Newt Gingrich was not talking about Medicare withering on the vine. He was talking about the Health Care Finance Administration, which administers the program because the Republican Medicare program was going to offer seniors two choices: They could stay in the government plan or they could choose a private-sector plan. Newt felt they’d choose the private sector plan and that the government plan would just wither on the vine, the Health Care Finance Administration, and the Democrats ran an ad saying that Newt wanted Medicare to wither on the vine, which was not the case. So it’s another typically whiny answer from Senator Kerry. But here we go now, next question. “The one thing the Bush administration’s played more than any, probably, which is ‘I actual did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.’ They say this is classic about why…” and then he interrupts her here.KERRY: No, it wasn’t classic at all. It just was a very inarticulate way of saying something, and I had one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and I didn’t say something very clearly. But it reflects the truth of the position, which is I thought to have the wealthiest people in America share the burden of paying for that war is a protest, sometimes you have to stand up and be counted, and that’s what I did.
RUSH: Oh, man, I can’t keep track of this anymore. First, somebody do me a favor. I want to find out if he actually — this was at a town meeting. I remember when he said this. I’ve seen the video. I want to know if this was late at night. Somebody, Cookie, do some research. First thing I want to know is if he did this late at night because he’s using tired as the excuse here. That’s the Clinton excuse when he said he raised taxes too much. He said this to a bunch of Democrats down in Texas. The press pool had split for the bar and only some babe from Reuters was still there who didn’t think it was big news. (Laughing.) It was in the afternoon? [talking to program staff] Who said that? Cookie says in the afternoon?
Okay, Cookie. My videographer and producer there, Cookie Prayias, has just told me that this event took place in the afternoon. Now, I thought it took place — he didn’t do late-night town meetings, and he’s a late-night guy. Bush is the guy that goes to bed at nine o’clock. That’s why they’ve had Bush rehearsing the debate at nine o’clock at night because it’s usually close to when he’s getting ready to go to bed, so they’ve made sure he stayed up. (Laughing.) But no, I’ve got to confirm this because he says, “It was one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and didn’t say something very clearly.” Cookie, double-check it. I know you know what you know, but just double-check this, because once we make the claim they’re going to be on us like white on rice — or like a defensive back on McNabb — you know, to try to prove that we’re not accurate about this.
So I want to stick with this for just a second because now we got a new explanation for the statement. “I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” He says, “This was an inarticulate moment.” If it was an inarticulate moment, then he has been inarticulating ever since he made the vote, because he’s been inarticulate on every explanation. He has stuck with his explanation, now we’ve got — he’s had four different explanations for this. This is possibly one of the most explained positions in history, and he still has to explain it.
That tells you, my friends, that there’s something more than inarticulation going on out there. I mean, this is something that’s going to survive his whole career. There’s no way he can explain this. So now he’s flip-flopped again. Now it’s not about Bush’s plan. It has nothing to do with the war, has nothing to do with Bush’s plan or how ineffective Bush’s plan, has nothing to do with “I voted to give him authority but I didn’t think he would use it,” whatever he said about that. Now it’s about holding troop funding up over tax policy because he wasn’t convinced that enough rich people were going to be taxed to pay for this. This is gobbledygook all over.
It’s going to be tough for Bush debate managers to make any hay out of this to come up with a question because once you start explaining what Kerry himself has explained, you get lost in a maze of words. You end up like the hamster in the little circular cage just running to nowhere. Here’s a position that he’s taken, and he’s been explaining it ever since, that as I say, is the most explained position in the history of American politics. Every explanation is different from the previous explanation and he’s still in the process of trying so explain it. Diane Sawyer said — now, this is where it gets good, folks. This is where. A simple question: “Was the war in Iraq worth it?”
KERRY: We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today.
SAWYER: So it was not worth it?
RUSH: Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Hold it, hold it. I can’t let that go. We’re going to have to play this bite in its entirety because we’re coming up to a break, but did you people hear this? “We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today.” (Laughing.) Well, I guess what he said, the information we know today is different than what we knew before we went to war. Is he talking about weapons of mass destruction? Is he talking about the $87 billion? How in the world do you say, “Well, knowing what we know today, we shouldn’t have gone to war then?” We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today. Well, we didn’t know the information we know today back then. (Big sigh.) And it gets even worse as the bite goes on. We’ll start this at the top, prepare to laugh.
RUSH: All right, I want to go back to audio sound bite #2. We’ve got the confirmation now. John Kerry, once again, I don’t know what to call this. Is this an “inarticulate moment.” If he’s mistaken, and the days and the weeks and the hours are running together, if he is misleading us, if he lied, I don’t know what to say. You call it what you will. Here’s what Senator Kerry said this morning on Good Morning America about the voted for it, before it, against it.
KERRY: It just was a very inarticulate way of saying something, and I had one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and I didn’t say something very clearly.
RUSH: Stop the tape. I’m holding here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a copy of the March 17th, 2004, edition of the Washington Post, and I would like to read to you from a paragraph well within the story. “But the Democrat, whom Bush has criticized for taking both sides of difficult issues, offered a less-than-crisp statement defending the nuances of his position. ‘I actually did vote for his $87 billion before I voted against it,’ he told a group of veterans at a noontime appearance at Marshall University. He went on to explain that he preliminarily backed the request so long as it was financed not by deficit spending, but with a tax surcharge on the wealthy that Bush opposed.” So he made this speech, he made this comment at noon, ladies and gentlemen. At noon on March the 16th I imagine because the paper’s publish date is March the 17th, which was a Wednesday.
So he would have made this comment — John Harris, by the way, is the writer — so he would have made this comment the day before more than likely. So I guess what we have here is an “inarticulate moment” with Diane Sawyer is what he meant to say. It was early morning and he was very tired after having been up all night at a campaign rally and prepping for his debate coverage and performance up there in Wisconsin. In fact, probably had some inarticulate moments late last night while prepping for the debate, didn’t get much sleep, got up early to be on with Diane Sawyer today, had an inarticulate moment this morning because he was so tired from being up late last night, and that’s what he was talking about. He was talking about being tired last night.
It was late at night when he was thinking about what to tell her today, and because he’d been up practicing and rehearsing for the debate. So his inarticulate moment occurred today when he was tired because he’d been up late last night. He wasn’t tired on March 16th at noon because it wasn’t late in the evening. How could he possibly say…? How could he possibly mean, ladies and gentlemen, that he said I voted for it before I voted against it, as he said here late in the evening when he was dead tired in the primaries, when in fact it was at noon? You know, he certainly doesn’t think that noon is late at night. So he has to be talking about last night, making him tired this morning when he was on with Diane Sawyer. Now, what they’re probably going to have to do is scrounge around and find the other time he said it.
The debates, the campaign staff — fathom this — the debate staff is now making tracks to their own archives trying to find the first time Senator Kerry said he voted for it before he voted against it which was late at night, probably at a campaign staff meeting, where they had a rehearsal of the line to see how it flew with the campaign staff. So he probably did make that statement late at night. It was in the primaries. He probably forgot it wasn’t to an audience it was to his campaign staff. See, it’s always their fault anyway. So it may be before the end of the day, that he actually said it twice, and the Post didn’t know the first time he said it, and that he always says what he means because he’s John Kerry and we’re not supposed to question him. (Laughing.) Is this fun, or what? Let’s go back to this other bite. Now, this is where Diane Sawyer gets serious. Question to Senator Kerry: “Was the war in Iraq worth it?”
KERRY: We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today.
SAWYER: So it was not worth it?
KERRY: We should not — depends on the outcome ultimately and that depends on the leadership, and we need better leadership to get the job done successfully. But I would not have gone to war knowing that there was no imminent threat —
RUSH: Stop the tape. Bush never said the words “imminent threat.” That’s another myth that gets perpetuated by Kerry and picked up by the mainstream press. Bush never said there was “an imminent threat.” He wanted to go because it was a “mounting” threat. He wanted to get in there before it became an imminent threat. How many times does the president have to explain this, or do we have to explain it for him after he said it himself a number of times? They just continue to lie and misrepresent the president’s position, and, of course, here’s Kerry talking about how good they are at taking quotes of his out of context and blah, blah, blah. Here’s the rest of the bite.
KERRY: — weapons of mass destruction. There was no connection of Al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein. The president misled the American people, plain and simple, bottom line.
SAWYER: So, if it turns out okay it was worth it, but right now it wasn’t worth it?
KERRY: No. It was a mistake to do what he did, but we have to succeed now that we’ve done.
RUSH: So, if it turns out okay it was worth it, but right now it wasn’t worth it? No, it was a mistake to do what he did, but we have to succeed now that we’ve done. Also, no connection Al-Qaeda to Hussein. You know, this is a big thing Democrats are trying to say. In fact, there’s a good question Kerry could be asked tonight. Do you really think that there were no terrorists in Iraq prior to the war because it could be proven Zarqawi was there. Zarqawi was in Iraq recuperating from an injury he got in Afghanistan. There were all kinds of terrorists in Iraq. I mean, this is amazing the position that he’s taking, and I don’t care who’s forcing it on him. I don’t care if his staff is forcing it on him, if Marybeth Cahill is forcing it on him. I don’t care if Mary Mapes is forcing it on him. I don’t care if Rather is forcing it on him. I don’t care who is forcing this position on him. This is just absolutely absurd.
There were terrorists. Al-Qaeda was in south Florida. Al-Qaeda was everywhere in the world, folks; they just weren’t in Iraq. Imagine! Imagine that! This is going to be so easy to believe, and here’s a question nobody asks, and that’s why, of course, I’m here to ask those questions that no one else asks, my friends. Congress, to this day, at this very moment, my friends, has the power to stop funding this war. Has Senator Kerry ever proposed a bill to stop funding this war? If he’s so opposed to it, he voted from it before he voted against it. He didn’t like it “because of the tax consequences,” he says now. His latest excuse for voting against the supplemental $87 billion is about taxes. Now it’s about taxes. Now it’s not about funding. If he feels this has been such a monumental failure, he serves in the Senate. He could lead an effort to stop the funding, but he hasn’t.
Now he says, “Well, it was a mistake to do what Bush did, but we have to succeed now that we’ve done, and now that we’ve done…” Not “done it,” not “done something,” but “now that we’ve done.” Bush, of course, is the guy who can’t talk. John Kerry is the guy who puts syllables together but I’ll be damned if anybody can make any sense out of them. It is the most incredible thing. Play this sound bite again, #3, because everything in here is demonstrably untrue. We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq because we knew we would find later there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction, besides the fact that five different nations and intelligence agencies had sworn they were there, including Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan.
Both told Tommy Franks that he would find weapons of mass destruction on the battlefield, that he should prepare his troops for it. Kerry sits here and wants to deny the reality of what the intelligence said, that Bill Clinton believed, that John Kerry himself believed in 1997. Let’s not forget his statement in the Congressional Record that I read on this program yesterday. In 1997, he proposed unilateral action if the Security Council didn’t come through. He knew the French couldn’t be counted on then. These weapons of mass destruction were too dangerous. We had to get rid of them, and now all of a sudden he says, “If we’d have known then what we know now. Bush misled.” This whole campaign is based on a series of lies.
The entire Kerry campaign is based on a series of lies, and it’s based on the assumption that the American people are too stupid to figure it out, and the reason they think that is because they think that they’ve gotten cover from their accomplices in the mainstream press who are going to support Kerry in what he says. To that extent he’s right, but the mainstream press doesn’t have their monopoly anymore, and so the mainstream press can try to carry Kerry’s water all day long, but the truth is going to get out there about this. This campaign is built not just lies; it’s built on balsa wood. This campaign wouldn’t survive a decent spitball attack, much less a heavy wind. A quick time-out. We’ll move on to other things. We don’t need to hear this again because there’s even better ones down the pike as we keep going.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m holding here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a copy of the joint resolution, October 11th, 2002: Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of U.S. Armed Forces against Iraq. Kerry voted for this. This is not the 87 billion. This is the resolution on Iraq, joint resolution to authorize. He voted for this and he would have voted for it even if there were no weapons of mass destruction. He would have voted for it because the president needs this kind of authority. Now he’s out there saying the president “misled.” I want to read to you just a portion of Section 2: Support for United States diplomatic efforts.
“The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to–
(a) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and (b) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions.
“Section 3: Authorization for use of U.S. Armed Forces.
(a) Authorization. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.”
Kerry voted for it. There’s no way the president could mislead anybody as a result of this given the authority that he was granted by Congress. “The president is authorized to use the armed forces of the U.S. as he determines to be necessary and appropriate.” “As he,” means, “You don’t have to come back to us.” This is the resolution the Democrats demanded. If you remember, there already was a resolution which basically said the same thing, and it was done shortly after 9/11, 2001. And everybody was saying that the president already had the authority to go into Iraq, and the Democrats, in the midst of their midterm campaign, their election in 2002 demanded to go back on the record on this. They demanded another debate on this, even though there already was a resolution. Bush, playing an excellent game of poker, said, “If that’s what you want to do, go ahead and debate it again,” because the Democrats wanted it both ways.
They wanted to be able to get in on the action because the American people wanted something done and done now, back then. That’s when we knew then. The American people wanted something done. The Democrats were out there opposing doing it. The president was citing he already had a resolution from Congress. No, we’ve got to debate this again because they wanted in on it, and they also wanted to give themselves some cover. They thought that it would help them during the campaign for the midterm elections in 2002. But what they ended up doing was, once again, joining the president on his turf in his backyard and they neglected to talk about what they think are their “kitchen table issues:” health care, the economy, minimum wage, Kyoto protocol, SUVs and Hummers, global warming.
What am I leaving out? Animal rights, health care. Did I say health care? Social Security, Medicare, all these things. The 30-year playbook. They ceased discussing that and joined the president on his turf, and they came up with this new resolution, which is essentially a duplicate of what was already on the record, and it is this resolution that Kerry now cites to say that the president misled him and misled everybody else. Kerry had demanded this authority and action by President Clinton back in 1997. You know, I have been, folks, very hesitant here to predict anything. As you know I’m not predicting the outcome of the election, because anything can happen. I mean, either side could have an October Surprise.
Both sides probably do have one that they hope to spring. I have no clue what it would be. You don’t know what’s going to happen in these debates. You don’t know if Dan Rather is going to storm out from backstage and demand to be seated at the moderator table. You just don’t know what’s going to happen, but there are some educated guesses that can be made here, and one of the educated guesses is that Kerry is a sitting duck on the issue of Iraq. I think he’s a sitting duck on most everything, but I don’t want to go that far, but on this, he’s a sitting duck. The big challenge for the president or for anybody debating Kerry is to remember everything Kerry has said about this, because there are so many different things, and maybe wait you do it is to say. “You know, I heard what he said yesterday. I can’t keep up with what he believes on this anymore. All I know is–,” and then cite the resolution. I mean, there obviously is ways to do this. But he’s just in quicksand on this.
I’ll tell you who’s in a quagmire; it’s Kerry and his campaign. That’s where the quagmire is. If anybody is sinking in quicksand it’s that bunch. Somebody may throw him a tree limb to grab onto and pull him outta there. I don’t know, but this is just one of the most amazing presidential campaigns I have seen and witnessed in my lifetime. I thought it would be a long time before we got one more incompetent than Dukakis and Jimmy Carter in 1980, but this folks, this is just pushing that envelope.
RUSH: All right, we want to resume here our review of Senator Kerry sound bites today, and we want to go back and replay the one we just played, just to stay in context here and promote continuity. So I’ve already analyzed this. I’m not going to spend any more time analyzing it. You shouldn’t need me to analyze this. It’s so convoluted. Diane Sawyer, says, “Real simple question here: Was the war in Iraq worth it?” This is from this morning, Good Morning America, John Kerry the guest.
KERRY: We should not have gone to war knowing the information we know today.
SAWYER: So it was not worth it?
KERRY: We should not — depends on the outcome ultimately and that depends on the leadership. And we need better leadership to get the job done —
RUSH: I’m sorry, stop the tape. I just can’t help myself. I say I’m not going to analyze this, but she says, “So it wasn’t worth it?” “Well, we should not — well, it depends on the outcome ultimately and that depends on the leadership.” So we don’t know if it was worth it yet. Well, then how do you know if it was worth it beforehand? You never know you’re going to win it before you go into it. The odds are we are, we’re Americans. That’s me attitude; it’s probably not his, but the odds are we’re going to win. We always do. We’re Americans! That’s not bragging. It’s who we are. So to say, “Well, I don’t know if we’re going to do this because we don’t know if we’re going to win,” why, you wouldn’t do it at all if that’s the way Kerry thinks. All right, let’s resume with the rest of this.
KERRY: — war, knowing that there was no imminent threat. There was no weapons of mass destruction. There was no connection with Al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein. The president misled the American people, plain and simple, bottom line.
SAWYER: So if it turns out okay, it was worth it?
SAWYER: But right now it wasn’t?
KERRY: No, it was a mistake to do what he did, but we have to succeed now that we’ve done.
RUSH: You see, she can’t even figure it out, she’s a trained journalist, and she can’t even figure — put her on the debate moderating team that’s what I say, she’s asking good questions here. So if it turns out okay it was worth it but right now it wasn’t worth it? No, it was a mistake to do what he did but we have to succeed now that we’ve done. Let’s just keep rolling ’em here. So she says, “So you’re saying that today, even if Saddam Hussein were in power today it would be a better thing, that you would prefer?”
KERRY: No, I would not prefer that. Diane, don’t twist here.
SAWYER: No, no, no —
KERRY: This is very simple.
SAWYER: If the choices were to get him out by war —
KERRY: Knowing there —
SAWYER: — or not.
KERRY: — was no imminent threat to America, knowing there were no weapons of mass destruction, knowing there was no connection of Saddam Hussein to Al-Qaeda, I would not have gone to war. That’s plain and simple.
RUSH: Okay, so he wouldn’t have done it. So how many flip-flops is this? He has said he “would have gone to war even if he knew there were no weapons of mass destruction.” He said that less than six weeks ago. But now he says if he — and this is how Bush misled ’em. But if you go back and read the joint resolution, and I read it to you in the last hour, and we can link to it and put it up on the website tonight so you can read the whole thing if you want, but the resolution doesn’t say any of this stuff. It’s up to the president. The president didn’t mislead anybody because the decision is ultimately his. Congress surrendered all authority to the president in the resolution on October 11th, 2002. But even that doesn’t get there, because how can you — I don’t know what to do with this. I’m trying to think of World War II analogies. Well, what if we had known that the Germans were not manning guns up at the top of Pointe-Du-Hoc, would we have still taken it? Would there still have been a D-Day?
I mean, would there have been a Battle of the Bulge if we had known for sure the German army was planning to meet us there? For crying out loud! I mean, talk to anybody who has expertise in war and you’ll find out that once the war starts the plan’s irrelevant because things happen you can’t possibly plan for. This is just… This is just… I keep saying, “It’s unbelievable.” I gotta change: It’s totally unbelievable. We’re listening to John Kerry. This obfuscation, this confusion, this psychobabble is totally believable. The fact that he doesn’t make sense is what makes sense. The fact that he doesn’t make sense is totally believable.
The fact that he makes no sense whatsoever is what we expect. The fact he doesn’t make sense is in fact normal. We should all stop the press when he says something that does make sense and that would be unbelievable. There’s even more, though, from the same interview. So Diane Sawyer says, “Okay, so tomorrow night the dual for a man who says he’s tired of the Bush campaign defining him.” She’s holding up pictures of him windsurfing, by the way. She’s holding up pictures of Kerry windsurfing and Bush chopping trees and clearing brush down there in Texas, and she says, “So tomorrow night, the dual for a man who says he’s tired of the Bush campaign defining him, and that even his infamous windsurfing was an act of image rebellion, is there something about a candidate who windsurfs and snowboards up against these images? So is there a symbolism here you think people are responding to?”
KERRY: You know I do those things, too; I just didn’t have those photographs taken, and I love doing everything —
RUSH: Stop the tape. Now, the question here didn’t even make sense to me as I read it, but here’s what he’s answering to. She’s holding up pictures of Bush clearing brush and Kerry windsurfing and says is this a bad image for you? And what he’s saying is, “Oh, I clear brush, too. I clear brush, too. I do those things, too; I just don’t have those photographs taken. I just didn’t have those photographs.” Just like there are no photographs when you fell down the ski slope, huh? He says he’s got photos. [program observer interruption] No, he doesn’t have any photographs. That’s it. He’s cleared brush at… I don’t know if he means at Bush’s ranch or not, that’s a good question. Where has he cleared brush? Has he cleared brush up in Idaho at the ski chalet? Has he cleared brush up at Nantucket? Has he cleared brush in Beacon Hill to move the fire hydrant? Maybe he helps the gardeners. Maybe that’s what he does, I don’t know, but he says he’s never taken pictures of it. So here’s the rest of the bite.
KERRY: — person. I’m going to be myself, Diane. That’s what’s important. You know, these pictures appear because I’m not trying to appear to be somebody different. I’m not trying to fake it. I’m going out and being who I am.
SAWYER: They portrayed him as elite sports and elitism?
KERRY: They’ve got to go talk to a lot of the guys who enjoy doing windsurfing and the guys I go with are, you know, regular, folks. They’re carpenters and electricians, guys who work on the island. If they want to have fun with it, that’s fine. What matters here are the American people, not what I do in a couple of hours when I have some free time to go get some exercise.
RUSH: Okay, so I guess Kerry is saying he’s not a regular guy but he goes windsurfing with regular guys because he says here, “Hey, you go talk to a lot of the guys who enjoy doing the windsurfing. The guys I go with are regular, folks. (They’re not elitists like I am.)” I mean he didn’t say that, but I mean the implication here. It’s an inference. I’m drawing an inference, I must be honest. I want to see the pictures of clearing brush. There aren’t any, damn it! He’s cleared brush but he’s never taken pictures of it. [program observer interruption] Uh, uh, uh, no. We talked to some carpenters out there, remember? He was going to windsurf out there in Oregon or somewhere and the wind was not good so he was going to go back and windsurf. He said he was going to go with these regular folks, and I asked some windsurfers out there to call in, and they are carpenters. Actually they’re people who own carpentry companies and people who own construction companies, but they’re in that business, and they do windsurf. There’s some windsurfers down here in Palm Beach, but I don’t know who they are because I don’t windsurf, and I don’t clear brush, and there aren’t any pictures of either.