or a guest bouncing off of Obama mentioning me as the number one problem in this country. When you boil it all down, that's what he's saying. "Yeah, yeah, yeah! These Republicans, you know, they're afraid of Limbaugh. The reason they won't agree with me is 'cause they're afraid of Limbaugh."
In every one of these clips (and we have played eight of them now), not a word about Obama's policies and the destruction taking place in the country. Not a word about what Obama has done to the Constitution, flouting it, ignoring it. Not a word from these people in the media about what Obama's policies have done to the people. No jobs, debt, housing values. Not a word about Obama's unilateral actions.
Not a word about Obama's evisceration and destruction of the health care system. Not a word about Obama and his policies' relationship to high unemployment. Nothing. Not a single word. Every sound bite accepts the Obama premise that the problem in America is me, and if it weren't for me -- if I weren't on the radio -- there would be all of this progress because the Republicans would have no one to be afraid of, and then they could cave totally and agree with Obama.
So in all of these sound bites, the premise is that a guy on the radio is stopping the most powerful man in the world. "Damn it!" The media accepts that premise. There is not one syllable that analyzes Obama's role in the state of this country. They all agree something's wrong in the country, but they agree that it's me, not Obama -- and I haven't done anything to the country. I don't have any power to do anything.
I can't give money away to buy listeners. I can't pay listeners off with phones or food stamps or anything. I can't come by my audience by buying it. I can't promise my audience anything and then give it to them. I can't get an audience by telling the audience how rotten all the other hosts are (which I don't do anyway). But Obama does all that. Obama buys votes, he buys love, he buys affection -- and then he goes out and he tells everybody how rotten other politicians are in the Republican Party.
I don't do any of that, and I'm the problem!
As stated by the president of the United States, I'm the problem.
If I were just not here, if I'd just go away (or if the Republicans would grow a pair and no longer be afraid of me), why, who knows what they could all get down together? So these sound bites feature not one word of what the president of the United States has done, not one word about the policies of the president of the United States or his party. Every one of these sound bites so far has just talked about how divided we all are and how poor old Obama has got such great things he wants to do but he can't because of me.
And because of me, conservatives won't roll over.
Even conservatives who aren't in government won't roll over.
Now, I personally find this fascinating, simply as a study. I mean, this would be an excellent study for one of you scholars-in-waiting wanting to do a research paper or doctoral thesis. We have 17 sound bites today. In every one of them, I'm the problem. In every one of them, if I would simply cease being here -- if the Republicans would grow a pair -- then Obama's greatness could not be denied. A guy on the radio from noon to three every day!
Not one word about Obama's policies and their effect and impact. Not one word about what Obama's done in destroying the greatest health care system in the world, or what Obama's doing to America's energy fortunes, what Obama has done to the debt circumstance. People's home values, student loans, the worthlessness of an education, none of that is discussed. None of the real destruction taking place in this country and why is being discussed at all.
What's being discussed is why Obama can't get anything done -- and it's me!
A bunch of conservatives won't roll over and finally just play dead. It's the most amazing thing. If you listen to the media, if you listen to Obama whine and complain, and you hear the media pick up his refrain -- if you hear the media accept his premise -- they then start whining and moaning about me, and all the greatness that lurks out there but isn't happening because of me. Somebody who doesn't have, in a comparative sense, any real political power at all.
I was telling Mr. Snerdley, "Sometimes I dream how about how big my audience could be if I could give away $38,000 to every American, if I could give every American food, if I could give every American who doesn't have one a cell phone." And, by the way, if I were gonna do that, it would be iPhones, not that cheap stuff Obama gives away. Think of the audience I could have! Yeah. All you have to do is listen for a week. That's all it would take me.
Just look at size of the audience I would have! And then if I had a media, if I had the whole media making my case for me and defending everything I'm doing -- and if I had the media destroying every other talk show host -- I wonder how big my audience would be. I wonder how much power I would really have. But I can't give anybody $38,000 a year like he can, or $50,000. I can't give everybody a phone. I cannot give everybody food stamps.
I cannot grant illegal aliens citizenship, or their parents, with a snap of my fingers. I can't buy one listener. In fact, it's worse than that. My success is largely determined by how many of my listeners actually spend their money. Obama couldn't compete in my business, but I could compete in his. You give me $3 trillion to give away and play Santa Claus with -- and a media that rips into everybody I don't like and destroys them -- why, nobody could stop me, either!
RUSH: This is Laura in Bremerton, Washington. You're next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. It's a pleasure to speak to you.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: I just wanted to make a comment about all these idiots that are out there saying, "Don't listen to Rush! Don't believe Rush! He doesn't have anything to say that you really want to hear." I have several liberal friends, and I am a dyed-in-the-wool Republican conservative, and we talk politics every so often. And, you know, I've been able to turn very few of them around because I don't have the gift, I guess.
However, these people that are talking to all these liberals and everybody on the talk shows and everything, it's like talking to a bunch of two-year-olds where you say, "Don't do this," and the first thing they're gonna do is do it. So you'd be surprised how many of my friends you have turned around after they've listened to the guys on the talk shows say, "Don't listen to him." They immediately go in and listen to you.
RUSH: This is another reason why Obama and the Democrats are trying to besmirch the name. They don't want anybody actually listening because that puts them at risk. You're absolutely right. The people that say these things about me are people who never listened. They're just getting second- and third-hand information about it. Tom Daschle, after the 2002 midterms (we will never forget this), buttresses your point.
Tom Daschle was the Democrat Senate leader. In the 2002 midterms, the Democrats thought they were gonna just really win big. I mean, the formula says the option party scores magically. They think everybody hated Bush, that nobody was in favor of the war in Iraq. It hadn't happened yet, but that Bush was talking about it, and at the Wellstone memorial they thought that they had just convinced everybody that Bush's election wasn't even legitimate.
The 2002 midterms came along, and they didn't do anywhere near as well as they expected or lied to them about. Tom Daschle let the cat out of the bag. It turns out that the Democrats had been doing some polling on me, and Daschle went out there in a postelection press conference and actually said (I'm paraphrasing), "Our experts have told us that not everybody listening to Limbaugh is a Republican or a conservative, that he converts a lot of people." He went out there and said that.
He was surprised, 'cause they sit in their little world and believe that everybody believes the propaganda they put out. So your story is that your liberal friends who actually listen here. We get calls from people like that all the time. It doesn't happen en masse, but it does happen when they give the program at least a week. That's what the Democrats don't want to happen. That's why all the demonization is to get people to not even try listening 'cause they think no point, and they're just gonna get nothing but mad.
RUSH: Let's go to Lafayette, Indiana. This is Barry. I'm glad you waited, sir. It's great to have you here. Hi.
CALLER: Rush, what an honor to have an opportunity to speak with you, but I've got to tell you, I vehemently disagree with your contention that you don't have power. The power you have is based on the ideas that you talk about every day on your radio show. And it's the power of those ideas in the arena of ideas that makes those in the liberal media so frightened of you. It makes those in the liberal government of Obama so concerned about what you say.
It's because Obama and those in the liberal class cannot find a way to refute the conservative ideas that you talk about every day on the radio. After all, I mean, our nation was founded on a set of ideas, and that's what's made the nation so powerful. It's unlike any other country in the world, and it's those very ideals that are at their core conservative, that have made it possible for the nation to rise to the level that it is today, and it's the basis of those ideas that so many people from around the world want to come here and live here because of. So I really disagree with you. I don't do this very often, Rush, and I've been listening to you since 1990.
CALLER: And I can tell you that it's your ideas that make me keep coming back, and it's your ideas that, when liberals actually tune in and listen and think that they more often than not realize that they are at heart conservatives.
RUSH: All right, now, thank you very much for that, and I appreciate it, and in the context in which you've expressed it, I agree. I know that ideas are powerful things. That's why I believe in 'em. That's why I actually do want to triumph in the arena of ideas. You don't want to have to buy people. I don't want to have to give them things in order for them to support me. Maybe I didn't make that clear. I was trying to be illustrative. I was talking in terms of the kind of power Obama has.
I don't have any of that, really.
You know, Obama has supporters that simply exist because he's bought them. He's Santa Claus to so many people, and all I was saying is I don't have the kind of power to implement my ideas as he has the power to implement his. I don't have the power to cut people's taxes. I don't have the power to raise taxes. I don't have the power to commit your kid or anybody else's to Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere else. I don't have that kind of power.
And yet, in these sound bites, I am analyzed as though I am in that arena with that kind of power, and I'm losing, or I'm the reason that Obama is stymied. I'm not... When I say I don't have any power, I know that's insulting to all of you if you take it the way you analyzed it. But I simply meant the power to implement my ideas with the wave of a wand or the snap of my fingers, the intimidation of a couple members of Congress. I can't do that. Well, I take that back. Maybe the case could be made that has happened in the past. But still, I'm nowhere near the kind of power that any president has, particularly one willing to buy his support.
CALLER: Well, that's probably true, Rush, but the difference -- and the reason all these liberal media outlets are singling you out as being the problem -- is because the power of your ideas are really what they fear. That's realistically the cause that Obama has used as a basis for bringing you up. It is because I really, truly believe that, at the end of the day, the ideas that you so clearly bring forward in your three hours on the air every day are the things that the liberals fear others hearing it.
RUSH: Oh, I don't disagree with that at all. I think that's exactly it. I think it's why I've been demonized. I think you're absolutely correct: EIB is ideas without borders.
CALLER: That's right. Ha-ha-ha-ha. That's absolutely correct, and it's ideas that don't classify people, and they're ideas that put people into a different categories, or make people feel inferior. Conservative ideas are the ideas that really uplift people at the end of the day.
RUSH: That's exactly right, and that's what this is all about. Look, I really appreciate your clarification of this, your analysis. I don't disagree. But I was not putting myself down, nor was I saying I'm irrelevant. I was simply trying to give my perspective. Maybe my perspective is a little bit too personal, but here's how I'm looking at this. I'm a guy on the radio from noon to three Eastern, three hours day, and I am commented on by the media as though I am in the same ballpark, in the same business as elected officials.
Including the president!
My "power" is placed next to his.
He says I'm the reason he can't move his agenda. The media accepts that, takes it forward, and proceeds to rip me and so forth. Never mentioning his policies. Never mentioning the destruction on the economy, on health care, on jobs, on home values, that his policies have caused. So I just find it amazing, and the reason that that happens is exactly what you said: The power of the ideas expressed here. That's the threat. 'Cause they know that if millions of people would end up being exposed to the ideas as expressed here, they'd have a problem.