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Obama -- Who Blasted Bush for Not Doing a Hurricane Katrina Photo-Op -- Now Claims He's Not Interested in Photo-Ops

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I'm almost at a loss in my ability to keep a straight face at this.  Obama says that he's not going down to the border because he's not interested in theater.  He not interested in photo-ops. 

Grab audio sound bite number one.  Last night in Dallas, after meeting with Rick Perry, an unidentified reporter said, "There are increasing calls not just from Republicans, but also from some Democrats for you to visit the border during this trip.  Can you explain why you didn't do that?  Do you see any legitimate reason for you to actually do that at some point or do you think these calls are more about politics than anything else?"

OBAMA:  There's nothing that has taken place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.  This isn't theater.  This is a problem.  I'm not interested in photo-ops.  I'm interested in solving a problem.  And those who say I should visit the border, when you ask 'em what should we be doing, they're giving us suggestions that are embodied in legislation that I've already sent to Congress.

RUSH:  Not interested in a photo-op?  What the hell was that at the pool hall the other day?  He is nothing but photo-ops.  Says he's not interested in photo-ops?  That's all he does, photo-ops on the golf course.  This is a guy who dressed a bunch of people in white lab coats for a press conference in the Rose Garden to make 'em look like doctors so that he could persuade people that doctors supported Obamacare.  Remember that?  They had a casting call and then they had a wardrobe call 'cause some doctors showed up that weren't wearing the lab coats so the White House had to scramble, get some white lab Coats to put on.  Photo-op! 

This guy is nothing but photo-ops, photo-ops with kids, photo-ops that illustrate that he's not governing, that he's removed, the Limbaugh Theorem aspect.  The photo-op, the series of photo-ops are crucial to Obama in presenting the image.  Everything he's been doing the last month, you almost could call it a photo-op tour.  I was thinking when I heard this sound bite today, what has Obama ever done that's not a photo-op?  Some of the executive orders he signs are not photo-ops.

He doesn't want anybody seeing that.  But I guess playing pool, having a beer on St. Patrick's Day, all these things are not photo-ops.  He even turned the killing of bin Laden into a photo-op.  Remember that photo in the White House Situation Room? They had to drag him off the golf course after the front nine, Valerie Jarrett goes, "Hey, you better get in here.  We're about to get bin Laden."  So they dragged him in there and they put on the "I'm the president" jacket, and they had him sit there looking at the screen.  That was a photo-op.  Everything they do is a photo-op.

Let's go back.  This is February 7th, 2008, New Orleans, Tulane University, during a campaign rally then-Senator Obama said this about President Bush flying over Hurricane Katrina damage instead of making a presidential stop at the site of the damage.

OBAMA:  When the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast extended their hand for help, help was not there.  When people looked up from the rooftops, for too long they saw an empty sky.  When the winds blew and the floodwaters came, we learned that for all of our wealth and our power, something wasn't right with America.  We can talk about what happened for a few days in 2005, and we should.  We can talk about levees that couldn't hold, about a FEMA that's seen as not just incompetent but paralyzed and powerless, about a president who only saw the people from the window of an airplane.

RUSH:  There he is, "Barack Hussein Obama!  Mmm!  Mmm!  Mmm!" back in 2008 personally attacking George W. Bush for not doing a photo-op on the ground in New Orleans following Katrina. And Bush said I'm gonna gum up the works if I go down there.  Obama says, I don't need to do that, I know what's going on. I don't have to see it. I'm not interested in photo-ops. 

So the very thing he criticizes Bush for not doing, he also doesn't do, and then seeks the high ground while claiming he's not into photo-ops.  But there you go.  Blatant hypocrisy.  You know, when I listened to that, by the way, I gotta share this. This last sound bite we played from February 7, 2008, when I listened to this, I just cringe.  You want to know why I cringe?  Because that's the kind of BS that low-information voters and the people the media had caused to sour on Bush just ate up.  That empty BS.  I can't tell you how this frustrates to go back and listen again to things that I knew and you probably did, too, at the time were insincere and not representative at all, and the idea people were falling for it. 

I'll tell you in this bite, what people fell for was this lofty language: "When people looked up from the rooftops for too long they saw an empty sky."  Right on, Barack, right on.  "When the winds blew and the floodwaters came, we learned that for all of our wealth and power, something wasn't right with America."  Oh, we had no idea what wasn't gonna be right with America back then.  America back then was a hell of a lot more right than it is today.  And, by the way, folks, there's another thing.  I challenge anybody to independently verify this.  The FEMA, US government response to Katrina was one of the most massive, one of the fastest, and one of the most effective emergency responses in our history.  Go independently verify that if you doubt me. 

I imagine even some of you in the audience who would call yourselves conservative Republican say, "Rush, be careful, you know that's not true."  You probably think it's not true because you believe, it's been stated for so long, it's been the conventional wisdom for so long that the post-Katrina response was a disaster, and it wasn't.  It was government behaving actually as well as it can in one of the acknowledged roles that government, when done right, may be best at, this kind of massive mobilization of resources.

I'll tell you this.  The post-Katrina response was far more massive, far more sensible, far more effective than what is being done at the border today to handle this humanitarian crisis.  The FEMA response post-Katrina was far better and more effective and more efficient than anything that's happened during the Obama years.  But I know that you don't believe that.  And I know you think I'm on shaky ice saying it.  But it is the truth.  The reason you don't believe it is because they were able to demonize the FEMA director at the time, a guy named Brown, Mike Brown, who did say something stupid when asked a question. 

All it took was one stupid answer to a question and they were able to create a narrative that the entire Bush administration was stupid and incompetent and ineffective and that the whole response to Katrina was an outrage and that there practically wasn't one.  And, folks, it just isn't the case.  And I remember at the time, and I don't want to reprosecute this case, but I remember at the time, the real ineffective, dumb, stupid, incompetent response came from the governor's office in Louisiana and the mayor's office New Orleans, School Bus Nagin and Kathleen Blanco.  Those were the people that really screwed up, and they were closest to the local level.  I mean, School Bus Nagin got the name "School Bus" because he left all the school buses to get flooded instead of using them for evacuation efforts. 

I don't know, when I go back and I listen to Obama in what was the 2008 campaign period, I just cringe all over again.  And I cringe that people fell for it.  But they did.  I gotta get over it.  I just hope that it doesn't repeat itself.  But that's a long shot, too. 

Now, Jonathan Martin.  Jonathan Martin used to be Politico, now at the New York Times.  He was on CNN this morning, Inside Politics, the name of the show.  And he was talking about the immigration crisis at the southwest border.  John King said, "What's the harm, Jonathan?  Come on, what's the harm in the president going to the border?  They think it's a trap.  What is it?"

MARTIN:  This president is contemptuous of the rituals of politics in so many cases.  He can't stand the fact you have to play a certain role but the fact is, John, as you know the presidency is about symbolism in a lot of ways, and presidents, when there is a crisis of some kind, are expected to be seen there.  Is it more of a surface thing, is it a photo-op as the president says?  Of course that's part of the ritual, but nevertheless that's what presidents often do.

RUSH:  Yeah, but you see, this president is contemptuous of the rituals of politics in so many cases.  He can't stand photo-ops. He hates having to do photo-ops. He can't stand having to do these rituals.  He has perfected them to an art!  He's one of the best at the rituals.  He lives and dies by photo-ops.  This is just incomprehensible.  These sound bites, these people that are defending Obama for not going to the border -- and, by the way, there's some cracks in the media armor on this. 

Some in the media are getting very, very worried that Obama's blowing this symbolism stuff. They think he ought to get down there 'cause they live and die on photo-ops, too, they think they're the most important thing in the world.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So Obama doesn't like photo-ops, eh?  Well, what was that in New Jersey, after Hurricane Sandy, when he rolled in there and was able to get his arms halfway around Chris Christie? What the hell was that if that wasn't a photo-op?  You want to talk about the FEMA response to Hurricane Sandy? Go talk to some people; ask 'em how they're doing still today. 

Everybody talks about what a disaster FEMA response time was and effectiveness was after Katrina. There are parts of New Jersey and New York that still haven't seen a dime of recovery effort after Hurricane Sandy.  This is just more of the same phony narratives, false templates designed to make Democrats look good and Republicans look bad.

And when you make Democrats look good, by the same token, at the same time you're trying to make government look good.  But the problem is government doesn't do very much right.  I may expand on that later in the program.  It's a pet peeve of mine.  Government breaks more things than it fixes and then every time it breaks something, people demand that government fix it. 

It's a psychological thing. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Claudia in Round Lake, Illinois.  Glad that you waited and welcome to the program.

CALLER:  Thanks, Rush.  I'm thrilled to talk with you.

RUSH:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

CALLER:  The reason I called you is that I made an observation yesterday, during the press conference after the president's meeting with governor of Texas.

RUSH:  Perry.  Right.  Yeah.

CALLER:  Yeah, right.  The president said in his news conference that he was well abreast of all the things that are going on at the border.  His people have been there and they call him and let him know, and he's well up to date on what's going on, so he didn't need to go there.

RUSH:  That's exactly right.  It's why he didn't need to go, plus Reuters is out there lying for him.

CALLER:  Has he ever admitted to knowing things ahead of time?  That's one of my questions.  I have one other question.

RUSH:  All right, what's the other one?

CALLER:  The other question is, has anybody made a count of how many adults or older teenagers versus how many children?  I think of children as, like, 10 and under. I don't know where they cut that line off, but it seems to me in the pictures I see in the media, there are  as many adults there or older teenagers.

RUSH:  Let me give you the numbers that have been reported in the New York Times this past weekend.  The numbers since April are 300,000 illegals have flooded and crossed the border since April, and of those 300,000, 52,000 to 53,000 have been children.  So you're right.

CALLER:  Yeah.  Well, why are all these people making such a big deal about it? Yes, any child, I agree --

RUSH:  Well, come on.  Have you ever seen a "Baby on Board" sign in somebody's back window?  Well, there's your answer.

CALLER:  Right.  It's like, you know, I mean, we're being lied to.  We're really being lied to about this whole thing.

RUSH:  Nothing new about that, either.

CALLER:  And it makes me very angry.

RUSH:  Well, good!

CALLER:  What do I do?

RUSH:  Stay angry.

CALLER:  Okay.

RUSH:  Stay angry and stay focused through November.

CALLER:  I know.  I know.  But, you know, it is something, and I have to speak out, because -- and people don't like to hear this about their leaders, but they're really not leading.  Nobody's leading.

RUSH:  I know.

CALLER:  And it's very sad.  Very sad. Yes, I'll continue to be angry.

RUSH:  It depends on how you define "leading," 'cause I think some people are leading.  Like Obama is, for example, but he's getting away with appearing not to be.  Republicans aren't.  They're just sitting there waiting. 

I've gotta take a break.  I'm glad you called, Claudia. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  So Obama, this is day three in Texas, and he's out partying, and I'm gonna tell you something.  I think that all of this public partying, laughing, yukking it up? I don't have any doubt. All of this is just a stick in the eye.  He's just rubbing people's noses in it that he not going to the border.  He's just rubbing people's noses in it, that he's having a good time and he doesn't care about this border business.  Listen to this sound bite. 

This is this afternoon at the Paramount Theatre, Obama speaking about the economy. While all... (interruption)  Paramount Theatre.  You say... (interruption) Well, he doesn't do photo-ops, but he was at the Paramount Theatre, a public speaking event, and he was talking about the economy.  This is more Limbaugh Theorem.  He's out telling people how great the economy's going, how much we've recovered, how much work he's done on it.  I mean, I'm telling you he's just rubbing people's noses in this. 

Here's just a little sound bite.

OBAMA:  Everybody knows I love Austin, Texas. 

FOLLOWER: (screeches) 

OBAMA: I -- (stammering) Every time I -- I come here I -- I tell you how much I love -- I love Austin.  I love the people. I love the barbecue, which I will get right after this.

FOLLOWER: (screeches) 

OBAMA: I like the music. I got good memories here. I got good friends.  It is great to play at the Paramount.  I think I finally --

FOLLOWER: (screeches) 

OBAMA: I finally made it! I finally arrived. I've enjoyed the last couple of days.

RUSH:  "I don't like photo-ops. (sigh) You know, the optics of politics just bore me. I just don't like it all." Now he played the Paramount, and he's just having the grandest old time.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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