RUSH: Let me address something here. Right when the program began, Mr. Snerdley asked me, "So are you gonna play all these pope sound bites that you've got building up?" I said, "No, I'm not gonna play 'em," and this is why, exactly what we're talking about now. This is another manufactured controversy. I happen to be a villain in this massive soap opera script. I'll give you an illustration.
Remember there was a woman once who testified before a fake congressional committee who demanded $3,000 worth of birth control pills, paid for by everybody else, and we calculated that you'd have to be having sex, I mean, 25 times a day to run through that much birth control pills? So I used a word to describe it and I actually did not use the word I meant to use but I used the word, and you remember for two weeks that is all anybody was talking about.
There were massive efforts to cancel this program and get me thrown off the soap opera, to get me written out of the script, if you'll recall that. You do? You recall that? Okay. Now, let's go back to this guy named Martin Bashir. I told you a joke. I used an inappropriate word. I didn't even use the word I intended to use. (Frankly, I don't even know if it makes sense to revisit it.) The word I did use, I thought, meant the same thing as the word I wanted to use.
The point is, the writers of the soap opera then hopped on that for as long as they could. I mean, they didn't let it go, and I was the scum of the earth, and anybody associated with scum was in trouble. Over here you have Martin Bashir who basically thinks it'd be a great thing if somebody defecated and urinated in Sarah Palin's mouth, a number of times -- and the same people who did everything they could to run me out of town off the soap opera didn't say a word about Bashir.
So this business with me and the pope, look, it is what it is. I read on numerous blogs summaries of what the pope had said. There is no question that the pope had some very critical things to say about capitalism that are echoed by what you hear your average leftist say about it. I was kind of surprised by it. I said so. I said it sounds Marxist. So now the writers of the soap opera have decided that I have stirred things up enough that I can once again become an elevated villain.
I'm getting e-mails from people, "So what do you think about the stir you've caused?"
I'm writing back, "What stir? I've been out of the country. I'm not aware of any stir," and I'm not.
Okay, so they may be talking... I'm not gonna feed it. They don't have to explain myself. Everybody knows just like they did back then exactly what I meant. They knew exactly what I said. When I said I hoped Obama failed, they had a conniption fit over that. They knew exactly what I meant while they were mischaracterizing it. So I'm not gonna feed it, not even for the entertainment value, 'cause none of it's real, folks -- and I'm sorry, I'm the mayor of Realville.
I just don't like immersing myself in these contrived, phony things with these people acting like they're so outraged by this. They're not outraged by it. They're energized by what they think is another opportunity to take me out. They don't care what I really said about the pope. That's not the point of it. The point is, "Oh, wow!" I mean, every day they're hoping I step in it, as they define stepping in it. So to heck with it.
I'm not gonna join it. I'm not gonna allow these people, at least I'm not gonna participate in these people making me the bad guy, 'cause I am not. I am one of the guys in the white hats in this soap opera, and I always have been, and I am not gonna let them turn me into a black-hatted character. I'm just not gonna do it, 'cause it's all made up. This anger, this outrage, it's all phony. I mean, you've got people who themselves hate the Catholic Church but, all of a sudden, now having to weigh in: "Well, who do we hate more, Limbaugh or the Catholic Church?"
They decided me, and they're really conflicted. 'Cause the pope, while he's saying what they want to hear about capitalism, he's also telling them they can pack it in on abortion, because he's not changing his mind, nor is the church, and that really ticks 'em off. But even with that they still decide that I'm the black hat. Well, I mean, it's just so obvious, these people.
Without me being involved, nobody woulda cared what the pope said. In fact, nobody did 'til I brought it up. Nobody was even talking about it 'til I brought it up, and my experience is I must have been right to the point of irritating them, which is why they then brought it up.
RUSH: Okay, Snerdley, I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go back on this pope business. I'm gonna go back and I'm gonna replay what I said, and then you compare to the way that is being portrayed by the writers of the soap opera inside the Beltway and the way they are starting and framing the discussion. That's all I'll have to do. I'll replay what I said. It was tasteful, it was exact, it was accurate -- and there was nothing wrong with it, in any way, shape, manner, or form.
RUSH: Okay. Maybe the best way to do this is not get into all of these varying sound bites and comments. I mean, heck, it's even happening on Fox, even out there, "Limbaugh taking on the pope! Limbaugh! Limbaugh! What does Limbaugh mean? What are we gonna have to do about Limbaugh?" I just want to play for you what I said because that's the one thing they aren't doing.
They are taking select excerpts out of context, claiming that I savagely attacked the pope. Who do they think I am? I want you to hear what I actually said -- 'cause, frankly, folks, I think this is well done. I think it's very tasteful. The whole subject was troubling to me because I have, over the years, made this clear. Anybody who's listened to this program regularly knows what an admirer I am of the Catholic Church, and particularly Pope John Paul II. I've been to the Vatican more than anyplace else outside this country in the world.
I am mesmerized by it. I've taken tours of the place -- private, public -- that you can't believe. I've known very many Catholics, priests. I was invited by Cardinal O'Connor for breakfast at the rectory not long after this show started. It was the first five years of the program. He had heard that I was stridently pro-life on the radio. There weren't too many of those, and he was very gracious and had me over for breakfast. I met his staff and him. It was terrific.
That was actually the second time I'd met him. The first time I'd met Cardinal O'Connor was aboard a yacht, not long after I got to New York. This was a really great thing. It was not long after I'd gotten to New York. Remember, this is 1988, 1989, and there is no cable news. There is no blogosphere, there is no Internet to speak of, and the only cable news network was CNN to go along with the networks and newspapers. I was it. I was the only one of my type conservative national media, and I was proudly pro-life.
I was doing a funny bit trying to illustrate abortion in a way that might change people's minds about it. It was quite "controversial," so forth, but I was invited by some sponsors on what was called the Cruise for Life. What it was is people raising money to support women in housing while they were pregnant and would give their babies up for adoption rather than head off to Planned Parenthood or something. That's where I met Wellington Mara the first time, the owner of the New York Giants was actively involved, and Cardinal O'Connor was there.
Bowie "The Grand" Kuhn, the former commissioner of Major League Baseball was there. I mean, it was a real who's who of a hierarchy of the Catholic Church. I was in awe the whole night. I got to know some of those people quite well. So, you know, I defend the Catholic Church. I remember when ACT UP, the militant gay rights people, took over St. Patrick's Cathedral and were bombarding the place with condoms. I spoke out against it and made myself an enemy, made myself a target of these gay rights groups.
I have done nothing but laud the Catholic Church. That is why, frankly, what I read translated that this pope said so astounded me. It was unlike anything I'd ever heard. In fact, it didn't even sound like anything Catholic to me. It sounded like what you normally hear out of the American left or the Democrat Party any other day. Anyway, this runs about two minutes. This is what I said, and this is what's caused the writers of the soap opera to have a fit and to start doing segments on cable shows about how I have stirred it up on the pope.
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RUSH ARCHIVE: Up until this, I have to tell you, I was admiring the man. I thought he was going a little overboard on the common-man touch, and I thought there might have been a little bit of PR involved there. But, nevertheless, I was willing to cut him some slack. I mean, if he wants to portray himself as still from the streets where he came from and is not anything special, not aristocratic. If he wants to eschew the physical trappings of the Vatican, okay, cool, fine.
But this that I came across last night totally befuddled me. If it weren't for capitalism, I don't know where the Catholic Church would be. Now, as I mentioned before, I'm not Catholic. I admire it profoundly, and I've been tempted a number of times to delve deeper into it. But the pope here has now gone beyond Catholicism here, and this is pure political. I want to share with you some of this stuff. "Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as 'a new tyranny' and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church. ...
In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the 'idolatry of money.'" I gotta be very careful. I have been numerous times to the Vatican. It wouldn't exist without tons of money. But regardless, what this is, somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. Unfettered capitalism? That doesn't exist anywhere. Unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the United States. Unfettered, unregulated.
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RUSH: Now, one of the things that the cable experts are saying is, "The pope never said 'unfettered capitalism.'" Well, what I read, translating what he said, did say it. Now, I didn't put any words in his mouth. I was simply sharing with you reports of people that read a translation of the most recent papal document from which all of this comes, and it read no different than what Elizabeth Warren might say, and Elizabeth Warren is not the Catholic Church, and neither is Barack Obama.
It sounded exactly like what they would say, and I was really lamenting it. I was hoping that the Catholic Church had not been taken over in a deep political sense by the politicized left. I know that the Catholic Church was an early signatory to the welfare state because they equated it with charity. It was one of the brilliant techniques of FDR. One of the brilliant stratagems of the early welfare state advocates was to equate it with charity, which is not what it is.
The welfare state isn't charity.
The welfare state is the redistribution of income.
The welfare state is taking from producers and giving it to non-producers.
No charity in it at all. But, on the surface, it may look like it, and many of the Catholic bishops ended up supporting the welfare state in a massive way and became known as supporters of the Democrat Party, all because it gave them an easy linkage to what appeared to be charities. Now, they'll probably attack me for saying this, too. Fine. I don't care because none of this is made up.
But, folks, if it weren't for capitalism, there might not have been enough wealth for people to donate to the Catholic Church or any other religion. Capitalism has raised and elevated more people out of poverty than any welfare program or welfare state or socialist country ever has. It isn't even close. Capitalism has elevated more people out of poverty and low-income status than even domestic charities have done, and they do great work in this country.
Capitalism is what made the United States the world's really only and lone superpower, and it's under assault, like every tradition and institution that is part of America's greatness is under assault, and, I'm sorry, I just was doing what I do every day. I get up and I look at the things that I cherish and I believe in under assault, under attack, and I come here and defend 'em. Because it's every day. Every day two or three things are constantly under attack.
The nuclear family is the latest, and that's actually not new, just in a pointed way is it more focused. But where I got this, if you must know, was from Reuters. Everybody's out there saying the pope never said "unfettered capitalism." Let me read to you from Reuters. The headline was: "Pope Francis Attacks Unfettered Capitalism," and from the article: "Pope Francis called Tuesday for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as 'a new tyranny,' urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in the first major work he has written alone as pontiff."
So you got a left-wing news agency characterizing what the pope said. We did have several calls, by the way, and my brother -- who's the king of Twitter, by the way -- says, "I've got people tweeting me left and right saying that somebody mistranslated this on purpose." The earlier reactors to this, nobody was telling me the pope didn't say what I was saying he said. That didn't happen 'til the next day when the writers of the Washington soap opera decided to target me again.
When that happens, then you rewrite what I say or take it out of context. But, at the moment I said it, there wasn't one person who said, "He didn't say that! You're making it up!" What I got was, "Wait a minute, Rush. That sounds like somebody's purposefully mistranslated the pope." Really devout Catholics were telling me this. But here you have Reuters: "Pope Francis called Tuesday for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as 'a new tyranny,'" and "new tyranny" is in quotes.
So, they're attributing "new tyranny" as actually words the pope uttered. "Unfettered capitalism" is Reuters' characterization, not mine. There is no such thing as "unfettered capitalism." There might have been in Hong Kong before the ChiComs took it over. If you have been to Hong Kong, that was unfettered. That was as unregulated, deregulated capitalism as I've ever seen -- and it worked, by the way. It is amazing, but it worked.
But this "urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality," that's all anybody's been doing since the beginning of time. The idea that nobody's been fighting poverty? We've been running a War on Poverty in this country since the sixties, and we're losing it, because we're not doing anything about it. We're simply transferring income. We're not teaching people how to elevate themselves. We're not going about it the right way. He's "urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality"?
Isn't that timely? So the pope comes out against the growing inequality, and a week later, here comes the president of the United States out there talking about income inequality. Just a little too cute. Now, there are two big so-called Catholic groups that are leading this attack on me and trying to get cable news to discuss this in terms of the soap opera, and they are both funded by George Soros.
One's called Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and the other is Catholics United. (interruption) There's a move on for me to apologize? I didn't know that. I didn't know that somebody was demanding I apologize. I've got nothing to apologize for. The United States has spent $15 trillion fighting poverty. I'm sorry. I'm not gonna sit here and just yawn when my country and others are accused -- I don't care by who -- of inattention and no compassion to the poor.
By the way, that $15 trillion is just in the last five decades. So that's what I said. You just heard it. There's nothing in there that needs to be apologized for, and the idea that the pope can't be wrong about capitalism? He may not even understand it. But I am not going to sit here and simply stay mute because of this, if that's exactly the plan.
RUSH: There was one other thing too that the pope said that I reacted to. The pope was critical of "trickle-down economics." Now, come on, folks. What is trickle-down economics associated with? Even low-information voters know trickle-down economics equals Reagan equals what? "Hatred of the poor! The rich get richer, income inequality, all of that. It's nothing but lies." Trickle-down is supposedly a failure. It doesn't work.
What the left wants everybody to believe trickle-down is that the rich, many of whom are rich unfairly, will give their money away. "Knowing that they have more than they need and seeing their fellow citizens suffering, the rich will give that money away -- and you know, it never happens. Therefore, trickle-down doesn't work." That's not what trickle-down is. George Soros isn't giving his money away. He's donating it to causes for which he expects a return, but he's not giving it away.
Call George Soros and say, "You know what? I really need a million dollars." He's got it. He wouldn't miss a million dollars. He's got I don't know how many billions. Call him up and ask him for a million. It would change your life, but he won't give it to you. Bill Gates won't give it to you. Warren Buffett won't give it to you. You've gotta convince them to invest it. They're not gonna give you a million dollars. Nobody gives anybody money like that.
Well, I take it back. Some people do, actually. You just never hear about it. But most people don't do that. So that definition of trickle-down is asinine. You know what trickle-down is? Trickle-down is how the economy works. You take your car to a car wash. You're paying the car wash to wash it. The car wash has employees. The money that you spend at the car wash trickles down to the last guy on the line that dries the car. That's trickle-down, and it works.
The more people spend and the more commerce there is, the more trickle-down. What the left wants you to think is that when the rich get their money, they hoard it and they don't spend it, which is asinine. When's the last time you saw a really rich person driving, what, a four-cylinder turbo-charged little lawn mower? You don't see it. You see 'em in Mercedes and Bentleys and Rolls-Royces and whatever the hell else.
They have these huge homes that there are people that work at. You would not believe the landscaping budget some of these evil rich people. Trickle-down is precisely what works, and the more of it, the better. It is how people earn more money, but the left has got this butchered, convoluted definition of it that the rich either don't give their money away or they don't spend it, because they don't want to share. They've got theirs, but you're not gonna get yours, and they got theirs by taking yours.
That's the asinine, cockamamie theory that they want everybody to believe, and to hear the pope regurgitate this? I can't tell you how disappointing that was. The pope is one of the most powerful men in the world, and we would expect him to be one of the most informed. If it weren't for trickle-down, the Catholic Church wouldn't have any donations. Trickle-down is a good, good thing. It's exactly what happens. But the left has defined it in such a way that it's got a bad taste.
It's got bad PR. It's got a bad brand, bad image. "Trickle-down? Yeah, that doesn't work." It does, every time it's tried. Just like abstinence, by the way. It works every time it's tried. Everybody who engages in commerce is engaging in trickle-down. There's nobody, other than a welfare recipient, who is only on the receiving end of trickle-down. By the way, one of these Catholic groups all over me supports "abortion rights," and they call themselves a Catholic group.
I mean, it's all a phony bunch of politicians.
RUSH: You know, Nancy Pelosi believes in trickle-down. When you say that every $1 of unemployment benefits creates $4 of economic growth, what are you talking about? A, you're insane and you're wickedly stupid, but if she believes it, she's describing trickle-down. How else does it happen? Doesn't the wealth of the Catholic Church trickle down to the flock? I mean, what else can she possibly mean, if she wants to run out and try to convince people that every $1 in unemployment benefits grows the economy by $2 dollars or $4?
How else does it happen? They want you to believe that trickle-down is "tax cuts for the rich." See, here's what they tell you that Art Laffer and the boys meant. "We're gonna cut the taxes of the rich, and the rich are gonna get a lot more money, and then the rich, they're gonna go out and they're gonna spend it, and they're gonna give people money," and then if that doesn't happen, then tax cuts for the rich, that's horrible, that's rotten.
Of course, the rich do give. In fact, there was a story in the midst of this Obama economic downturn. There was an AP story about how spending by the rich was way down and what a negative impact that was having on the economy. The rich do spend. They do consume. It's called conspicuous consumption. In fact, there was so much of it going on at one time that the well-known senator from South Carolina, Ernest Hollings, actually said (impression), "There's too much consumin' goin' on out there!" Remember?
It wasn't all that long ago, you remember, all the left-wing complaints about our consumer society and people were buying too much stuff, and there wasn't enough spirituality, like investment in global warming or whatever. I'm telling you, folks, you just have to ignore everything the Democrat Party says, 'cause it's all political, and it's all agenda oriented, and it's all lies, or the vast majority of it is.
Anyway, when the pope starts parroting what you hear from your average, ordinary leftist about trickle-down, that was very upsetting, and the pope is very powerful. You know, Pope John Paul II? It wasn't just Reagan and Thatcher that brought down the Soviet Union. Pope John Paul II was in there helping take down Poland with personal visits. He was a great pope, and they're very powerful people. They have profound influence.
He's the Vicar of Christ. My first thought was I didn't believe it. But, in case it was true, I had to try to set it straight.